The Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, William Brownfield, will travel to Honduras and Guatemala as of next Sunday to discuss efforts to combat drug trafficking and strengthening public safety, the Department of State said today.
During his stay in both countries, Brownfield will meet with high-ranking officials from the government and representatives of civil society, according to a statement. Brownfield will be in Honduras between Sunday and Tuesday and in Guatemala from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Brownfield’s tour comes at a time when countries such as Guatemala are promoting the idea of decriminalizing drugs, something that is not met with support by Washington.
Brownfield will use his trip to visit various projects on crime prevention financed through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). In Honduras, Brownfield will visit the possible future site of a program to strengthen relations between the police and local communities and of the “Prison Model Program”, which was proposed by the US to improve prison conditions.
The increase of drug trafficking in Central America and the violence derived from these activities are sources of concern for the US government. Honduras, which according to the UN is amongst the most violent countries of the world, faced a tragic fire in the Comayagua prison on February 14, which left 361 dead. In Guatemala, the diplomat will highlight bilateral efforts to combat crime and violence and will visit communities that have supported the alliances between police and civil society, according to the Department of State.