Working Toward a More Secure Central America

Panamanian National Police stand in formation during their change in command ceremony in Panama City, Panama on September 2, 2004. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: William Brownfield serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Cockroaches always scurry to the dark when discovered. Experts offer this analogy for why we see shifts in drug trafficking when one country or region successfully resists penetration by illegal trafficking networks. After some successes against these networks in Colombia and Mexico, Central America is seeing an increase in crime and violence which sadly inflicts unwanted pain and suffering on the people of the region. Narcotics traffickers seek to subvert or neutralize a country’s judicial and security institutions to make the environment more conducive to their criminal activities. The U.S. government’s Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) is working to shore up institutions and restore citizen security through programs aimed at improving the police, lawyers,… more »

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