Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Date: 01/30/2013 Description: Logo for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the Department of State - State Dept Image


Crime and Justice in Southeast Asia

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Assistant Secretary Brownfield and PNP Chief Superintendent Wensley Barayuga salute during a departure ceremony at PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City.  They focused on the challenges facing the PNP and how INL might work with their Training Service to assist with modernization and professionalization of the force. - State Dept Image
Assistant Secretary Brownfield and PNP Chief Superintendent Wensley Barayuga salute during a departure ceremony at PNP headquarters at Camp Crame, Quezon City. They focused on the challenges facing the PNP and how INL might work with their Training Service to assist with modernization and professionalization of the force.

The nations of Southeast Asia contend with large, transnational organized criminal organizations that undermine citizen security across the region. During his visit to the region in September, Assistant Secretary Brownfield emphasized the importance of working together to find solutions, saying “One country cannot do it alone. It requires a collective effort by all of the countries involved. Otherwise it will not succeed.” For our part, in addition to regional programs such as the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, INL also works with individual governments to train personnel and supports a variety of projects that fit their specialized needs.

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Maritime law enforcement capacity cannot grow without the support of the community it benefits. Ambassador Brownfield recognized local officials at the beginning of the Baker Piston training exercise off the eastern coast of Palawan island. - State Dept Image
Maritime law enforcement capacity cannot grow without the support of the community it benefits. Ambassador Brownfield recognized local officials at the beginning of the Baker-Piston training exercise off the eastern coast of Palawan island.

In the Philippines, INL’s cooperation includes support for model police stations of the Philippine National Police (PNP); technical assistance to develop the capabilities of the PNP Maritime Group, including the creation of a Special Boat Unit (SBU) for patrols and interdictions; and police training and crime lab facilities to improve the investigative capacities for the PNP in Mindanao. INL also funds programs on criminal justice reform, anti-corruption measures, prosecuting and investigating extra-judicial killings, and programs on drug prevention, interdiction and treatment. Ambassador Brownfield noted to officials that their nation is a long-time regional ally, and progress in these areas “is good for the Philippines, good for the United States, and for the entire region.”

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Ambassador Brownfield sharing tea and thoughts on Burma's future with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon. - State Dept Image
Ambassador Brownfield sharing tea and thoughts on Burma's future with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.

Assistant Secretary Brownfield also visited Burma to explore expanding bilateral cooperation on counternarcotics and rule of law reform. During the visit, Assistant Secretary Brownfield consulted with Burmese government entities, including the President’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Chief of the Myanmar Police Force, as well as members of civil society and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Brownfield emphasized the United States’ commitment to security sector reform in Burma and stressed the importance of the Burmese government’s adherence to internationally recognized human rights standards.

Thailand is also a strong partner with INL on numerous regional initiatives. Wildlife trafficking – defined as the illicit purchase, sale, and transport of living animals of often endangered species or the products made from their parts – is an area of increasing concern. Generating a conservative estimate of 8 to 10 billion U.S. dollars per year in illicit profits, traffickers and their illegal wares often transit through Bangkok’s airports and maritime ports on the way to both domestic and overseas markets

Date: 10/28/2013 Description: You can view the Voice of America's video on INL's assistance against wildlife trafficking in Thailand at http://goo.gl/gzG5D7  - State Dept ImageAs shown in this video, Assistant Secretary Brownfield and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney visited the Wildlife Forensic Science Unit at the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation. They were shown confiscated ivory tusks and numerous rescued endangered animals by the Department of Thai Customs. The forensic lab scientists demonstrated their impressive investigative skills acquired from the ARREST (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) Program, implemented by the FREELAND Foundation, which receives both INL and USAID Asia support. “The larger numbers of seized and confiscated wildlife shows, as well, that law enforcement is beginning to work,” Brownfield remarked, “It's a worldwide problem due to poverty, greed and people who want to exploit natural resources for their own benefit. This results in the increase in wildlife trafficking and we must pursue a global solution.”


Amid Challenges, INL Helps Judicial Reform in Panama Take Hold

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Referencing a copy of the Panamanian constitution, a participant in the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) program asks a question in a workshop. - State Dept Image
Referencing a copy of the Panamanian constitution, a participant in the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) program asks a question in a workshop.

In 2011, with assistance from INL and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s “Culture of Lawfulness” program, Panama began a phased transition to a U.S.-style accusatory justice system, to accelerate case processing and enhance transparency. Prior to the transition, Panama operated an inquisitorial criminal justice system based on a Napoleonic procedural code. To date, Panama has implemented the new system in four of its nine provinces.

Panamanian police, prosecutors, and judges are generally united in their support for the new accusatory system, with some calling the transition an unqualified success in improving speed and transparency in the criminal justice system. According to prosecutors, the changeover to public oral hearings has resulted in a substantially faster turnover of cases. Moreover, judges are saying that “the only way anyone can oppose the system is because they don’t know anything about it.” Meanwhile, police officers are calling the new system the “future of the country.”

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: A mock appeals hearing in Las Tablas, Los Santos, 2012. - State Dept Image
A mock appeals hearing in Las Tablas, Los Santos, 2012.

