Public Safety

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Session I: Regional Initiatives on Tourist Safety and Security THE CENTRAL AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

PRESENTATION BY Jorge Rojas Vargas, General Director OF THE JUDICIAl investigation ORGANISATION OF Costa Rica AND CHAIRMAN OF THE cOMMISSION OF POLICE CHIEFS AND DIRECTORS OF CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

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Historical account

Creation
▪ November 1994 as the Association of Police Chiefs of Central America. ▪ July 1998 - the Dominican Republic is incorporated. ▪ September 23, 2001 - no longer referred to as the Association but instead as the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America and the Caribbean.

At present

Comprises the following countries:

▪ Panama
▪ Judicial Technical Police
▪ National Police
▪ Costa Rica
▪ Judicial Investigation Organisation
▪ Police Force (Ministry of Security)
▪ Nicaragua: National Police
▪ El Salvador: National Civil Police
▪ Honduras: Preventive Police of Honduras
▪ Guatemala: National Civil Police
▪ Belize: Belize Police Force
▪ Haiti: National Police
▪ Dominican Republic: National Police
▪ Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Police

Observers

▪ Mexican Federal Agency of Investigations (AFI)
▪ Preventive Police of Mexico
▪ BKA of Germany
▪ AECI Spanish Agency for International Co-operation ▪ Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) ▪ French Police
▪ Interpol (Sub-headquarters in El Salvador)

Overall Objective

Strengthen relations among the various Police bodies in Central America and the Caribbean, other police bodies in observer countries and others, for the purpose of pooling efforts in the fight against crime and organised crime both nationally and internationally.

Specific Objectives

▪ Ensure the wellbeing of the Police officers that form part of the various police institutions in the Region, providing and promoting co-operation and mutual assistance, particularly in cases of emergency and disasters. ▪ Promote the prevention, repression and neutralisation of crime in Central America and the Caribbean in all its aspects, which by its very nature and action, affects the society within the Region. ▪ Facilitate international technical assistance, training, equipment and the exchange of information.

REGIONAL TOURIST SAFETY PLAN FOR CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (HAITI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND PUERTO RICO)

Presentation of Motives

Central America including Panama and Belize, covers an area measuring 522,299 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 33 million. Tourism is currently the primary source of foreign exchange revenue in half of those countries (1/3 of the regional GDP).

A lack of tourist safety leads to an absence of tourists, particularly international tourists, thereby affecting the economy of a specific country, since it contributes to the elimination of goods or resources for tourists or service providers; the loss of markets for service providers; losses for insurance companies; the loss of jobs for employees of the tourism industry; reductions in State revenue and sometimes the loss of human life.

Internationally: Cancellation of contracts between wholesalers and providers; serious warnings on the consular websites of tourist generating countries; the perception of a lack of security that persists even though it has been reversed; high investments to reverse the perception of a lack of security.

Today’s tourist demands safety regardless of the variety of destinations visited. If there is no safety analysis conducted in advance, a tourist is likely to refrain from visiting a specific country or place. Therefore, the safety analysis in the tourism sector, from the point of...
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