On March 20, 2023, Deputy Assistant Attorney General the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Richard W. Downing, accompanied by Cybersecurity Program Manager from the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, Organization of America States (OAS), Ms. Kerry-Ann Barrett, and a team of Department of Justice (DOJ) cyber experts visited Guyana to discuss cyber security solutions with representatives from the Government of Guyana.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Downing and Ms. Barrett met with Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representatives from the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, representatives from the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General’s chambers, representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Guyana Police Force.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Downing and Ms. Barrett encouraged Guyana’s accession to the Budapest Convention, or the Convention on Cybercrime, which would offer additional resources to strengthen domestic capacity for law enforcement responses when combatting cybercrime. This crucial step will help Guyana combat cyber threats as it undergoes a major economic transformation. Additionally, the DOJ cyber team, in conjunction with the OAS, offered technical support toward the development of national cyber security frameworks to combat cybercrimes, especially in the security and energy sectors. The team proposed similar support to CARICOM countries.
In addition to the visit by DOJ, the U.S. Southern Command and Florida National Guard will send a cyber defense assessment team to Guyana this week, with the goal of sharing best practices with the Guyana Defence Force to protect military networks from cyber-attacks.
These visits by DOJ and USSOUTHCOM highlight the United States’ concerted efforts to assist Guyana in establishing and developing a strong cyber security defense to support future development.