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Central America: U.S. Agencies Considered Various Factors in Funding Security Activities, but Need to Assess Progress in Achieving Interagency Objectives


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Drug trafficking organizations and gangs have expanded in Central America, threatening the security of these countries and the United States. Since 2008, the U.S. government has helped Central America and Mexico respond to these threats and in 2010 established CARSI solely to assist Central America. CARSI's goals are to create safe streets, disrupt criminals and contraband, support capable governments, and increase state presence and cooperation among CARSI partners. GAO reported on CARSI funding in January 2013 and was asked to further review CARSI and related activities in Central America. This report (1) provides an updated assessment of U.S. agencies' funding and activities that support CARSI goals; (2) examines whether U.S. agencies took steps to consider partner country needs, absorptive capacities, and U.S. and non-U.S. investments when selecting CARSI activities; and (3) examines information on the extent to which U.S. agencies reported CARSI results and evaluated CARSI activities. GAO analyzed CARSI and complementary non-CARSI funding; reviewed documents on CARSI activities, partner country needs, and CARSI results; interviewed U.S. agency officials about CARSI and related activities; and observed CARSI activities in three countries.



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