Central America leaders agree on joint force to fight gangs

AP News
Posted: Aug 23, 2016 10:19 PM

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have signed an accord to create a joint force to combat the region's street gangs.

Many of the gangs operate across borders and are blamed for high rates of drug trafficking, homicide and extortion in all three countries.

Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said the force will, in his words, "allow us to guarantee greater security and peace for the inhabitants of the three nations."

Sanchez Ceren said Tuesday that the effort will involve intelligence sharing as well as speeding up the extradition of suspects among the three countries.

The force is part of the Regional Plan to Combat Organized Crime.

The three countries had agreed earlier to seek greater coordination in criminal investigations.