The U.S. Embassy in El Salvador and the Ministry of Public Security and Justice inaugurated a new Police Athletic League (PAL) in Zacatecoluca. This program is being implemented by the Embassy’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the National Civilian Police (PNC) and Patria Unida Foundation.
“This program has been so successful and has had such a positive impact in the community that we knew we had to expand it. The Police Athletic League is one of the multiple efforts by the United States in support of Plan El Salvador Seguro, said Ambassador Jean Manes.
The PAL program involves the creation or adjustment of recreational areas for children and youth. In these spaces, various sports, educational and artistic activities are performed. PNC’s agents provide violence prevention and personal development talks. To date this program has benefited more than 3,000 children and youth.
“We are sure that under Plan El Salvador Seguro and the determination of the municipalities with the highest crime rates, activities such as this one will be a tipping point in the activities, the behavior and the way in which Salvadorans relate and solve our problems,” said PNC Director Howard Cotto.
Nationwide, INL has provided more than $450,000 in tactical gear, motorcycles and vehicles to the PNC. This includes 20 motorcycles, 10 pickups, minivans and 400 bulletproof vests to the police delegation of Zacatecoluca,.
The first PAL was inaugurated in April 2012 in Santa Ana. To date, there are six around the country. They are located in Lourdes-Colon, Ciudad Delgado, San Luis La Herradura, Usulutan and Zacatecoluca.