The United States developed the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a regional U.S. foreign assistance program, in 2009 through a process of dialogue with Caribbean countries. The initiative seeks to reduce illicit trafficking in the region, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice. Because of their geographic location, many Caribbean nations are vulnerable to being used as transit countries for illicit drugs from South America destined for the U.S. and European markets. Strengthened U.S. counternarcotics cooperation with Mexico and Central America—through the Mérida Initiative and the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI)—led U.S. policymakers to anticipate a potential increase in narcotics trafficking through the Caribbean. Many Caribbean countries have also suffered high rates of violent crime, including murder, often associated with drug trafficking activities.