Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anti-Gang Initiative Agreement

On Friday, September 26, Minister of National Security Carlos Perdomo and Chargé d’Affaires J.A. Diffily signed an agreement at the Ministry of National Security in Belmopan to cooperate on an Anti-Gang Initiative for Belize.

The Letter of Agreement secures funding of US$110,000 for the Government of Belize to develop a strategy for combating gang related crime and violence by focusing on improving capabilities in the areas of community policing and prevention. The community policing initiative is designed to assimilate known best practices and apply them in a logistically and geographically manageable area or neighborhood which will rescue neighborhoods from the scourge of gang-related crime. The prevention initiative will consist of a public information campaign and partnership with an NGO or local government prevention programs.

The issue of regional security in this hemisphere has been at the forefront of discussions throughout Central America. Terrorism, gangs, and the proliferation of transnational crimes continue to pose a threat to the region’s security. Upon learning of the initiative, U.S. Ambassador Robert J. Dieter commented, “This is an important initiative to address the problem of gang criminality. The Government of the United States of America is pleased to assist the Government of Belize in its efforts to protect its communities and assist young people in finding positive alternatives to criminal activities.”

This donation is the result of cooperation and planning at a regional level that will benefit the people of Belize and will assist the Ministry of National Security in its mission of security for Belize citizens.

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