Taking Back the Northern Triangle, Part II

Taking Back the Northern Triangle, Part II

By Dialogo
July 02, 2015

Why was Venezuela there? Wow you helped me I subtract.1. It's useless This article does not offer a solution for any problem in the Dominican Republic, eager for solutions. Problems and misery are what you offer. I like it, because they keep in mind that the security teams need reinforcements given the high number of cases of crime that come up daily all over the world and that has to be stopped as quickly as possible GREAT INITIATIVE
CIPRIAN GARCIA MARQUEZ, ENGINEER May it all benefit the border security of these countries.

In a recent interview with Diálogo
, U.S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly said that one of his greatest achievements in the last three years as commander of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) was being able to avoid the inactivity that followed regional security conferences, such as CANSEC (Central-American countries), CENTSEC (Caribbean nations), and SOUTHDEC (the rest of Latin America), the main three meetings of this type in the Southern Hemisphere:

In Gen. Kelly’s opinion, these conferences, which are co-sponsored by SOUTHCOM, elicited a lot of discussion but did not achieve much else. One solution for this is having smaller meetings with fewer participants with the goal of expanding on topics previously discussed by general officers during each security conference and reviewing proposed plans of action.

The first of these post-conference meetings took place from June 23 to 26 in the Conference Center of the Americas at the SOUTHCOM headquarters. Focused exclusively on the discussions during CENTSEC 2015 last March in Honduras, the theme was: “Regional Implementation of Concrete Solutions in the Fight against Transnational Criminal Organizations”.

During his opening remarks, Lieutenant General Joseph DiSalvo, SOUTHCOM deputy commander, said, “The most important thing is to shorten the gap between CENTSEC discussions and what can be concretely achieved, so that it can be analyzed and debated in the next regional security conference in 2016.”

CENTSEC’s main topic was illegal trafficking of drugs and people, a problem that is an increasing concern for many countries given that criminals have begun to conduct their activities more intelligently and efficiently thus making it harder to dismantle their illegal networks. Drug trafficking supplies and finances organized crime in a variety of ways, leading to increased violence, instability, and a chronic weakening of government institutions. This is especially true in countries that make up the so-called Northern Triangle, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. However, the problem has spread throughout the world.

According to Colonel Feliciano Benitez, commissioner for Panama’s National Border Service, “being invited to this type of conference is the key to integrating and to understanding different border threats, in our case with Central American countries, but also with South American nations.” He agreed that sharing information is an important part of the puzzle. “What’s really important here is to come to agreements that favor the exchange of information, and that we understand how the interoperability between security forces and armed forces work as they are utilized with increased frequency in the fight against drug trafficking in those nations.”

In order to understand that interoperability, participants at the workshop were divided into three study and discussion groups on Maritime Security, Roles and Coordination between Military and Law Enforcement, and Cross Border Security. These were mediated by retired U.S. Navy Captain, Dr. Kevin Newmeyer, and retired U.S. Army Colonels Sergio de la Peña and Dr. Richard Downie, all of them experts in international relations and topics related to security in Latin America.

“A plan of action will come out of these groups, which will then be shared with each member of our area of responsibility,” said Gen DiSalvo. Suggesting that there are upcoming changes in terms of military leadership in the region as well as at SOUTHCOM (Gen. Kelly’s term as Commander concludes this year), the Deputy Commander added that this meeting will advance the development of a plan of action that will be submitted for the approval of these new leaders as soon as they assume their posts. The plan is to have a follow-up meeting every time a regional security conference takes place.