Corruption, lack of accountability, and poor training and organization have long been endemic problems of the security and law enforcement sector in Mexico. This lack of individual security impacts the United States through transnational crime.
Established in 2007, the Merida Initiative is an unprecedented partnership between the United States and Mexico to fight organized crime and associated violence while furthering respect for human rights and the rule of law. Based on principles of shared responsibility, mutual trust, and respect for sovereign independence, the two countries’ efforts have built confidence that is transforming the bilateral relationship.
In support of the Merida Initiative, Global Ties U.S. has applied our belief in the power of international exchange to tackle transnational challenges – and our expertise in designing and implementing these programs – to create the Law Enforcement and Security Exchange Program (LESEP), which uses international exchange to achieve professionalization of law enforcement. LESEP will increase Mexican capacity to provide for individual citizen security and to combat transitional criminal organizations by professionalizing police personnel and institutions.
The Law Enforcement and Security Exchange Program is a new grant for Global Ties U.S. Program activities will begin in Fiscal Year 2022. The program is the successor to the Police Professionalization Exchange Program, which was implemented from 2017 – 2021.
Under the Police Professionalization Exchange Program, Global Ties U.S. provided training to more than 6,200 law enforcement, security, and criminal justice professionals from across Mexico. Program participants achieved significant and meaningful gains in their professional knowledge, leadership skills, sense of profession, and colleague networks. Participants also generated and implemented action plans which led to tangible changes in management practices across a variety of agencies.
Over the course of the three-year award, the Law Enforcement and Security Exchange Program will serve more than 6,000 participants from across the security, law enforcement, and criminal justice sector in Mexico. This participant base will create critical mass for lasting reforms in Mexican law enforcement organizations, leading to sustainable solutions to challenges of security and law enforcement in Mexico. Program activities will target law enforcement and security personnel of all ranks, simultaneously leading to both immediate policy changes and to lasting cultural changes.
The Law Enforcement and Security Exchange Program is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), under a cooperative agreement with Global Ties U.S.