FBI, DEA to conduct training in Guyana as US increases funding

To enhance Guyana’s capacity in combating drug trafficking and transnational crimes, additional funds were allocated for the country through the US Government’s International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement Fund.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Nicole Theriot, and Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, signed the agreement for the increased funding during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Georgetown on Monday.

The financing aims to deepen the partnership between the US and Guyana under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). Its objectives include addressing shared security challenges and supporting Guyana’s efforts to develop an inclusive, transparent, and more efficient criminal justice system.

Ambassador Theriot emphasized that under CBSI, the US collaborates with like-minded policymakers to deliver initiatives, aimed at disrupting organized crime, promoting citizen security, and facilitating criminal justice and institutional reforms.

To combat crime effectively, enhance the rule of law, and integrate Guyana into the Regional Security System, a US$300,000 fund was allocated.

The Ambassador announced several areas of new partnerships for increased assistance to Guyana.

Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn and United States Ambassador to Guyana Nicole Theriot.

Firstly, acknowledging the threat posed by crime and illicit narcotics trafficking to Guyana’s security, stability, and economy, Ambassador Theriot announced a capacity-building training program with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This program seeks to strengthen Guyana’s counter-narcotics capabilities and provide critical casualty and trauma care training for law enforcement officers and community members.

While Ambassador Theriot commended the “impressive wins” in the counter narcotics interdiction, she noted “we all know that if you are catching a certain amount there is so much more that is actually coming in.”

Secondly, recognizing the importance of border security in combating transnational crime, Ambassador Theriot also revealed the deployment of a technical FBI team to Guyana. This team will assist in upgrading the country’s integrated, automated fingerprint identification system at major ports to ensure interoperability with US law enforcement.

“Port security is so critically important when you are dealing with transnational organized crime and so we are really pleased to bolster yours with this programme through the FBI,” she noted.

Finally, the US will also invest US$350,000 in Guyana under the Better Police Readiness Program to support the implementation of the Guyana Police Force’s strategic management plan. This investment will focus on improving training curriculum, enhancing strategic planning and management, bolstering forensic and crime scene investigation capabilities, and providing crisis communication and hostage negotiation training.

“Together our partnership will support a more inclusive criminal justice system and it will further attract international investment as Guyana rapidly grows, transforms and diversifies its economy,” the US Ambassador noted.

Meanwhile, Minister Robeson Benn spoke about the significance of enhancing narcotics interdiction and preventing drug use in Guyana.

“We are aware and have been working at stemming the flow with particular success this year for sure in relation to narcotics trafficking.

“We want to point out the regional and global nature of this fight, because the neighbouring countries both in the Caribbean region and in South America, all are suffering from negative effects of narcotics trafficking, the trafficking in firearms which supports the trade and the crime and violence which is as a result of narcotics trafficking, not to mention money laundering,” Benn said.

He also highlighted the regional and global nature of the fight against narcotics trafficking and urged continued international assistance in combating this issue.