US Pledges $77M for Caribbean Security

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Above: Julissa Reynoso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America, the Caribbean and Cuba with the US State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (Photo: US State Department)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Caribbean will receive an injection of $77 million in 2012 from the United States to develop anti-crime and anti-violence projects in the region, a number first announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Montego Bay, Jamaica earlier this year.

The CBSI, which is a shared security partnership between the Dominican Republic, CARICOM and the US, has identified three core objectives to focus on security threats: the reduction of illicit trafficking, advancing crime-fighting programmes like border protection, and the promotion of social justice through justice sector reform and tackling government corruption.

“We have encountered many challenges but we believe that the CBSI provides a useful and necessary framework for coordination and collaboration with our partners in the region,” said Julissa Reynoso, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America, the Caribbean and Cuba with the US State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Reynoso, who co-chaired the CBSI meeting this week with St Kitts and Nevis, said her country would be delivering high-speed interdiction boats and relevant equipment to the Eastern Caribbean as part of the US Secure Seas Effort.

The boats will complement similar vessels in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Guyana and Suriname will also receive riverine patrol boats and equipment in 2012.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of the past year under the CBSI,” she said.

The US is also working with CBSI partners to promote the fight against financial crimes and money laundering, along with terror financing. Accordingly, preliminary assessments have been made in Trinidad and Guyana.