The United States is launching a $3.4 million program to fight illegal trafficking in firearms in collaboration with all members of the Caribbean community and the Dominican Republic.
The State Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, to provide two regional firearms advisers in the Caribbean; establish a forensic training program; provide legal, regulatory and parliamentary assistance; and develop an exchange program that allows Caribbean law enforcement officials to work with the ATF in the United States.
State Department has also provided one million dollars to the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean to assist fourteen Caribbean states in stockpile management and firearms destruction. The aid will also help provide training for law enforcement officials and recommendations on legal reforms.
This firearms program is part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, which is aimed at combating the drug trade and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. The United States and Caribbean countries have identified three major objectives to deal with threats facing the Caribbean.
The first is to reduce illicit trafficking through programs ranging from counter-narcotics to reducing the flow of illegal arms. Another objective is to increase public safety and security through programs that reduce crime and violence and improve border security.
And finally, the Caribbean countries are focused on how to promote social justice through justice sector reform, combat government corruption, and help vulnerable people at risk of recruitment into criminal organizations.
The Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, launched in 2009, is a whole of government approach to citizen safety. It is focused on building partnerships to advance common strategic interests and improving public safety for each and every citizen through these partnerships.
President Barack Obama has said, "As neighbors, we have a responsibility to each other and to our citizens. And by working together, we can take important steps forward to advance prosperity, security, and liberty."