Guyana Deepens Security Partnership with the United States

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know:

The United States and the nation of Guyana have strengthened their security partnership today following the signing of an agreement between the US Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the government of Guyana. 

Ambassador Nicole D. Theriot of the US embassy in Georgetown stated during the ceremony, “INL’s 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.”

The Details: 

The agreement is an extension of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a cooperative partnership on security between the United States with thirteen Caribbean countries, including Guyana. 

“CBSI programs are designed to address shared U.S.-Caribbean security priorities including maritime law enforcement, border and port security, firearms trafficking, transnational crime, gangs, law enforcement and justice sector capacity building, and youth crime and violence prevention.  CBSI programs are organized along three overarching pillars:  reduce illicit trafficking, increase citizen security, and prevent youth crime and violence.  As of 2022, the U.S. government has committed more than $832 million in CBSI funding benefitting Caribbean partners,” according to the State Department.

Theriot announced an additional $300,000 dollars worth of funding to aid in crime management, and hasten Guyana’s integration into the regional security system. 

Furthermore, the INL hopes to work with the Guyanese government to disrupt organized crime in the country, particularly organizations dealing in narcotics. 

“The U.S. Embassy and INL will soon begin a capacity-building program with the U.S. DEA to bolster Guyana’s counternarcotics capacity to address the large amounts of cocaine transiting the country and to help the GPF provide critical casualty and trauma care for officers and community members in rural environments”, said Theriot.

Theriot also announced the deployment of a ‘technical FBI team’ to major ports in the country to upgrade the government’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), as well as announcing a $350,000 investment in the ‘Better Police Readiness Program’ to ensure the Guyanese police receive increased crime scene and forensic investigation training, and are trained on managing hostage negotiations, crisis communication, and engaging vulnerable communities. 

So, What Now?:

Since the onset of the CBSI in 2010, the US has worked with various nations who are party to the agreement to combat drug trafficking and transnational crime. The newly signed agreement between the US and Guyana highlights the American commitment to maintaining regional stability in the Caribbean and elsewhere, as Guyana is geographically situated in South America but is culturally connected to the Caribbean.