Special Methods of Investigation (SMI) Program for Central America
To protect the public from increasingly sophisticated crime, law enforcement agencies must use cutting-edge technologies and investigation methods to gather information without alerting suspects. Known as Special Methods of Investigation (SMI), these tactics can include interception of telecommunications, controlled deliveries, electronic surveillance, and undercover operations.
JES teams applied their SMI expertise in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, offering comprehensive training for justice professionals and equipping them with the latest technological equipment. These efforts enhanced the effectiveness of the regions’ criminal justice systems to use SMI, while ensuring they respected human rights and the rule of law for suspects, victims, and third persons when conducting investigations.
Notably, Guatemalan Prosecutor Alan Stowlinsky’s 2011 murder case was solved as a result of JES training and equipment. 36 members of a notorious gang were convicted on the evidence found by forensic video analysis and wiretap techniques.
It is now estimated that more than 500 lives have been saved through the application of this training and equipment by prosecutors in Guatemala alone.
- 397 justice professionals trained in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras
- In Guatemala, advances in wiretapping led to an increase in convictions for major crimes from 5% to over 30%
- The Salvadoran criminal intelligence analysis unit expanded to include 30 new analysts across 5 different regions in the country
- In Honduras, equipment was purchased and a new unit of 10 analysts was created