Eric Olson, Associate Director for the Latin American Program, joined a panel of experts in testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on regional security cooperation in Central America.



"Regional Security Cooperation: An Examination of the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) And the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI)"

House Committee on Foreign Affairs/Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 2172 House Rayburn Office Building Washington, DC 20515

A dire security environment characterized by high crime, elevated violence, and weak law enforcement  capacity to deal with organized crime continues to prevail throughout Central America’s Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  While there are incipient signs of improvement in Guatemala and El Salvador, the overall security situation in Honduras is most troubling.  U.S. efforts to strengthen institutional capacity have relied primarily on increased training of law enforcement and the use of vetted units but these have not resulted in tangle improvements in the ability of Honduran authorities to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable those with links to organized crime including government officials.  The U.S. should consider a new course of action that would set bench-marks for transparency and accountability that would allow for an objective assessment of government capacity.

Watch Video of the Hearing  Watch Video of the Hearing

Panel I

The Honorable William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
U.S. Department of State
[full text of statement]

Ms. Liliana Ayalde
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State
[full text of statement]

Mr. Mark Lopes
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
U.S. Agency for International Development
[full text of statement]

Panel II

Mr. Eric L. Olson
Associate Director
Latin America Program
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Michael Shifter
Inter-American Dialogue
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]