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News Americas, GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, Thurs. June 23, 2011: U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has vowed the U.S. will support proven programs to keep young people away from criminal activity.

Speaking at the Central American Security Conference in Guatemala Wednesday, Clinton said the plan to tackle rising crime statistics across the region “will take concerted action from all of us” through innovative strategies.

She pledged almost $300 million this year from the U.S. to back an action plan that is focused on high-impact investments to help build new capabilities and create the reforms needed from within.

“Strengthening the rule of law, attacking criminal organizations head-on, rehabilitating those who do fall into criminality while preventing young people from doing that in the first place, rooting out corruption, and ensuring accountable and effective institutions are essential,” said the Secretary of State.

She also challenged the private sector in the region to join in crime prevention, pointing to a new program in El Salvador, where private sector partners who have pledged that for every dollar the United States commits to crime prevention, businesses in El Salvador will invest three dollars.

“I would welcome the private sector across the region to join in such an innovative approach,” added Clinton.

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