Thank you, Attorney General Melara, for those kind words — and thank you for hosting us for this third meeting of the Attorneys General of the Northern Triangle and the United States.
I am honored to be here with all of you. In our meeting today, we have renewed our commitment to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against MS-13, the 18th Street Gang, and other transnational criminal groups that threaten the citizens of all our countries.
Together, through Operation Regional Shield, we have struck at these criminal organizations at their origins.
And, as a result, we have seen the indictment of more than 7,000 MS-13 and 18th Street gang members in the Northern Triangle — gang members who otherwise might have reached the U.S.
The citizens of the United States are safer as the result of the courage of you and your law enforcement agencies — and we are grateful.
I am pleased to announce today that this close cooperation will continue; and President Trump has approved continued funding of our law enforcement efforts; through the ongoing work of our OPDAT Resident Legal Advisors in each of your countries, through the FBI’s Transnational Anti-Gang teams, through the DEA’s Sensitive Investigative Units, and through HSI’s work to counter human smuggling and trafficking.
Visiting El Salvador has given me a chance to see first-hand how important this on-the-ground cooperation is in fighting transnational criminal groups.
And being with all of you — my fellow Attorneys General — has reaffirmed my belief that the safety of our citizens is interdependent — and that, together, we will not only confront, but will defeat, these criminal gangs.