Naval forces from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) join efforts to conduct multinational maritime patrols within 200 nautical miles of their respective sea boundaries. Since 2015, the partner nations work together to halt narcotrafficking structures attempting to take drugs northward.
“What we do is extend to maritime zones the same operations that each country’s naval units perform to protect maritime boundaries together and prevent transnational crime,” Captain René Merino, chief of the General Staff of the Salvadoran Naval Force (FNES, in Spanish), told Diálogo. “We all patrol in close coordination, each in our own territorial waters.” The naval forces also exchange information or receive alerts in real time from Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-South), located in Key West, Fla. JIATF-South is one of U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) three task forces.
“The work with JIATF-South allows us to unify our efforts, coordinate information and asset support, and optimize our resources in the fight against the transnational threats affecting the region,” said Vice Admiral Juan Pardo Aguilar, commander of the Guatemalan Navy (MDNG, in Spanish). “That’s how we manage to have operational successes together.”