For Immediate Release
October 7, 2009
FBI National Press Office
FBI Conducts Training for U.S. and Central American Law Enforcement Partners
This October, 27 law enforcement officers from six domestic agencies and six international agencies are participating in the Central American Law Enforcement Exchange (CALEE) program in the U.S. and El Salvador. Fifteen officers from Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama visited the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia this week for three days of preliminary training. On October 12, 2009, the program officially kicks off as the international officers join the 12 American participants in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Following the Quantico and Charlotte sessions, class members will travel to Los Angeles, California and then to El Salvador. This is the second exchange class to be held as part of the CALEE program.
“The most effective way to combat transnational gangs, such as MS-13 and 18th Street, is through collaboration with our partners and cooperative intelligence sharing,” said Assistant Director Kevin Perkins, FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “Through programs like CALEE, we are forging valuable relationships that will positively impact our ability to work together across international boundaries.”
The CALEE program is sponsored by the FBI and the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement as part of the Merida Initiative. It is administered by the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force. The goal of the CALEE program is to collaborate with interested state and local law enforcement organizations to develop mutually beneficial and cooperative relationships with our Central American partners. The program strives to increase intelligence sharing, identify best practices, and minimize the gaps in communication between governments that often allow transnational criminals to move across borders and commit crimes with virtual anonymity.
Based at FBI Headquarters, the MS-13 National Gang Task Force combines the expertise, resources, and jurisdiction of federal agencies that investigate this violent international street gang. The task force focuses on maximizing the flow of information and intelligence, coordinating investigations, and helping state and local law enforcement improve operations and prosecutions targeting MS-13.