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The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

The United States has had a diplomatic presence in Cabo Verde for 200 years. In March 2016, following its sixth consecutive free and fair election cycle, Cabo Verde experienced a peaceful and smooth transfer of power, and the current government is striving to improve the business environment, advance respect for human rights, enhance security, and deepen Cabo Verde’s tourism sector. Cabo Verde remains engaged with the United States on security issues. Its location makes it a crucial partner in combating international narcotics trafficking, and its excellent record on political and economic stability makes it a role model in the region.

Challenges: Cabo Verde is one of Africa’s strongest democracies, with a tradition of civilian rule and promotion of good governance, with relatively low corruption and high transparency. However, Cabo Verde’s strategic location at the crossroads of air ansea travel and hard-to-secure maritime borders have made it a waypoint for illicit drugs and other transnational organized crime. Cabo Verde’s law enforcement entities are being consolidated to streamline their work; however, they are under-resourced and lack sufficient capacity to handle their workload in an effective and efficient manner. 

Goals: The United States has had a diplomatic presence in Cabo Verde for 200 years. Cabo Verde remains engaged with the United States on security issues. Its strategic location in the mid-Atlantic makes it a crucial partner in combating international narcotics traffickingINL seeks to lower crime by helping the Cabo Verde National Police adopt community policing strategies; to improve the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Cabo Verde Judicial Police capacity to disrupt and investigate transnational organized crime, including money laundering and drug trafficking; and to improve the management of Cabo Verde’s prisons. 


  • In partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance, INL has: 
  • Enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the FIU so that it has adopted operational policies, protocols, and procedures that align with international standards and best practices to counter money laundering and terrorist financing. 
  • Helped create an interagency Financial Crimes Working Group to facilitate information flow that is useful for investigators and prosecutors. 
  • Through the facilitation of exchanges with the Boston Police Department, INL has shared best practices in community policing with Cabo Verdean law enforcement. 
  • INL has organized classroom training and site visits to U.S. facilities which instructed senior Cabo Verdean corrections officials on how to manage a correctional system.  
  • INL-funded trainings through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have contributed to Cabo Verdean investigations and successful prosecutions of several significant cocaine trafficking cases. 

U.S. Department of State

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