Monday, July 30, 2012
Some Shifting Leaders in Latin
America pose Security Threats
Traditional thinking sometimes fails to recognize
that people and cultures have radically different world views or conceptual schemes that ultimately drive human behavior and
too often cannot be understood by others.
Major changes in thought patterns
can result in radical changes in personal beliefs, organizations, systems, and thus replace the former way of processing with
a radically different way of thinking. Today's Latin America is clearly demonstrating that all kinds of belief systems
are not equal.
Systematic revolutionary-style movement in Latin America
is playing a pivotal role in hemispheric destabilization. As billions of U.S. dollars continue to flow south, a revolutionary
ideology continues to be fueled and lives to fight another day. It is not surprising that violence in Mexico, especially along
the U.S. border, shows links to paramilitary style combat and weapons. In fact, compartmented revolutionary ideological
solidarity may have reached the U.S. border with much more than a drug supply and demand motif.
Throughout the hemisphere the amorphous network of leftist leadership in Latin America continues to demonstrate thought
provoking agendas. Although much of the sinister movement is reminiscent of rodent-like scavengers that feed on the
weak and exploit the poor, this vast nexus paradoxically inhales narco-dollars that fund revolutionary-style movements and
The weak and ineffective states within the pipeline and choke
points of this revolutionary trail result with corruption, terrorism, murder, intense crime and violence, human rights atrocities,
displaced populations, gun running, and undefended borders.
Just who are
the suspects of this massive hemispheric destabilization? Connecting the dots has taken some painstaking analysis, although
so much of their compartmented networks are exposed at the hubs and readily identified by their systematic and widespread
violations of human rights. It is those that do not recognize their own victims, and that fail to promote possibilities for
peace, the rule of law, or reconciling democratic principles.
Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Nicolas Maduro, told the Associated Press that his nation will soon notify the Organization
of American States that Venezuela is pulling out of a regional human rights convention, as well as two bodies that hear rights
cases. Venezuela says it is "withdrawing from both the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights and
the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights."
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is determined to see smaller countries copy his Bolivarian Revolution model, and there are now former
democratically elected leaders in the region who have since weakened much of their democratic governance.
As far back as March of 2002 the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, General Gary
Speer, told the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee, "We are very concerned about President [Hugo] Chavez as FARC
[Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] guerrillas operate at will across the border into Venezuela." There were
also definitive statements that arms shipments originating in Venezuela get to the FARC and the National Liberation Army,
President Obama has signed a memorandum that designated Venezuela,
"for the seventh time," as a country that failed to meet international obligations to fight drug trafficking. He
cited a federal report that concluded that the country was "one of the preferred trafficking routes out of South America,"
and had a "generally permissive and corrupt environment."
major confession came from Chavez's former presidential airplane pilot, Major Juan Diaz Castillo, after he defected in
December 2002. He alleged that Chavez provided US$1 million to al-Qaeda soon after the September 11 attacks in New York
City. This money reportedly was funneled through the Taliban and was purported to be under the cover of "humanitarian
aid via the Venezuelan ambassador to India and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees."
National Guard General Marcos Ferreira, who had resigned as director of Venezuela's border-control service, accused
Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin of pressuring him to cover up the identities of terrorists (many from the Middle
East) passing through Venezuela, and to deceive U.S. terrorism investigators. Chacin and others have claimed that the "Chavez
government has illegally given more than 270 Venezuelan passports to Arab extremists," according to reports a decade
ago citing Insight Magazine as the data source.
These U.S. security
concerns do not necessarily match the shifting mood of many Latin American governments. Many believe that Washington needs
to come to the realization that transnational drug cartels operate in the United States, and that the drug trade does not
stop at borders. The belief is that U.S. high drug demand fuels the security problems throughout the hemisphere, and countries
like Mexico may begin shifting strategies to more of a focus on citizens' safety and less on drug interdiction and dismantling
El Salvador is experimenting with gang truces, and reporting
declines in murder rates after gang leaders met and presented a list of their demands. Honduras and Guatemala have expressed
interest in similar models to confront gang violence.
Even the U.S. Border Patrol is considering a new model in "targeted" response, which is a "risk-based, intelligence-driven"
approach to evolving threats. And one wonders if this is a potential enforcement shift from the usual trafficked corridors
for illegal immigrants?
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation
firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at http://www.cjiausa.org/.