Prime Minister, Hinds in regional security talks with US

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

DEA Special Agent Caribbean Division Renita Foster delivers a presentation to attendees. PHOTO COURTESY US EMBASSY – Courtesy US Embassy

The Prime Minister and National Security Minister met with members of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Monday for a meeting on strengthening regional security.

This was confirmed in a media release on Tuesday by the US embassy which said the presentation was made at the National Security Ministry on Monday.

Present were Dr Rowley, Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher, executive director of Caribbean Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs) Col Mike Jones, US Ambassador Candace Bond, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne, US Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean Linda Taglialatela, US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch, regional security system officials and members of the US security agencies.

The presentation was a follow-up to the commitment made in June by US Vice President Kamala Harris during a meeting with Caricom leaders in the Bahamas.

“The meeting reinforced the US commitment to further strengthen Caribbean security and law enforcement capacity building and provide additional resources, including specialised training and equipment, in the fight against transnational organised crime in the region.”

The meeting took place on the opening day of a three-day summit of the 45th Regular Meeting of Caricom Heads.

During the meeting with the region’s leaders, Harris promised a US$100 million investment in the region to address crime and climate change. The US also offered to assist the Caribbean in its forensic capabilities by establishing a regional forensic centre in St Lucia.

In tackling the influx of firearms, Harris said the US will assist in that regard by supporting the Caribbean Crime Gun Intelligence Unit (CCGIU) in TT where regional officers will be trained in firearms investigations.

Monday’s presentation was a further commitment by the US to assist the region in dealing with the illegal gun trade, which UN Secretary General António Guterres said on Monday was no longer a by-product of the drug trade, but had morphed into its own problem which severely undermines the security of several countries in the region.

He said arms trafficking should be looked at as a serious threat to global peace and security.

Between 2010-2023, the US spent US$832 million combating illegal guns in the region through the the Caribbean Basin Security Institute (CBSI).