Police Reform in Latin America: Implications for U.S. Policy

Series: CSIS Reports
To the extent that the security and stability of close hemispheric neighbors impinge on the security and well-being of U.S. citizens, the United States is obliged to promote regional law enforcement reforms. If not, other countries such as China and Iran may be willing to do that, perhaps in ways the United States might not like, potentially putting American interests and lives at risk. Police reform is a hugely complicated undertaking, in which there are no easily transferable formulas for success. This report examines police reform in the Americas and suggests a strategic approach--considering trends, the threat environment, available resources, institutional strengths and weaknesses, and leadership--that will permit U.S. assistance to be successful.