April 21, 2010 - Washington – U.S. Customs and Border Protection announces today the completion of the first phase of a one-year border security assessment and training program in support of the U.S. Government’s Central America Regional Security Initiative.
“This initiative provides CBP the opportunity to foster relationships with foreign border security enforcement officials with the goal of increasing information exchange and cooperation in transnational interdictions,” said acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Affairs, Charles Stallworth.
Between April 2009 and March 2010, CBP, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of State, conducted a series of comprehensive assessments of land border control capabilities of all seven Central American nations (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama). CBP personnel, working with host nation customs, immigration, and law enforcement counterparts, reviewed security, screening and interdiction operations at land border crossings and interior checkpoints, assessed vulnerabilities, documented best practices, and developed recommendations for follow-on CARSI-funded border control technical assistance and training projects.
As part of the border control assessment process in the region, CBP personnel provided host nation customs and law enforcement personnel with specialized non-intrusive inspection equipment, such as fiber optic scopes, inspection probes, density meters, and other equipment to detect and interdict the entry of contraband such as narcotics, firearms, and bulk cash into the region. According to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Julissa Reynoso, CBP is a key CARSI partner, “CBP has provided exceptional support to the CARSI program in the area of border security. As the world leader in border enforcement, CBP has completed the most comprehensive series of assessments of border vulnerabilities undertaken to date in Central America. Their expertise allows the Department of State to develop tailored border security and interdiction assistance programs in the region. The nations of Central America are grateful for the collaborative approach adopted by CBP in supporting their border and law enforcement colleagues.”