US, Guyana deepen law enforcement, security cooperation through increased funding, capacity-building

On March 18, in a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. Ambassador Nicole D. Theriot and Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn formalized a U.S. donation of funding and capacity-building opportunities as a strong demonstration of the U.S.-Guyana law enforcement and security partnership.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Theriot announced an award of US$300,000 in bilateral funding assistance from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).  This award is part of U.S.-Guyana security cooperation under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) and an existing Letter of Agreement to better address shared security challenges.

In addition, Ambassador Theriot announced several new areas of U.S. engagement and partnership under this increased INL assistance to the Government of Guyana, including the commencement of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) capacity-building training program to bolster Guyana’s counternarcotics capacity; the deployment of a technical Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) team to support the Government’s ongoing efforts to enhance border security at major ports of entry throughout the country, and a new $350,000 investment in Guyana under the “Better Police Readiness Program” implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation to support the Guyana Police Force’s ongoing implementation of its 2022-2026 Strategic Management Plan.

Ambassador Theriot highlighted the United States’ commitment to support the Government’s objectives of building an inclusive, transparent, and more efficient criminal justice system, stating: “The United States’ partnership with the Government of Guyana is based on mutual respect, collaboration, and friendship.  Most importantly, our work together is rooted in our shared commitment to the rule of law, democracy, and human rights.”

Launched in 2010, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) is a security cooperation partnership between the United States and 13 Caribbean countries, including Guyana.  Through CBSI, the United States works to build Guyana and its Caribbean partners’ capacity to disrupt illicit trafficking and transnational crime to advance citizen security.   As of 2024, the U.S. Government has committed more than $900 million in CBSI funding benefitting Guyana and Caribbean partners.