Top US state department official goes to Central America to discuss fighting crime, drugs

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A high-level U.S. State Department envoy will be in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama next week to discuss how the U.S. can help those countries fight organized crime and stop drug trafficking.

Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela said in a conference call from Washington on Friday that the U.S. is working with other countries, including Canada, Italy and Spain, to determine the best ways to direct the aid sent to Central American governments.

Valenzuela says he's looking forward to strengthening relations with the countries he visits in Central America.