United States Launches Initiative to Combat Illicit Firearms Trafficking in Caribbean Region

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 3, 2012

The United States will announce a $3.43 million assistance program to combat illicit trafficking in firearms as part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). This announcement at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) headquarters will occur on the margin of the Third Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on December 4-5, 2012. IMPACS is an institution of CARICOM created to support member states' national security initiatives through regional cooperation and coordination within the context of a Regional Crime and Security Strategy. This initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, will combat illicit firearms trafficking in the region through capacity building measures in collaboration with all members of CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. Department of State has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to spearhead this initiative comprised of the following agenda which will: 1.) provide two Regional Firearms Advisors in the Caribbean to render on-site assistance; 2.) establish a forensic training program; 3.) provide expert legal, regulatory and parliamentary assistance; and 4.) develop an exchange program that permits Caribbean law enforcement officials to work alongside ATF counterparts in the United States.

The U.S. Department of State has also provided $1 million to the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) to assist fourteen Caribbean States in the development of National Action Plans on Stockpile Management and Firearms Destruction, specialized training for law enforcement officials, and recommendations on legal reforms, and updates to national firearms acts.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Liliana Ayalde will participate in the ceremony on December 4. Other notable participants include CARICOM Council of Ministers for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) Chairman and Bahamian Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage, Interim Executive Director for CARICOM IMPACS Francis Forbes, and ATF Deputy Assistant Director John Torres.

For more information on EXBS go to: //2009-2017.state.gov/strategictrade/, or CBSI, please visit: //2009-2017.state.gov/p/wha/rt/cbsi/. For information regarding nonproliferation, please go to: //2009-2017.state.gov/t/isn/index.htm or https://www.facebook.com/StateDepartment.ISNBureau.

PRN: 2012/1901