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Diplomacy in Action

Newsletter: The INL Beat, September 2013


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


INL Aids Mexico to Modernize their Penitentiaries, Gaining Prestigious Accreditation

Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Governor Osuna and Governor Duarte meeting with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols in Washington, D.C. - State Dept Image
Governor Osuna and Governor Duarte meeting with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols in Washington, D.C.

In late 2008, under the Merida Initiative, the Mexican Secretariat for Public Security asked INL for assistance in the planning and implementation of Mexico’s innovative federal prison construction, modernization, and professionalization program. INL responded with expertise in facility design, security procedures, objective inmate classification, entry-level and advanced training for corrections officers, and the provision of specialized equipment. Working with INL, the Mexican federal penitentiary system was able to establish a new Federal Penitentiary Academy, and accredit this institution and eight federal penitentiaries.

In 2012, based on the dramatic success of this federal program, then-INL Corrections Adviser Gary Golder invited Mexico’s state-level corrections officials to modernize their facilities and work toward obtaining international certification under the American Correctional Association (ACA) standards. Chihuahua state was the first to respond and INL began working with them immediately.

Date: 09/27/2013 Description: INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols (center), meets with Jose Guadalupe Osuna Mill��n (left), Governor of Baja California, and Cesar Horacio Duarte Jaquez, Governor of Chihuahua (right). - State Dept Image
INL Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Nichols (center), meets with Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millán (left), Governor of Baja California, and Cesar Horacio Duarte Jaquez, Governor of Chihuahua (right).

ACA certification requires that penitentiaries meet basic security and safety standards and also provide up-to-date infrastructure support, such as medical and recreational facilities. INL’s corrections support in Chihuahua ensured that prison officials understood and implemented the ACA’s benchmarks for accreditation. Five months into the modernization work, Chihuahua became the first Mexican state to have one of its penitentiaries accredited by the ACA. Chihuahua continued to work with INL Mexico and then in June 2013 three more Chihuahua penitentiaries passed the accreditation audit, so that fully half of the state’s facilities are now operating under international standards of safety, security, transparency, and human rights. Baja California followed this example, working first with Mexico’s INL-trained federal authorities and then directly with INL advisers, to achieve an outstanding score in their first facility audit by ACA in July 2013. Both states received formal recognition and certificates at the annual ACA conference on August 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Chihuahua plans to continue the modernization of its system and seek ACA accreditation for two more penitentiaries and its administrative headquarters in the next year.


 

INL Equipment Donation Helps South Sudan Law Enforcement Agencies

Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Ambassador Susan D. Page delivers remarks at the handover ceremony of the INL-funded equipment valued at approximately $273,000.  - State Dept Image
Ambassador Susan D. Page delivers remarks at the handover ceremony of the INL-funded equipment valued at approximately $273,000.

On August 13, U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Susan Page delivered INL-funded equipment to the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS). The donation consisted of radios, protective equipment, tents, and related gear. South Sudanese Minister of the Interior and Wildlife Conservation Aleu Ayieny Aleu accepted the donation on behalf of his government.


Ambassador Page noted that INL’s assistance program in South Sudan demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government to rule of law in the country.

“On behalf of the United States government, I am proud to provide equipment to the South Sudan National Police Service. This essential equipment will strengthen the Police Service’s ability to mobilize and respond to incidents affecting the diplomatic community, to deploy to the field in a safer, healthier manner, and to more easily communicate and respond to highway incidents,” said Ambassador Page.


Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Charge d'Affaires Michael McClellan with the Director General of the SSNPS, General Abel Makoi Wol. - State Dept Image
Charge d’Affaires Michael McClellan with the Director General of the SSNPS, General Abel Makoi Wol..

A second donation of INL-funded equipment to South Sudan occurred on August 20. U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Michael McClellan presented the donation to Director General of the SSNPS, General Abel Makoi Wol. The equipment will strengthen the prison service’s overall ability to ensure a secure, safe and sanitary environment. Sleeping mats and mosquito nets will be distributed to juvenile inmates, with padlocks and training hand restraints going to assist the Juba Central Prison and the Prisons Training Academy at Lologo.

