News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Weds. July 18, 2012: Secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin were recently in the Caribbean.

The three U.S. officials traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 13th.

In Santo Domingo, they met with President Leonel Fernandez and Dominican Republic officials to discuss law enforcement cooperation and ongoing efforts to combat illicit trafficking. Secretary Napolitano signed a Joint Statement of Intent on Aviation Security, a Joint Statement on Combating Trafficking in Persons, and a Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain Security with Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Morales Troncoso and Minister of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Jaoquin Virgilio Perez. Secretary Napolitano also met with Attorney General Radhames Jiménez and other law enforcement and military leaders.

While in San Juan, Puerto Rico, they met with Governor Luis Fortuño, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Puerto Rico Police Department Superintendent Héctor Pesquera to underscore the department’s commitment to collaborating with local law enforcement in the region. Secretary Napolitano also met with DHS officials stationed in Puerto Rico, who are members of the Puerto Rico Interagency Public Safety Working Group (PSWG). In March 2011, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status stood up a working group co-chaired by the Department of Justice and DHS to coordinate and collaborate on initiatives to enhance Puerto Rico’s security and safety.

The DHS is partnering with Caribbean nations to enhance border security in the region through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). DHS is conducting border security training in conjunction with CBSI to increase partner nation capacity to secure their borders. Through CBSI and other bilateral aid, the United States is providing almost $20 million dollars to the Dominican Republic over several years to assist with security enhancements. In addition, CBP operates the Container Security Initiative in a number of Caribbean countries, including the Dominican Republic, to prescreen U.S.-bound shipping containers to detect and interdict dangerous cargo including radiological and nuclear materials.

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