U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Robert J. Callahan signed an agreement today with the Government of Nicaragua implementing the Merida Initiative, a multi-year regional effort to combat organized crime, gangs, and the trafficking of narcotics and firearms. Nicaraguan National Police Chief Aminta Granera and Vice Foreign Minister Valdrak Jaentschke signed the agreement on behalf of the Nicaraguan government. This agreement will provide Nicaragua with $1.5M in Supplemental Fiscal Year 2008 bilateral assistance.
Under this agreement, the Nicaraguan National Police will participate in the following three projects that are fully funded by the U.S. Government: Central American Fingerprint Exchange, $250,000; Central American Vetted and Sensitive Investigative Units (SIU), $500,000; and Improved Policing and Police Equipment, $681,400.
Representatives of the Government of the United States and the Government of Nicaragua will meet quarterly to review qualitative and quantitative progress towards achievement of the project goals and objectives. These evaluations are in addition to the ongoing monitoring of the programs and activities conducted by each government.