United States and Guatemala Sign Merida Initiative Agreement

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 20, 2009
USAID Press Office

ALTA VERAPAZ, GUATEMALA - The United States and Guatemala signed a one-year, $6.75 million agreement Nov. 17 to design and implement a series of preventive anti-crime activities to address the serious security situation that threatens the stability of Guatemalan society.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, following the terms of a limited scope grant agreement, will implement the Merida Initiative Project: Country Plan for Guatemala. The project will focus on strengthening local capabilities to prevent delinquency and combat gang activity in Guatemala. The Project will promote locally-based prevention models that build on successful examples developed by municipalities in the state of Alta Verapaz.

U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland and Guatemala's President Álvaro Colom signed the agreement in the presence of high-level Guatemalan government officials including the minister of the interior, president of congress, attorney general, supreme court president, and technical secretary of the national security council, as well as governors, municipal mayors, and other invited guests.

The agreement includes three principal components: community-based policing; community crime and gang prevention; and community action fund. The strategies for these components will include participative and collaborative prevention to achieve a sustained and effective balance between policing, prevention, awareness-raising, and opportunities for unobstructed community development.

The new U.S. Government agreement complements the execution of Guatemala's National Security and Justice Agreement that was signed into effect in April 2009. The national agreement provides a strategic framework to guide Guatemala's efforts to enhance security sector reform processes and to reduce narco-traffic, delinquency, impunity and violence.

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Last updated: February 28, 2012

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