Training Program on Counterdrug Operational Police Intelligence


The objective of this program is to increase the capacity of drug control analysts and investigators in specialized techniques related to the development and analysis of counterdrug police intelligence, enhancing their ability to effectively investigate and dismantle organized criminal groups involved in drug trafficking. The focus will be on operational law enforcement intelligence, specifically tailored to counter synthetic drug threats. The methodology integrates theoretical lessons with practical exercises, emphasizing real-world scenarios to ensure practical application of learned techniques.

Accomplishments to Date

Since 2003, over 6,000 counterdrug police officers from 15 Latin American OAS member states have participated in regional and national training courses delivered within the framework of the Counterdrug Intelligence School of the Americas (ERCAIAD, by its Spanish language acronym). 

The ERCAIAD courses have increased the capacities of OAS member states to develop, analyze, and share operational, strategic, and prospective counterdrug intelligence, as well as to increase cooperation and information exchange between counterdrug agencies to counter drug trafficking in the region. 

Through ERCAIAD courses, CICAD has contributed to enhance the quantity and quality of police intelligence information used in drug trafficking investigations. 

Project Activities

The training program encompasses: 

  1.  Participant Selection: Working with counterparts, we select participants with the necessary expertise for this specialized training in synthetic drug trafficking investigations. 
  2. Curriculum Development: The curriculum is collaboratively tailored with counterparts to address critical issues in synthetic drug trafficking, ensuring relevance and applicability. 
  3. Expert Presenter Engagement: We engage in-house experts and speakers familiar with national drug trends to provide current insights on synthetic drug trafficking. 
  4. Intensive Training Course: The program combines theoretical learning with practical case studies, promoting active dialogue and exchange among participants.
  5. Post-Training Follow-Up: A follow-up system with supervisors is established post-training to monitor the application of acquired skills and knowledge in real-world scenarios. 
Global Level Outcomes
  • Enhanced Global Knowledge and Skills: The training is designed to boost the proficiency of drug control analysts and investigators in tackling synthetic drug trafficking, enhancing their ability to respond to international organized crime.
  • Strengthened International Cooperation: The program equips participants with advanced insights into global tools and approaches, improving cooperation with international organizations and agencies.
  • Standardization of Practices: A key objective of the training is to promote standardized best practices in synthetic drug trafficking investigations, leading to a cohesive global strategy in addressing this challenge. 
National Level Outcomes
  • Improved Investigative Capacities: Enhanced skills in investigating cases of synthetic drug trafficking. This improvement can be measured quantitatively through pre- and post-training exams.
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: Improved effectiveness in synthetic drug trafficking enforcement operations. This improvement can be measured through periodic follow-ups with operational supervisors. 
  • Strengthened National Coordination: Enhanced collaboration among national law enforcement and relevant agencies. This can be assessed by ongoing communication with counterparts and monitoring the effectiveness of coordinated operations post-training. 

Ms. Ana Alvarez, Project Manager, Supply Reduction Unit, OAS/CICAD, amalvarez [at] oas [dot] org (amalvarez[at]oas[dot]org)

Current State Participants
Costa Rica
El Salvador