Canada Committed to Combatting Crime and Human Trafficking in El Salvador

(No. 155 - June 8, 2011 - 12:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today announced a $1-million contribution to help fight crime and human trafficking in El Salvador.

"International criminal activity is the most pressing challenge to the security of governments and individuals in Central America today,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. "It hampers economic development, threatens the integrity of state institutions, and undermines democracy.”

The Canadian contribution will be allocated to projects implemented by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia (JES) to improve criminal investigation techniques, and to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to strengthen laws to combat human trafficking.

The Special Investigative Methods project, implemented by JES, aims to strengthen the capacity of law-enforcement agencies in three Central American countries through the provision of equipment and training on investigative methods such as surveillance and wiretaps, which are critical in the fight against sophisticated criminal networks. The portion of this project’s funding allocated to El Salvador is $841,000. Minister of State Ablonczy today toured El Salvador’s National Public Security Academy where JES training is delivered.

In addition, Canada will contribute over $178,000 for the implementation of human counter-trafficking structures in El Salvador. The IOM provides specialized expertise to the Salvadoran government as it formulates comprehensive legislation to combat human trafficking and reviews existing laws to ensure maximum effectiveness.

"The people of El Salvador understand all too well the dangerous threat posed by criminal gangs to personal safety and social stability," said Minister of State Ablonczy. I am therefore pleased to announce this contribution, which will help the Government of El Salvador strengthen its justice system and hold perpetrators to account."

Canada’s contribution is funded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity-Building Program (ACCBP), launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2009. The ACCBP provides up to $15 million a year to enhance the capacity of government agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental entities to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity throughout the Americas. In Central America and the Caribbean, the ACCBP focuses on preventing illicit drug trafficking, reforming the security sector and preventing crime. In the Americas more widely, the ACCBP also seeks to tackle corruption, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and money laundering and investigating proceeds of crime.

Minister of State Ablonczy made the announcement from San Salvador, where she attended the Organization of American States General Assembly.

For more information, please visit Minister of State Ablonczy Attends the OAS General Assembly in El Salvador and Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Ann Matejicka
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter.