Criminal violence threatens Central America

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Violence by criminals is threatening stability in Central America, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Mr. Ban addressed the General Assembly during a discussion on how to promote and implement a regional security strategy in Central America.

The Secretary-General said political violence has been greatly reduced and democratic processes are being consolidated.

However, he added, countries in the region, especially El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras face rising levels of violence fuelled by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.

"Caught between drug producing countries in the South and some of the major consumer countries in the North, proximity has encouraged criminality. The region is now home to the highest homicide rates in the world: 39 murders per 100,000 citizens in Guatemala, 72 per 100,000 in El Salvador, and 86 per 100,000 in Honduras, which is more than 10 times the global average."

(Duration: 28")

The Secretary-General added that it is now more important than ever to stop the flow of weapons to criminals.

Filed under Today's News.
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