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BRIEF

Central America Pledges Support After Guatemala Massacre

GUATEMALA / 20 MAY 2011 BY VANESSA PAZ LECOMPTE EN

Representatives of Central American countries stated their solidarity with Guatemala in an emergency meeting to discuss security in the region, following the massacre of 27 farm workers in northern Guatemala on Sunday.

Guatemala's President Alvaro Colom called the meeting "to analyze the recent acts of violence that have occured in the region [and] to take measures together," according his office, reports EFE.

El Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo attended the summit in Antigua, Guatemala, on Thursday, while Belize and Nicaragua sent representatives.

After the meeting, the countries issued a joint statement expressing their solidarity with Colom over the massacre. They had reportedly discussed the links of organized crime to poverty and inequality, and agreed to establish cooperation mechanisms to share information and take joint action against threats.

Colom announced that the countries had made progress on their strategic regional security plan.

At a meeting earlier this month the members of the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana - SICA), a regional body, agreed to seek more than $950 million in aid to fund a plan to fight crime in the region.

More details of this plan will be announced in a meeting to be held in Guatemala in June.

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