name='p:domain_verify'/> *: MIDDLE EAST TERRORISM STRENGTHENING IN CARIBBEAN BASIN

Friday, February 28, 2014

MIDDLE EAST TERRORISM STRENGTHENING IN CARIBBEAN BASIN


 
     The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade discussed the expanding narco-terrorist trade throughout the Caribbean Basin, which includes Latin and South America. I offer this summation of the transcript, regarding three concerns which are depicted in the Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean series. These concerns stem from Ms. Celina Realuyo's testimony. She is Professor of Practice of National Security Affairs at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University. Here is the synopsis: 

HEARING: Terrorist Groups in Latin America
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade
Feb 4, 2014

Concern No. 1- The FARC and Drug Trafficking
      According to Celina B. Realuyo
(Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies), the FARC began providing security for the Cali, Medelline, and the Norte de Valle drug cartels in the 1990s. The defeat of these cartels by Columbian forces (with U.S. assistance) left a vacuum in the drug trafficking economy, which the FARC quickly filled. Columbia’s counter-insurgency campaign over the past decade (also backed by the U.S.) severely reduced the FARC’s capacity, but the organization still earns up to $600 million annually from cocaine trafficking.  

     In the Corey Pearson spy novel series, a corrupt general in the Colombian Army steals hi-tech, lazer-guided mortars that the U.S. supplied to him. The general sold them to FARC and Hezbollah, which planned to attack a major league baseball game in the U.S.

Concern No. 2- The Shining Path and Drug Trafficking
      The Shining Path almost disappeared after the capture of its leader in 1992, but Celina B. Realuyo pointed out that the group has recently engineered a small-scale revival by entering Peru’s drug trade. Ted Poe (Subcommittee Chairman) stated that about 500 remaining Shining Path militants operate out of the Apurimac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM), the source of more than half of Peru’s cocaine production. Michael Shifter
(Inter-American Dialogue) asserted that, while Shining Path militants in VRAEM still espouse a Maoist doctrine, their ideological underpinnings have all but disappeared as the group has turned increasingly to money-generating criminal activities.

Concern No. 3- Hezbollah Enters the Latin American Drug Trade
      The Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean spy series frequently mentions Hezbollah in the tri-border area. Celine Realuyo explained that, beginning with a base of operation in Paraguay (in the largely lawless tri-border area connecting Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay), Hezbollah established illicit money laundering, counterfeiting, piracy, and drug trafficking enterprises. Douglas Farah
(Center for Strategic and International Studies) said Hezbollah then developed ties with the FARC, trading arms for cocaine to traffic abroad. This new bond between Hezbollah and FARC is highlighted in the Corey Pearson spy series.


Note: The future of U.S. assistance to combat these three trends may be in jeopardy. Ted Poe (Subcommittee Chairman) raised concerns about continued U.S. assistance to Latin American countries for combating drug trafficking. He praised the cooperative efforts over the past decade, but questioned the need for continued funding and asked (more than once) when countries receiving U.S. aid should be expected to graduate to self-sufficiency.
     Unfortunately, Middle Eastern jihadist terrorism is strengthening in the Caribbean Basin. Click HERE to view the complete transcript and videos of the House Committee meeting on the narco-terrorist bonding in the Caribbean Basin and Latin and South America.