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Panama and US create joint force to confront irregular migration

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 13:03

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The governments of Panama and the United States reported today that they "finalized the creation of a Joint Migration Task Force" to address irregular migration in the region.

The Joint Task Force on Migration is "a new mechanism to ensure more effective and comprehensive coordination to address irregular migration in the region," said a joint statement from the governments of Panama and the United States released by the Panamanian Presidency. as by the American Embassy.

The official letter does not specify which agencies will be part of the joint migratory task force, nor when will it be active.

Panama is the gateway to Central America, a transit zone for thousands of migrants from South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, who lead the United States and are mobilized by traffic trafficking groups.

The two governments expressed that part of the efforts they are developing to strengthen cooperation on border security, include "prioritizing the equipping of strategic border points with non-intrusive inspection equipment."

These teams "will help to combat organized crime in crimes such as smuggling and customs fraud, drug trafficking, the transfer of arms and money laundering crimes."

Panama and the United States also agreed to hold bilateral high-level meetings "semiannually and identify specific posts within their governments as coordinators of the dialogue, in order to develop the coordination of operational efforts to prevent and combat crime and organized crime and to consolidate this new strategic partnership. "

This, with the objective of "identifying areas of common interest and providing specific solutions on the various transnational criminal organizations that threaten national security and stability, as well as that of other countries in the hemisphere."

These biannual meetings confirm the commitment of the two governments to the "continuity of the High Level Bilateral Dialogue in which officials" of both countries "will work together to carry out mutually agreed cooperation activities, incorporating strategic initiatives of short, medium and long term. term, which will improve the combined operational capabilities "

"This mechanism of Dialogue among Governments will increase the capacity to address not only key issues that affect the national security of our countries, but also strengthen regional security and promote hemispheric prosperity," the official letter said.

Panama and the United States "reaffirmed that this is a very important step towards a common strategy to counteract the strategic threats of transnational security, convinced that it will serve as the basis for a broader and deeper cooperation to face joint security challenges."

The joint statement was issued at the end of a high-level meeting held on Wednesday at the headquarters of the Presidency of Panama, led by the country's president, Juan Carlos Varela, and in which a delegation from the State Department of National Security participated. United (DHS, for its acronym in English),

The DHS mission was composed of its directors, Janice Ayala and Paul Beeson, and the Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy. in Panama, Roxanne Cabral.

For the Panamanian side participated, in addition to President Varela, the Minister of Security, Alexis Bethancourt, and other authorities in the area.

This meeting "was held in order to coordinate and prioritize joint actions in relation to irregular migration flows that affect the region, and combat drug trafficking and other criminal methods of transnational crime," said the official statement.



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