Regional Security Office

Regional Security Officer: Margalit Murray

The Regional Security Office (RSO) is dedicated to providing a safe environment to conduct foreign policy. The Regional Security Officer is the advisor to the ambassador on all security and law enforcement issues affecting relations between the United States and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

The RSO is responsible for the safety of all Uruguayan and American employees at the Embassy and develops and coordinates all elements of the security program. RSO responsibilities range from developing contingency plans, to supervising guards, to improving physical security at the embassy, the Ambassador’s residence, and the 50 embassy-leased residences located throughout Montevideo.

RSOs at embassies around the world work on criminal investigations, extraditions, counter-terrorism cases, internal affairs investigations, background investigations, police training, and many other security and law enforcement related matters.

Law Enforcement Liaison

The RSO is the primary embassy liaison with the Uruguayan Police and security services. The RSO provides guidance and assists American federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in cases relating to Uruguay. The RSO also provides guidance to Uruguayan law enforcement in cases relating to the United States.

RSO also acts as a liaison with security officials at other embassies, businesses, and NGO’s.

Assistance to American Citizens

The RSO works with the Uruguayan Police to assist in the thorough investigation of any violent crimes suffered by American visitors. Fortunately such incidents are very rare. The RSO works with the Consular Section’s American Citizen’s Services to provide support in other minor cases.

Assistance to American Affiliated Businesses and Institutions/OSAC

The RSO provides security information and assistance to American affiliated businesses, educational, cultural and religious institutions and NGO’s. The primary means for such support is through the Uruguayan Chapter of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).

The RSO provides American-affiliated institutions with briefing materials for their employees, and assistance developing contingency plans to cope with fires, bomb threats, evacuations, and other issues. OSAC has more than 2000 member organizations in 45 countries worldwide.

To Catch a Thief or Terrorist—Rewards for Justice

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security operates the Rewards for Justice Program in which concerned individuals can provide tips about wanted criminals or terrorists—and perhaps receive up to $ 5 million U.S. dollars for their assistance.

This program has had tremendous success when individuals have contacted RSOs throughout the world with concrete information about the location of wanted criminals, terrorists, and war criminals.

For further information please visit Rewards for Justice.

RSO Office Montevideo Staffing

  • State Department Special Agents (Federal Agents)
  • U.S. Marine Security Guards
  • The Engineering Services Center comprised of U.S. Navy Seabees, security engineers, and security technicians.
  • Uruguayan Investigators
  • Uruguayan Guards
  • RSO Office Support Staff

Diplomatic Security Service

The Regional Security Office is the local representative of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). DSS agents have been actively protecting State employees around the world from criminals and terrorists since 1916 when the DSS predecessor was established.

Today DSS has more than 480 special agents assigned to diplomatic missions in 157 countries. It is the most widely represented American security and law enforcement organization in the world. DSS agents have utilized a global network of international law enforcement contacts to identify, arrest, and prosecute wanted criminals and terrorists worldwide—often preventing them from reaching the United States.

DSS has Field Offices in major U.S. cities where agents conduct criminal investigations, serve on terrorist task forces, and work to protect foreign embassies and consulates located in the U.S. DSS agents also serve as bodyguards for the Secretary of State both in the U.S. and in his/her travels overseas.

For further information about DSS and its worldwide mission, please visit the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Website.