Regional Summit Held This Week

December 17, 2004

SAN SALVADOR (EFE) – ThePresidents of Central America, theDominican Republic and Mexico metthis week in El Salvador for the XXVSummit of the Heads of State of theCentral American Integration System(SICA) to discuss the pending CentralAmerican customs union, security measures,reforms to the Central AmericanParliament (PARLACEN) and other integrationefforts.According to Eduardo Cálix, ElSalvador’s Vice-Chancellor, the Presidentsare expected to sign a “Central AmericanSecurity” declaration, which proposesregional strategies to control violence andstrengthen security.Cálix said the topic of support for acommon Central American candidate forthe position of Secretary General of theOrganization of American States (OAS)is not included on the agenda of thisweek’s summit, although that doesn’tmean it won’t be a hot topic of debate.The Presidents of El Salvador andHonduras this week repeated the call for aCentral American candidate to fill thepost. The position was vacated lastOctober, when former Costa Rican presidentMiguel Angel Rodríguez steppeddown to face corruption charges (TT, Oct.8, 15; Nov. 12, 26).Salvadoran President Elías “Tony”Saca reminded his colleagues that mostCentral American Presidents voted forformer Salvadoran President FranciscoFlores as the region’s favorite candidateduring the XIV Latin American-IberianSummit in Costa Rica last month.Support for Flores has dwindled since,as allegations of corruption have surfaced(TT, Nov. 26, Dec. 3).This week, however, during a visitby Flores to Costa Rica, President AbelPacheco said Costa Rica supports hiscandidacy.However, the Costa Rican Presidentclarified his government would withdrawthis support if allegations of his corruptionare proven to be true. So far, he added, theallegations “have only been rumors.”Honduran President Ricardo Maduro,meanwhile, is supporting the candidacy offormer Honduran Foreign Minister CarlosLópez.Luis Ernesto Derbez, Foreign Ministerof Mexico, and José Miguel Insulza,Chile’s Interior Minister, have also throwntheir hats into the ring for the OAS’ toppost.

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