These two equipment donations are a part of INL’s long-term strategic partnership with South Sudan’s rule-of-law institutions. Currently, the assistance program in South Sudan is the largest INL program in sub-Saharan Africa. Working in close coordination with the donor community in South Sudan, INL continues to focus on effective community policing and building the capacity of the criminal justice system through support and training to judges, prosecutors, and corrections officials.


 

A/S William Brownfield welcomes our newest partner - PortMiami


Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Assistant Secretary Brownfield building a partnership with PortMiami to help deliver enhanced security to Caribbean seaports.  Pictured left to right:  Adam Goldstein (Royal Caribbean International), Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa (Miami-Dade County Commission), Congressman Ted Deutch, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Amb. Brownfield, Commission Jean Monestime (Miami-Dade County Commission), and Director Bill Johnson. - State Dept Image
Assistant Secretary Brownfield building a partnership with PortMiami to help deliver enhanced security to Caribbean seaports. Pictured left to right: Adam Goldstein (President, Royal Caribbean International), Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa (Miami-Dade County Commission), Congressman Ted Deutch, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Amb. Brownfield, Commission Jean Monestime (Miami-Dade County Commission), and Director Bill Johnson (PortMiami).

Miami is the gateway for people and goods traveling throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, but globalization also has downsides and Miami must remain on alert for transnational criminal organizations exploiting open seaways and capital flows.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Miami worked hard to defeat the criminal organizations that trafficked illicit products through South Florida. Today, the city has strong safeguards in place and remains vigilant to keep citizens and visitors safe – whether on shore or at sea. Recognizing that what happens overseas has an impact in the United States, PortMiami, the number one cruise and passenger port in the world, has reached out to sister seaports in the Caribbean and beyond, establishing ties that allow better coordination of maritime safety measures, tourism, container traffic, and port controls.

Speaking about the challenges that our Caribbean neighbors face on his visit to Miami (August 27-29), Assistant Secretary Brownfield noted that, since 2011, the flow of illicit drugs to and through the Caribbean has nearly doubled, and the potential for even greater trafficking in drugs remains high. The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a partnership agreement among 13 nations, including the United States, was established in 2009 with the primary goal of coordinating and strengthening security measures against narcotrafficking and other transnational crimes.

Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Assistant Secretary Brownfield and Miami-Dade Police Department Director J.D. Patterson, Jr. (far left) distribute badges to graduating officers of the MDPD academy. - State Dept Image
Assistant Secretary Brownfield and Miami-Dade Police Department Director J.D. Patterson, Jr. (far left) distribute badges to graduating officers of the MDPD academy.

With a view to leveraging innovative partnerships to address new and developing criminal concerns overseas, Assistant Secretary Brownfield signed a new partnership agreement with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Port Director Bill Johnson to use PortMiami’s expertise to benefit CBSI programs. This agreement is the first of its kind between the INL Bureau and a U.S. port and aims to improve security at foreign seaports.

During his visit to Miami, Assistant Secretary Brownfield also recognized the extraordinary contributions of the Miami-Dade Police Department, which has trained more than 60 Haitian counternarcotics police officers since beginning a partnership with INL in 2012. INL's cooperation with Miami-Dade Police Department is one of over 60 similar partnerships with U.S. state and local justice sector agencies. The exchange of law enforcement staff and know-how was on display when Assistant Secretary Brownfield participated in a graduation ceremony for Miami-Dade Police Department officers. He also met with eleven Haitian National Police who were in Miami for training and attended the ceremony as honored guests of the county. “The connections you make and anti-crime networking you promote are music to my ears,” he said.

 

IN THE NEWS: Togo Authorities Arrest Ivory Kingpin in Lomé


Date: 09/27/2013 Description: Confiscated ivory tusks. - State Dept Image
Confiscated ivory tusks.

Earlier this summer, Togolese law enforcement authorities arrested suspected wildlife trafficker Emile N’Bouké and seized 700 kg of ivory. Recently featured on ABC’s Nightline, N’Bouké who is alleged to be a major ivory dealer in West Africa believed to be responsible for two ivory shipments totaling more than 6.2 tons that were seized by authorities in the last seven months. Although there are no elephants in Togo, the small West African nation is a key shipping hub for international wildlife traffickers elsewhere on the continent.

INL is assisting in global efforts to combat trafficking of wildlife and wildlife parts, including through $10 million in related assistance for Kenya, South Africa, and regional Africa programs that President Obama announced during his visit to Tanzania earlier this year.



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