Fact Sheet
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
December 3, 2012

Working together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States and the nations of the Caribbean are combating the drug trade and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. This partnership fulfills the commitment to deepen regional security cooperation that President Barack Obama made at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. CBSI is one piece in an integrated effort that includes the other citizen security initiatives in the Hemisphere. The United States, CARICOM member nations, and the Dominican Republic are improving citizen safety throughout the Caribbean by working together to:

  • Substantially reduce illicit trafficking
  • Increase public safety and security, and
  • Promote social justice.

Regional Cooperation

CBSI partner nations have collectively identified several priority areas for cooperation. These include building a regional information sharing network, improving maritime interdiction coordination, and developing regional training capacity. Effective solutions to these challenges will require a sustained commitment from all CBSI partners, as well as the assistance of other international donors.

United States Support Under CBSI

The United States is making a significant contribution to CBSI, committing $203 million in funding for the first three years of the initiative. This contribution includes assistance in the following areas, all developed through the CBSI cooperative dialogue process:

  • Maritime and Aerial Security Cooperation. Support regional maritime and aerial coordination by improving radar coverage in strategic locations and sharing radar information. Provide equipment and training that will enable Caribbean governments to carry out maritime and aerial operations.
  • Law Enforcement Capacity Building. Enhance law enforcement effectiveness through police professionalization, anti-corruption training, community-based policing, and sharing regional ballistics and fingerprint information. Equipment and training augment the region’s polygraph capacity and support vetted units in conducting complex investigations, implementing anti-gang initiatives, and combating money laundering and other financial crimes.
  • Border/Port Security and Firearms Interdiction. Provide technical support, technology upgrades, and training on techniques for intercepting smuggled narcotics, weapons, bulk cash, and other contraband at commercial airports and seaports. Funding will also support the interdiction of firearms and secure management of weapons and ammunition stockpiles.
  • Justice Sector Reform. Reform and strengthen juvenile justice systems through alternative sentencing and rehabilitation services. Regional justice advisors are providing technical assistance to judges and prosecutors, advising on legal reform, and developing a task force to address critical crime issues. Funding will assist host governments in improving prison conditions.
  • Crime Prevention and At-risk Youth. Increase educational opportunities and provide workforce development and entrepreneurship training for at-risk youth as an alternative to crime and other harmful behavior. Funding also will support drug demand reduction through the training of treatment and rehabilitation professionals.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago will benefit directly from several of the programs described above, to include:

  • Providing training to develop and enhance law enforcement professional capacity, such as forensics capabilities and the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, including terrorism financing, and money laundering;
  • Promoting coordination at the working level among the justice sector and institutions in order to harmonize policies, procedures, and systems across the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States as well as Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Increasing port security and maritime interdiction capability through technical support, technology upgrades, and training;
  • Supporting youth education programs to facilitate workforce entry and the promotion of entrepreneurship training and increased access to microfinance.

More information regarding U.S. assistance to the Caribbean and the CBSI partnership is available at: www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/cbsi.