Minister Ablonczy Announces Canadian Support to Boost Security in Guatemala

June 3, 2013 - Guatemala City - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), was joined by Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s Attorney General, to announce the delivery of Canadian-funded equipment that will improve security and stability in Guatemala and throughout the region.

“As part of our engagement in the Americas, Canada is committed to working with our neighbours throughout the region to improve safety and security for the people who call the Americas home,” said Minister Ablonczy. “Canada’s support will help the Guatemalan authorities address transnational crime, bring its perpetrators to justice and improve security for the Guatemalan people.”

Canada’s contribution of equipment, including digital cameras, radios, binoculars and computers, will help to bolster investigations into major crimes, including transnational criminal activity and narco-trafficking. The project is delivered through Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) and directly supports special methods of investigation by the Office of the Attorney General in Guatemala.

This latest contribution builds on previous partnerships and ongoing cooperation between Canada and the Office of the Attorney General to improve justice, safety and security in Guatemala. Thanks in part to Canada’s support, the crime resolution rate in Guatemala has increased from five percent in 2009 to 30 percent in 2012.

At the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the establishment of the Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America (CISCA), the overall project through which the equipment is being contributed.

Projects funded through CISCA focus on police training, border security, enhancing regional dialogue, strengthening justice and security institutions, promoting human rights, supporting conflict resolution and reconciliation processes, and prevention of and intervention in cases of violence against vulnerable groups.

Minister Ablonczy will next attend the OAS General Assembly in La Antigua, Guatemala, where she will underscore Canada’s priorities to enhance democratic governance, defend human rights, increase multi-dimensional security and encourage the participation of civil society in hemispheric affairs.

Canada made the Americas a foreign policy priority in 2007 and continues to deepen its engagement in the hemisphere. Visit Panorama-Americas to see details of Canada’s partnerships in Central America.

For more information, visit Canada-Guatemala Relations.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
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Backgrounder - The Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America

As part of Canada’s engagement in the Americas, the Government of Canada is committed to working with partners to enhance security and the rule of law and to address issues related to transnational criminal activity throughout the hemisphere.

During the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the establishment of the Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America (CISCA). CISCA builds on Canada’s existing security programming by contributing $25 million over five years for additional partnership projects.

The Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) announcement flows from the Canadian Initiative for Security in Central America (CISCA).

Specialized Equipment to Support Law Enforcement in Central America

Implementing Partner: Canadian Commercial Corporation

Funding announced: $1.5 million

Purpose: This Canadian-funded project aims to strengthen Guatemala’s criminal justice system by providing specialized equipment to police and investigation units for use in surveillance and intelligence analysis.

For more information on Canada’s efforts to address security challenges in the Americas through CISCA, please visit The Canada Initiative for Security in Central America.