March 24, 2002

Bush arrives in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (CNN) --Beginning the third leg of a Latin American
tour, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush arrived in El Salvador on Sunday.

As the couple exited Air Force One, a line of dignitaries and an honor guard greeted
them and a band played the "Star Spangled Banner."

Bush is set to meet Salvadoran President Francisco Flores and to hold a news
conference afterward. He is then expected to attend a working lunch with other
Central American leaders where trade is likely to be a priority topic of discussion.

Bush is scheduled to depart Sunday night for Andrews Air Force Base outside

Saturday, during his stop in Peru, Bush and Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo
pledged to strengthen ties on trade, education and the fight against terrorism.

Peru and the United States "understand that political and economic progress depends
on security," Bush said Saturday afternoon in Lima. "And that security is impossible
in a world with terrorists."

Toledo greeted Bush -- the first sitting U.S. president to visit Peru -- at the airport,
and the two leaders then left for a one-on-one meeting at the presidential palace.

Security was extremely tight in Lima for Bush's visit, particularly after nine people
died in a car bombing Wednesday four blocks from the U.S. Embassy.

Both leaders addressed terrorism following their meeting, and Bush thanked Toledo
for his leadership and friendship to the United States since September 11.

Toledo tied violence such as last week's attack to a wider, international "war with no
ambiguities whatsoever against terrorism and drug trafficking."

"I am stubborn, and I believe it is not incompatible to respect the law and to be
strong-handed with regard to the issue of terrorism and drug trafficking," Toledo
said, thanking the United States for its increased funding for drug interdiction.

Bush echoed Toledo's statements, saying he came to Peru "to support our mutual
desire to fight terror and to help this good democracy thrive."

The U.S. president pledged increased economic support for Peru and its neighbors,
promising aid and investment, promoting trade and funding training for Andean
professionals in information technology.

Bush also said Peace Corps volunteers would return in August to Peru for the first
time in 30 years.

Lima was the second stop on the president's four-day Latin American tour, which
began with a visit to a U.N. conference on economic development in Monterrey,

Bush calls bombers 'two-bit terrorists'

Hours before Bush arrived in Peru, authorities detonated up to 10 small homemade
bombs thrown into the street from a moving vehicle, police said. The explosions
took place in the eastern part of Lima, which isn't near the presidential palace.

Peruvian officials linked Wednesday's car bombing to Bush's one-day visit and
deployed at least 7,000 Peruvian security personnel around Lima.

U.S. officials said the attack appeared to be the work of the leftist Shining Path
guerrilla movement, which was prominent in Peru during the 1980s and early 1990s
and may be making a resurgence. (Full Story)

Bush said he was not deterred by the violence, deriding Wednesday's bombers as
"two-bit terrorists."

In his weekly radio address, the president said his administration was committed to
helping its southern neighbors "build an entire hemisphere that lives in liberty and
trades in freedom." (Full story)

The fight against poverty has been a focal point of Bush's trip, highlighted by his
proposal Friday to increase by 50 percent the "core development assistance" to poor
countries over the next three budget years.

This plan translates into an annual $5 billion increase over current levels, he told
more than 50 heads of state or government on the final day of the five-day
U.N.-sponsored International Conference on Financing for Development.

But Bush warned that money alone will not solve the problems of developing
countries and poverty does not necessarily qualify nations for the aid.

"We expect other nations to develop the habits that will lead to a better opportunity
for their people -- rule of law, focus on education and good health care," Bush
reiterated Saturday. "Unless we all focus on how programs benefit people directly ...
it's likely to lead to failure."