In addition to being popular among justice sector professionals and civil society activists, the transition has sped up the cumbersome process to access justice. Pre-trial detention rates are dropping, and case processing times have been reduced by 85 percent, with 95 percent of new cases being resolved before trial through mediation, alternative sentencing, and plea bargaining. Judges are granting pre-trial release on bond for approximately two thirds of new defendants. Under the prior system, virtually all defendants were held in preventive detention for the duration of their case processing, often up to two years.

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: ABA ROLI Legal Reform Coordinator Waleska de Segovvia presents a certificate to Lieutenant Ricardo Davis who completed law enforcement training for Panama's revised Criminal Procedural Code. - State Dept Image
ABA ROLI Legal Reform Coordinator Waleska de Segovvia presents a certificate to Lieutenant Ricardo Davis who completed law enforcement training for Panama’s revised Criminal Procedural Code.

The reform process still has significant challenges to overcome. Nearly 70 percent of prisoners in Panamanian jails are in pre-trial detention. Panamanian justice sector institutions suffer from underfunding, resulting in personnel shortages, uncompetitive pay, and inadequate facilities. Some judicial institutions have less than half of the funding they need to run effectively. Due to funding and other concerns, the reform effort’s expansion to Panama’s remaining provinces – originally planned to be completed by spring 2014 – has been pushed back to 2016. Implementation of the new legal system in these high-population, high-crime provinces will be challenging and costly, but the reforms will yield concrete improvements to the Panamanian criminal justice system providing more rapid access to justice for Panamanians.

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South Sudanese Prison Service Officers Learn how Goats, Tilapia, and Cattle Can Improve their Prisons

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Studying irrigation at a private farm in Avondale, Colorado - State Dept Image
Studying irrigation at a private farm in Avondale, Colorado

In October, 15 officials from the National Prisons Service of South Sudan attended a two week training program at the International Correctional Management Training Center (ICMTC), a world-class facility in Cañon City, Colorado. ICMTC’s tailored curriculum focused on correctional industries program development and management, along with courses in basic concepts such as inmate classification and strategic planning.

Correctional industries programs offer work training to develop marketable job skills, reduce inmate idleness, and lessen the cost burden for providing these programs. As South Sudan is a new country in the process of building sustainable, responsible justice institutions, the program at ICTMC is well-timed to contribute to South Sudan’s goals of building correctional institutions that rehabilitate prisoners, provide skills for reintegration into society, and partially sustain themselves through prison industries and agriculture.

Public-private Collaboration in Agriculture Development

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Sudanese officers at a private goat dairy farm in Buena Vista, Colorado - State Dept Image
Sudanese officers at a private goat dairy farm in Buena Vista, Colorado

The South Sudanese officers visited various correctional industries sites in southern and central Colorado, including grape vineyards and private farms raising tilapia, goats, and cattle.

Due to similarities in climate and terrain, corrections industries in Colorado are particularly relevant for the South Sudanese. For example, goats are common in South Sudan and during the training the participants were able to learn about growing a small goat dairy operation gradually and sustainably over time.

Participants remarked that the training was eye-opening in terms of its potential to contribute to South Sudan’s development. Drawing parallels between their experiences in Colorado and their home country, the officers noted that, while industry and manufacturing are well-advanced at the Colorado Department of Corrections, there could be great potential for correctional industries in South Sudan with proper organization and education.


National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Showcases INL Opportunities

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: Women Law Enforcement Panel Participants (right to left) Kerrin Smith (UK), Diana Martinez (Mexico), Debra A. Williams (INL/Mexico), and Marcela Prado (Mexico). - State Dept Image
Women Law Enforcement Panel Participants (right to left) Kerrin Smith (UK), Diana Martinez (Mexico), Debra A. Williams (INL/Mexico), and Marcela Prado (Mexico).

Recent workshops at the 37th Annual National Training Conference and Exhibition of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) highlighted the great opportunities for U.S. law enforcement to participate in INL programs overseas and provided tools to help female law enforcement officials become leaders. INL hosted two workshops on “The Global Challenges Women in Face in Law Enforcement” and “International Police Advisors.”

The Global Challenges Women Face in Law Enforcement

Female U.S. and international officers in leadership roles discussed best practices for recruitment, promotion, training, leadership, and overcoming gender barriers during the panel discussion. Panelists also presented best practices to working level law enforcement personnel in attendance, resulting in a take-away toolkit to prepare women for leadership positions. INL’s Office of Criminal Justice & Assistance Partnership (CAP) Senior Police Advisor Melody Jackson moderated the workshop.

International Police Advisors

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Date: 10/28/2013 Description: INL/CAP's Walter Redman addresses the NOBLE Conference. - State Dept Image
INL/CAP’s Walter Redman addresses the NOBLE Conference

This INL-sponsored workshop provided an overview of working abroad as an international police advisor through the United Nations and other missions. Panel members gave personal accounts of the rewards, challenges, and benefits of international police work. INL Senior Police Advisors Walter Redman and Len Cooke also walked the audience through the steps of how international police advisors assess, evaluate, and implement INL’s police programs around the world.

Progress through Partnerships

INL participants in the NOBLE Conference came away from the event confident that there is a growing understanding among the U.S. law enforcement community about the dynamics of the transnational nature of law enforcement.

Founded in 1976, NOBLE is a public service entity committed to promoting excellence in law enforcement through training and professional development. NOBLE includes an international component, and participants from approximately 10 countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean attended this year’s Annual Conference.

[This is a mobile copy of Newsletter: The INL Beat, October 2013]