U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is in Panama City, Thursday, August 22nd, to meet with security officials and ministers from Central America and Colombia.
McAleenan tweets his arrival for the Ninth Northern Triangle Ministerial, “ready for the next round of finding solutions with my colleagues.”
The aim of the monthly meeting is to discuss the deterrence of drug trafficking and migrant smuggling in the region.
[Kevin McAleenan, U.S. acting homeland security secretary]:
"This meeting of security and immigration ministers has become one of the most important engagements we have on security collaboration in the region. I appreciate the vision of Minister (Enrique) Degenhart (Interior Minister of Guatemala) and Minister (Julian) Pacheco (Interior Minister of Honduras) for developing this group, and it has become again a place where we talk about concrete solutions."
McAleenan highlights “working together” to resolve issues on drugs and illegal migrants.
"This is a regional challenge, the organizations and the criminal activity we're trying to confront crosses borders. It doesn´t respect our national sovereignty and the only way to address that effectively is by working together,” says McAleenan.
Panama's Minister of Security Rolando Mirones says, “We have to put a stop” to illegal human trafficking. He affirms that his country does not want these people to arrive in Panama. “Allowing these people to come through here is sponsoring people who are criminals" and “not because we do not want to fight this humanitarian crisis,” says Panama’s minister of security.