Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a trip to one of the most crime-plagued cities in the world to offer his advice on how the government can cut down the violence and stop the flow of child migrants coming to the United States.
Speaking in Guatemala City, Giuliani said that to get the spiraling crime rates under control the country first needs to focus more on strengthening its law enforcement initiatives and less on social programs. Guatemala – a country of 14 million people - had about 17 homicides per day last year, compared with less than one per day for New York, a city with a population of 8.4 million.
“My top recommendation is to set up a system to measure the effectiveness of your police, your prosecutors and your prisons,” Giuliani, said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by the not-for-profit Guatemalan Development Foundation, according to Bloomberg. “That helps give you the right answers to questions like how many more police do you need. At what level should they be compensated so you can reduce the level of corruption.”
Guatemala, along with neighboring El Salvador and Honduras, are part of the so-called Northern Triangle countries responsible for the majority of children who fled to the U.S. in droves over the past year. The violent crime rates in these countries – some of the highest in the world – have continued to rise thanks to the infiltration of Mexico’s drug cartels into a region already plagued by infamous street gangs like Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.
“Central American police forces with few investigative skills, poor community ties, and serious corruption issues were quickly overwhelmed or even began working for the other side,” Adam Isacson, Senior Associate for Regional Security Policy at the Washington Office on Latin America, wrote in an opinion for Fox News Latino.
Before visiting the country, Giuliani spent four months reviewing crime data and policing practices.
While mayor of the U.S.’s largest city from 1994-2001, Giuliani cut crime 63 percent and led the city through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Some of the practices implemented during his time in office such as stop-and-frisk, however, have been criticized for their harsh tactics and alleged racial profiling.
“When you have a tremendous amount of crime in your society, you are not going to solve it with schools, libraries, nice neighborhoods and sports teams,” Giuliani said. “You have to emphasize law enforcement. As soon you get the crime down, the next thing you do is build up the social programs. That’s when you create more jobs, better neighborhoods, better schools.”
This is the second time in the past few months that the former New York politician has weighed in on Central America’s politics.
Last month, Activision Blizzard Inc. announced that Giuliani and his firm will ask a Los Angeles judge to dismiss former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against the company, which claims his likeness was used without permission in 2012's"Call of Duty: Black Ops II."
Giuiliani told The Associated Press he took the case because he doesn't want the imprisoned Noriega to profit from his crimes, which include convictions for murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. Also, Giuiliani said that if the lawsuit is upheld, it could give historical figures and their heirs veto power over their depiction in books, television, movies and video games.
Noriega sued Activision in July, claiming the company depicted him as a "kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state."
"I am outraged that he is seeking millions and millions of dollars that he can take down to a Panamanian prison from a great American company," Giuliani said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.