Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf and Panamanian Minister of Public Security Rolando Mirones on Tuesday signed a Letter of Intent for Security Cooperation at DHS headquarters in Washington, DC, to improve the two countries’ collaborative security efforts.
“Today marks a big step forward in confronting the significant security challenges across Central America together with our partners in Panama,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “As a natural geographic choke point for migrants coming north from South America, Panama is strategically important to address the migration crisis that has been affecting nearly the entire hemisphere. With this Letter of Intent, the United States and Panama are expanding our cooperation to confront transnational criminal organizations and improve border security by increasing our collaboration across a multitude of fronts.”
The Security Cooperation Letter of Intent reflects the commitment of both countries to:
- Strengthen cybersecurity cooperation and policy planning;
- Enhance customs processes and efficiencies to better facilitate trade;
- Support border security and law enforcement efforts to combat transnational crime and impede irregular migration flows; and
- Work collaboratively on a strategic regional approach to migration management.
Panama is a crucial partner in the struggle against transnational organized crime, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, and border security challenges. Further enhancing our cooperation will diminish the criminal organizations operating in the region that are profiting from human smuggling and trafficking and victimizing the most vulnerable populations.
The event marks the 13th document signed between DHS and its Central American partners since June to address illegal migration, enhance border security, combat transnational criminal organizations, and increase economic development in the region. With our partners, we are developing a safer and more prosperous Central America so citizens can feel confident in creating futures in their home countries, rather than using smugglers to make the dangerous journey north.