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Business Group Slams Central America Security Tax

JUDICIAL REFORM / 13 JUL 2011 BY JEN SOKATCH EN

A Central American business federation has come out against the imposition of new “security taxes” to fund governments’ fight against organized crime in the region.

The Federation of Central American Chambers of Commerce (FECAMCO) released a statement explaining that it did not support increasing taxes in the emerging economies of Central America in the middle of an economic “crisis,” according to reports.

Instead the body called for governments to implement “effective measures to control tax evasion, broaden the tax base, combat corruption,” as well as making “rational and efficient use of public expenditures to strengthen institutional and social stability.”

The countries of Central America, hit by a wave of crime, have announced a security strategy which is set to cost nearly one billion dollars. Details of the strategy were given at the International Conference in Support of the Central American Security Strategy, held in Guatemala from June 22 to 23.

There was discussion at the conference on the need for higher taxes in the region to fund the fight against organized crime, led by the U.S.’s call for Central America’s wealthy to pay their way. The region has one of the lowest tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in the world.

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