¡Luchando Contra El Narco Estado, Terrorista, Antisemita y Criminal de Venezuela!

martes, enero 12, 2016

Obama must target El Chapo’s partners in crime throughout the Americas

By Roger Noriega - IASW

The notorious case of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is a reminder that US officials must take more seriously the threat of corruption and organized crime to regional security and stability. United States has the asymmetrical law enforcement tools to deal with this dangerous phenomenon. And the president must use them against the dozens of drug kingpins who continue to operate today with virtual impunity.

The failure of the Obama administration to persuade Mexico, a key economic and security partner, to extradite El Chapo after he was first arrested in 2014 is evidence that fighting transnational crime has not been a priority. Although Mexico now is moving quickly to extradite that kingpin, it’s important to note that his criminal operation and dozens like it continue to undermine institutions, overwhelm economies, and outgun police throughout the Americas.

Criminal organizations generate billions of dollars through their illicit activities and use a combination of bribery and violence to infiltrate and corrupt the region’s governments. Some countries, like Venezuela, have already been infiltrated at the highest levels, with political leaders and security officials working directly with drug traffickers.

US action is critical if the region is going to impose the rule of law against these criminal syndicates. I recently laid out specific actions that the Obama administration can take on this front in my latest AEI report:

US security demands more vigorous efforts to confront transnational organized crime, which is preying on weak states and threatening our neighborhood. President Obama has all the authority he needs to deliver a devastating blow to individual criminals by denying them access to the US financial system and seizing their US based and dollar-denominated assets. In many key cases, targeting prominent criminals will help tip the scales politically in favor of democracy and the rule of law. The kind of sanctions imposed on Honduras’ Rosenthal clan last year should be applied against far more important figures in the hemisphere, such as José Luis Merino in El Salvador and [Venezuelan leaders Diosdado] Cabello and Tarek El Aissami in Venezuela…. [Cabello and El Aissami, senior officials in the ruling party in Venezuela, are both being investigated by US authorities for their alleged involvement in narcotrafficking and related money laundering, according to numerous published reports.]

Merino, a former FMLN guerrilla whose criminal activities were exposed in captured FARC computers, is known as the FARC’s man in El Salvador. He has played a central role in using a Venezuelan aid program known as “Alba Petróleos” to launder money for the [Colombian guerrilla group known by their Spanish initials] FARC and other criminal and terrorist organizations….

Although the US Congress recently approved $750 million to support these Central American states, no significant progress can be made until the executive branch deals effectively with the underlying official corruption—beginning with effective law-enforcement measures targeting Merino and his coconspirators….

President Obama does not need an international coalition to deliver a decisive blow against criminality. With the stroke of a pen he could instruct the secretary of the treasury and, respecting the separation of powers, ask the attorney general to prioritize investigations against those individuals who menace US interests in neighboring countries.

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posted by Aserne Venezuela @ 1:27 p.m. 

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