San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. gives Honduras $1.75 million for police; promises $200 million for rest of Central America

TEGUCIGALPA — U.S. Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield along with U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens met with Honduras President Porfirio Lobo and signed a Letter of Agreement pledging an additional $1.75 million for Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) programs on Wednesday. The funding supports efforts by Honduran law enforcement to improve border and port security, prison management, and community policing programs focused on reducing gang-related violence.

According to the US State Department, these efforts include training programs in which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Tactical Unit (BORTAC) shares security strategies with the Honduran Frontier Police.

The money is part of the $200 million that the U.S. is paying to Central American countries for the fight against drug trafficking. Brownfield told reporters that the money will be for the seven countries of Central America – Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

“By partnering with Honduran law enforcement agencies, the United States aims to boost anti-drug trafficking efforts, promote citizen safety, and help young people find alternatives to joining gangs,” said a State Department spokesman.

Brownfield, a former US Ambassador to both Venezuela and Colombia, also met with officials in Guatemala (including President Alvaro Colom) and El Salvador earlier in the week. U.S. President Barak Obama will visit El Salvador in March for talks about security.

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