On April 27th – May 3rd, SACIV hosted four emerging judicial, law enforcement, and security leaders from Bangladesh, in the United States to learn about “Combatting International Crime” as part of the flagship IVLP global security initiative “Towards a More Safe and Secure World”.
The initiative, consisting of a three-week long exchange for over 70 participants from around the globe, featured an opening plenary in Washington, DC with leading experts in the field of international security, and concluded with the annual “Combating International Crime: Global Cooperation” seminar in New York City, co-hosted by the FBI’s New York Field Office. This special global initiative addressed issues of international crime that challenge societies around the world and promoted global cooperation in the war against international crime.
A new flagship initiative of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the program consisted of a three-week exchange to examine the structure of the U.S. criminal justice system and US responses to narcotics trafficking, trafficking in persons, border security, money laundering, cyber security, wildlife trafficking, terrorism, and other international criminal activities. Participants traveled in six regional-specific groups to visit American cities, such as San Antonio, and engage in dialogue with their US counterparts, allowing them to share best practices and create valuable professional networks.
This innovative program reflected the US Department of State’s foreign policy commitment to:
• Advance global security interests through strong people-to-people relationships. An effective approach to combating international crime requires cooperation at every level. By connecting law enforcement and security professionals from around the world, we are promoting public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability.
• Promoting Rule of Law. The United States believes that law enforcement entities must have the ability to detect, prevent, and investigate criminal activity; the courts and judicial sectors must be able to handle criminal defense, prosecution, and adjudication of criminal cases; and there must be a functioning corrections system. As Secretary of State John Kerry said, “If we are to turn the tides in the battle against organized crime and against drug traffickers, then we need to build cooperation and be innovative in our approaches. We in the United States believe that the rule of law has to be renewed every single day.”
• Leverage Partnerships. The United States values strong international partnerships in the fight against transnational crime. Bilateral cooperation is an essential tool to confront such challenges, especially as criminal networks diversify their activities, creating new threats to governance, stability, and security.
• Defeat Terrorism. The United States remains committed to a global response to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL and other terrorist organizations. Through uniting with partners around the globe we will defeat extremism and lay the foundation for a world that is more tolerant, more secure, and more prosperous. As Secretary Kerry has said, “The rise of violent extremism represents the pre-eminent challenge of the young 21st century. Military force is a rational and often necessary response to the wanton slaughters of children, mass kidnappings of schoolgirls, and beheading of innocents. But military force alone won’t achieve victory. In the long term, this war will be won only by deploying a broader, far more creative arsenal.”
Through meetings with members of the Alamo Area Coalition Against Trafficking (AACAT), Frost Bank’s Risk Awareness Team, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Laredo, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the San Antonio Police Department, and the Southwest Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), participants examined various aspects of combatting international crime. They learned about the structure of the US criminal justice system and examined American responses to corruption, money laundering, trafficking in drugs, persons, & arms, cyber-crime, smuggling, and the nexus between transnational crime & terrorism. They were able to evaluate the broad range of policies, operational strategies, and the network of federal, state, and local government and private-sector institutions working to combat international crime and yet protect civil rights. And they explored cooperative efforts that strengthen international partnerships to combat cross-border criminal activity, in addition to the services provided domestically and internationally to assist victims of international crimes.