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Central American and Caribbean Armed Forces Cooperate to Fight Transnational Crime

Central American and Caribbean Armed Forces Cooperate to Fight Transnational Crime

By Dialogo
April 13, 2015





Officials from the Armed Forces of several Central American and Caribbean nations met recently to share their most successful strategies for halting drug trafficking, money laundering, gang activity, and other criminal enterprises.

Twenty-one officers from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic recently participated in the first Regional Conference on Transnational Crime, which was developed by El Salvador’s Regional Center on Training against Transnational Organized Crime (CRACCT). The conference was held February 21-March 2 in San Salvador Department.

Numerous Salvadoran police and military units provided instruction to the multinational audience throughout the course. Those units included Joint Group Cuscatlán, an interagency task force; the Anti-Transnational Gang Center; and elite teams from El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC): the Anti-Drug Division (DAN), and the Elite Organized Crime Division (DECO).

The officers learned first-hand about new modi operandi
and the structures and substructures of criminal groups, as well as the mechanisms that such groups use to evolve into a criminal organization.

“Without a doubt, the topics related to drug trafficking and gangs generated more interest for all the officers, because they are threats that know no border and they must be addressed as such," said CRACCT Director Colonel Carlos Alberto Tejada "These organizations already even have networks functioning in Europe.”

One break-out session focused on topics related to recording, seizing, and storing evidence. For this session, the Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES, for its Spanish acronym)
Special Forces Command provided several Zodiac boats for a simulated maritime interdiction.

Prevention and early warning


The content of the sessions and the practical exercises were useful to the Military representatives who attended the event.

“I have learned about many things that are not being done in Guatemala yet," explained First Lieutenant Bladimir Jerez Gómez, a representative from the Armed Forces of Guatemala.. For example, on the subject of gangs, I now understand very clearly how they develop, and I will tell others about the new methods of gang operation and their new structures so we can prevent gangs from spreading.”

This opinion was seconded by First Lieutenant Segundo Carrión, from the Dominican Air Force.


“When I get back to my country, I will spread the knowledge I received here to neutralize all of the threats we are facing. It is an unending task, and we now have more tools to succeed at it,” 1st Lt. Carrión said.

Stronger together


This learning exercise and exchange of experiences also was critical for consolidating and standardizing border procedures to address these challenges, and to serve as proof that effective joint strategies can be formulated.

“We are increasing the confidence and knowledge of our Armed Forces about how to face these emerging threats, above all in those countries where some of the phenomena – such as gangs – are not entrenched,” said Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Ayala Rivas, FAES representative to the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC, for its Spanish acronym).

The closing ceremony, where certificates of recognition and achievement for the conference were presented, was held at the facilities of the Special Anti-terrorism Command.

Col. Tejada said
the meeting for the region’s Armed Forces was a valuable opportunity to continue sharing experiences and strengthening the joint effort to fight emerging threats that are currently impacting their countries. Finally, these workshops are a symbol of their increased level of operational readiness to fulfill the missions entrusted to them.




Officials from the Armed Forces of several Central American and Caribbean nations met recently to share their most successful strategies for halting drug trafficking, money laundering, gang activity, and other criminal enterprises.

Twenty-one officers from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic recently participated in the first Regional Conference on Transnational Crime, which was developed by El Salvador’s Regional Center on Training against Transnational Organized Crime (CRACCT). The conference was held February 21-March 2 in San Salvador Department.

Numerous Salvadoran police and military units provided instruction to the multinational audience throughout the course. Those units included Joint Group Cuscatlán, an interagency task force; the Anti-Transnational Gang Center; and elite teams from El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC): the Anti-Drug Division (DAN), and the Elite Organized Crime Division (DECO).

The officers learned first-hand about new modi operandi
and the structures and substructures of criminal groups, as well as the mechanisms that such groups use to evolve into a criminal organization.

“Without a doubt, the topics related to drug trafficking and gangs generated more interest for all the officers, because they are threats that know no border and they must be addressed as such," said CRACCT Director Colonel Carlos Alberto Tejada "These organizations already even have networks functioning in Europe.”

One break-out session focused on topics related to recording, seizing, and storing evidence. For this session, the Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES, for its Spanish acronym)
Special Forces Command provided several Zodiac boats for a simulated maritime interdiction.

Prevention and early warning


The content of the sessions and the practical exercises were useful to the Military representatives who attended the event.

“I have learned about many things that are not being done in Guatemala yet," explained First Lieutenant Bladimir Jerez Gómez, a representative from the Armed Forces of Guatemala.. For example, on the subject of gangs, I now understand very clearly how they develop, and I will tell others about the new methods of gang operation and their new structures so we can prevent gangs from spreading.”

This opinion was seconded by First Lieutenant Segundo Carrión, from the Dominican Air Force.


“When I get back to my country, I will spread the knowledge I received here to neutralize all of the threats we are facing. It is an unending task, and we now have more tools to succeed at it,” 1st Lt. Carrión said.

Stronger together


This learning exercise and exchange of experiences also was critical for consolidating and standardizing border procedures to address these challenges, and to serve as proof that effective joint strategies can be formulated.

“We are increasing the confidence and knowledge of our Armed Forces about how to face these emerging threats, above all in those countries where some of the phenomena – such as gangs – are not entrenched,” said Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Ayala Rivas, FAES representative to the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC, for its Spanish acronym).

The closing ceremony, where certificates of recognition and achievement for the conference were presented, was held at the facilities of the Special Anti-terrorism Command.

Col. Tejada said
the meeting for the region’s Armed Forces was a valuable opportunity to continue sharing experiences and strengthening the joint effort to fight emerging threats that are currently impacting their countries. Finally, these workshops are a symbol of their increased level of operational readiness to fulfill the missions entrusted to them.
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