SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David Aguilar and Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin travelled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and San Juan, Puerto Rico last week.
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.
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.
Napolitano also met with Attorney General Radhames Jiménez and other law enforcement and military leaders.
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 US-bound shipping containers to detect and interdict dangerous cargo including radiological and nuclear materials.
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.
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.