Central America considers troops for Haiti
Central American countries are considering sending troops to Haiti at the request of the United Nations to cope with the rising violence there, Honduran President Ricardo Maduro said on Saturday.
Brazilian-led U.N. troops are stretched to the limit as they try to prevent the looting of aid supplies and to stop gunbattles and political clashes in the Caribbean island.
About 50 people have been killed since September.
Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua are looking into sending a "humanitarian rescue unit" made up of soldiers, Maduro told a news conference at government headquarters.
"This is something that the region's defense ministers are going to look at jointly. I understand we have to take a decision quickly," he said.
El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua sent troops to Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition last year, but only Salvadoran forces remain after the other two countries pulled out.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said on Thursday the U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti urgently need reinforcements to cope with surging violence in the Caribbean country, which was also devastated by tropical storms.
The U.N. force has just 2,600 soldiers, said Amorim -- a fraction of the 6,700 troops and 1,600 police authorized for Haiti after a February revolt killed more than 200 people and forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile.