U.S. Strategy to Combat the Threat of Criminal Gangs from Central America and Mexico [open html - 25KB]
"Certain criminal gangs pose significant public safety and security threats to the countries in which they operate, including the United States. Of particular concern to the United States, they threaten the U.S. regional interest in fostering stable democracies with free and vibrant economies and the domestic interest in protecting U.S. citizens and communities from the ravages of gang violence and associated criminal activities. [...] U.S. and regional experience provides two critical lessons. The first is that reducing gang crime requires a balanced and integrated approach that incorporates effective law enforcement with youth crime prevention and interventions that provide alternatives and opportunities to leave gangs. Schools, community groups, and the private sector have as important a role to play as the policy environment and the justice system. The second lesson is that the approach must be truly regional, with strong bilateral foundations, because success in one jurisdiction may simply transfer the problem to neighboring areas, as gang members move between countries through legal and illegal means. [...] The United States is committed to combating the threat posed by criminal gangs from Central America and Mexico and to working in cooperation with the other countries principally affected by it. Toward that end, the United States will undertake activities in five broad categories: diplomacy, repatriation, law enforcement, capacity enhancement and prevention."
US Department of State Archive: https://2001-2009.state.gov/