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Mar 30

Combating Transnational Criminal Organizations: Concepts and Strategies

Co-hosted by


Security in the Americas is threatened by transnational criminal organizations. Transnational criminal enterprises, such as Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel or the Zetas, profit not only from drug trafficking, but also from an increasingly broad range of illicit activities from murder-for-hire and kidnapping to extortion, trafficking in persons, and various forms of piracy. Transnational criminal organizations also have the capacity to link with other non-state actors or foreign governments to perpetrate political violence and terrorism. The U.S. government and the Organization of American States have focused increased attention upon this critical challenge. In July 2011, the Obama Administration released its most comprehensive strategy to counter this phenomenon. The OAS also supports multi-faceted efforts to support hemispheric cooperation against the emergent threat, convening most recently a high-level conference in Mexico City. Join us for this timely review of the nature of this challenge, current strategies to combat transnational criminal organizations, and policy options available to the United States, OAS, and cooperating partners in the Americas.

More About the Speakers

Ambassador Adam Blackwell
Secretary of Multidimensional Security, Organization of American States

Vanda Felbab-Brown
Fellow in Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution

Celina Realuyo
Assistant Professor, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University

Brian A. Nichols
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US State Department

Co-hosted by
Ray Walser, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation

Peter Hakim
President, Emeritus, Inter-American Dialogue

Col. John “Jay” Cope
Senior Research Fellow, INSS