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“Terrorism in Latin America” by Mark Sullivan Essay

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Updated: Sep 30th, 2021

Post 9/11, there has been heightened American concerns for terrorism in the Latin American region with perceived threats emanating from LA countries like Peru, Columbia, and greater terrorist activities occurring in tri-border states of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Four terrorist groups have been outlawed By the US Dept. of State as FTO’s (Foreign Terrorists Organizations) including FARC, ELN, and AUC in Argentina and SL in Peru. In 1982, the US has also declared Peru to be a party to (Sullivan, 2008, p.3). “state sponsors of terrorism.”

Columbia became the nerve center of attention since this country had to bear the brunt of terror, unleashed by FARC, AUC, and ELM. These outfits gained heavily through drug trafficking and contract killings. Similarly, Peru is home to Sendero Luminoso, (SL), which is responsible for a car bomb attack during 1982 across US Embassy in which 10 locals, including security guards, securing the Embassy, lost their lives. Coming to the tri-border region comprising Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, it is believed that Hezbollah and Hamas, two strong Islamic fundamentalists terrorist groups are active in these regions and are responsible for a spate of bombings and killings.

(Sullivan, 2008, p.3). This region “has long been characterized as a regional hub for Hizballah and Hamas fundraising activities, but it is also used for arms and drug trafficking, contraband smuggling, document and currency fraud, money laundering, and the manufacture and movement of pirated goods.”

Cuba has been pointed as an active harbinger of renegade terrorists and anti-social activities, which is a major concern for the USA since anti-terrorist moves designed for other countries have now to be used for Cuba. In this connection, it is seen that the USA has been very co-operative in offering assistance and anti-terrorist training in Latin American countries. Since drug trafficking, money laundering, and terrorism are interrelated, the US has provided Latin American countries with various facilities and assistance in countering these illegal activities.

Besides, the US has assisted Latin American countries to help improve their capabilities in (Sullivan, 2008, p.5). “such areas as airport security management, hostage negotiations, bomb detection and deactivation, and countering terrorism financing.”

Despite the fact that the US had assisted Latin American countries economically, especially Columbia and Peru, in their counter terrorist moves, the same has not been reciprocated in deeds. The economic assistance provided for Anti-Terrorist Training (ATA) is shown in Table 1.1 below:

Serial Financial Year For ATA training Columbia
1. For the Financial year 2001 4.7M
2. For Financial year 2002 2.5M 25.0M
3. For the Financial year 2003 3.6M 3.3M
4. For the Financial year 2004 2.6M
5. For the Financial year 2005 5.2M 3.9M

Although Latin American countries have a higher intensity of terrorists killings and arson, it is sporadic and spread over a longer area; therefore, it is necessary that international attention be riveted to this area of international concern. (Sullivan, 2008).

Among the major problems that beset law enforcement agencies, it is seen these are the main factors that need to be urgently addressed.

References

Sullivan, Mark. P. (2008). CRS Report for Congress:. Congressional Research Service. Web.

Sullivan, Mark. P. (2008). US Policy. Congressional Research Service. 5. Web.

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