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US announces assistance program to combat illicit trafficking in firearms in Caribbean – 6th Dec 2012

The Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)’s Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) has highlighted the growing problem caused by illicit trafficking of arms and drug trafficking in the Caribbean.

The United States Government has announced an assistance program worth $3.43 million to combat illicit trafficking in firearms as part of the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

Speaking at the Third Caribbean-United States Security Cooperation Dialogue in Port-of-Spain, Senator Dr. Errol Cort, Minister of National Security and Labour of Antigua and Barbuda said, the weapons issue and illicit drug trafficking are two predominant areas of concern to the Region.

He said that despite the fact that efforts under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative were starting to bear fruit, there remained significant work to be done in those areas, he said.

According Dr. Cort, “It is evident that much of the Caribbean’s crime and security problems can be attributed to illicit drug trafficking. He said. that the region has experienced the drug trafficking problem as it moved from embryonic, to acute, to grave, and as it became the platform facilitating and precipitating other transnational crime, including trafficking in persons,” Minister Cort said, the U.S. Department of State has partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to spearhead this initiative which will provide two Regional Firearms Advisors in the Caribbean to render on-site assistance and to establish a forensic training program.

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