Colombia and United States Announce a Regional Security Plan

By Dialogo
April 17, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos agreed on April 15 to intensify their security cooperation in the Americas and West Africa.

The United States – Colombia Action Plan on Regional Security Cooperation is a response “to increasing insecurity generated by transnational organized crime,” the State Department said in a statement.

The plan highlights “Colombia’s established and expanding expertise and capacity for countering this threat and shared U.S. responsibility to address the demand for illicit narcotics.”

The statement added that “coordinated Colombian and U.S. law enforcement and defense support can more effectively counter the threats of transnational organized crime.”

Colombia and the United States are holding a series of “frequent” meetings to coordinate their security operations within the plan’s framework, with emphasis on drug trafficking, the fight against crime, reinforcing institutions, and convincing populations to resist.

This extensive cooperation “will support whole-of-government strategies and produce a greater effect throughout the hemisphere and West Africa,” the statement explained.

The United States and Colombia are already working jointly on training issues in the Americas and West Africa.

Through Operation Martillo, a U.S. mission is coordinating the maritime and air operations of the Colombian Navy and the U.S. Air Force to thwart organized-crime groups in Central America.

The Colombian National Police also provides training in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.