Colombian and Panamanian Ministers Agree on Border Security Plan

By Dialogo
February 14, 2011

Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera and Panamanian Public Safety Minister José Mulino agreed on 10 February to implement a binational security plan along their countries’ shared border, where, they said, there exist a variety of manifestations of transnational crime.

“This plan is going to elevate the strategic level of the relationship between our two countries in security matters and is going to contribute to regional stability,” Rivera said upon announcing the strategy, according to a statement issued by his ministry.

The agreement was signed by the two ministers at the conclusion of the tenth meeting of the Binational Border Commission (Combifron), held in the Colombian town of Capurganá, eight kilometers from the border with Panama.

The Colombian minister also noted that “the privileged geographical position of both” countries has the consequence that their border is “a nodal point of threat for the ambitions of transnational organized crime.”

Rivera and Mulino indicated that a variety of manifestations of transnational crime – in addition to the drug trafficking carried out by the FARC, a Colombian communist guerrilla group – exist in the border region, making it necessary to deepen the cooperation between the state security forces of both countries, the statement added.

The statement likewise added that the two ministers also agreed in highlighting the fact that the binational border security plan has a regional scope to the extent that its positive effects will contribute to improving security conditions in Central America and the Caribbean.

According to their indications, the plan does not apply only to security aspects, but also includes actions with regard to the protection of the black communities and indigenous groups that live along the border.