The primary goal of INL’s Western Hemisphere Program Office (WHP) is to increase citizen security in partnership with nations in the region. Our main objectives are to reduce transnational and organized crime, including the trafficking of drugs and weapons, and the associated violence, and strengthening institutions. We do this through foreign assistance programs targeted at building more capable justice sector institutions, including police, prosecutors, judges, courts and the corrections system; border security; illicit drugs interdiction and eradication, especially in Peru and Colombia; and anti-money laundering.
The United States is implementing four strategic initiatives to increase citizen security in the region: the Merida Initiative (Mexico), the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), and the Colombian Strategic Development Initiative (CDSI). These linked initiatives reflect our shared responsibility for security, the critical importance of the rule of law and effective institutions, and common aspirations for stable and secure societies.
Foreign assistance targets justice sector institutions throughout the hemisphere, strengthening them to deal more effectively with crime and violence. The Merida Initiative is an unprecedented partnership to fight organized criminal groups and associated violence while respecting human rights and the rule of law. We support justice sector reform, assisting Mexico’s transition to an accusatory justice system, build the capacity of law enforcement forces, improve anti-corruption measures, and combat financial crimes.
CARSI builds capacity in Central American countries to administer the rule of law and counter threats posed by transnational crime by focusing on training, mentoring, and professionalization programs for law enforcement and rule of law institutions. Our model police precinct programs include efforts to engage at a community level to lower crime rates.
CBSI focuses on strengthening justice and law enforcement institutions to increase resilience against drug trafficking and associated crime that could emerge due to success elsewhere. Assistance to the Jamaica Constabulary Forces Anti-Corruption Branch helps to investigate and vet members and new recruits. CSDI supports Colombia’s efforts to expand state presence in former conflict areas, while protecting human rights and promoting economic development. Programs support police professionalization and judicial reform.