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2011 News and Events

Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control

Chargé d'Affaires Pierce and Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett. (Photo Credit: State Department).

Chargé d'Affaires Pierce and Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett sign the Letter of Agreement.

Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs the Honorable Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Thomas C. Pierce signed a Letter of Agreement to establish and support projects under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. The signing took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Georgetown, Guyana.

The Letter of Agreement covers two key areas: law enforcement support and tracking money laundering. The law enforcement support is designed to enhance Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) capability to conduct counter-narcotics operations at Guyana’s ports of entry. The countering money laundering program will provide assistance to the Guyana Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU); and assist government entities to enforce anti-money laundering legislation. Both projects will run for a period of three (3) years.

This program is one element of a Guyana initiative, multinational effort to improve security in the Caribbean region. Guyana has partnered with the other nations of the Caribbean and the United States to combat the drug trade and other transnational crime that threaten regional security.

The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) is a partnership between the United States of America and the nations of the Caribbean designed to advance citizen security in the region. Through the CBSI, the United States of America and Caribbean nations have agreed to undertake cooperative efforts to reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice. The Agreement signed today is part of a bigger program of assistance to the Caribbean Region which will include more than US$45 million in the first year. This shared security partnership, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), was developed together with Caribbean governments and fulfills President Obama’s commitment to deepen regional security cooperation made at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad in April 2009.

Other U.S. CBSI Assistance Programs

The U.S. commitment to Guyana and to the CBSI partnership extends beyond the CBSI funding described above. The CBSI Program also includes:

  • Patrol/Interceptor boats, support equipment, command and control systems, radios, logistical and maintenance support, and training to increase maritime interdiction capability
  • Support for building partnerships with local NGOs to provide rehabilitation for juvenile offenders and offer alternatives to violence
  • Training and increased access to microfinance for young entrepreneurs

For more details see the CBSI Program fact sheet.