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Column 010515 Brewer

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Western Hemisphere
faces Serious Crime
Challenges in 2015
By Jerry Brewer
Latin America and the
Caribbean are today being
described as the most
dangerous regions in the world.
Quite a claim given the massive
violence, atrocities and death in
the Middle East and other
regions of the globe.
With Latin America registering
the majority of the worlds most
dangerous cities and regions,
just what does this mean to the
United States, Mexico and other
nations to the south in this new
There are those who write off
the causes of the record setting
homicides, brutality and
savagery as simply income and
social inequality. However there
are many regions and cultures
throughout the world that
sustain similar socioeconomic
maladies and have for decades,
yet they report far less death and
savagery from crime.
We have learned in this

hemisphere, over the last decade

or so, that there is a sinister
correlation between organized
crime and terror. Criminal
opportunities and major
markets for huge profits are all
that are needed for organized
crime to place a stranglehold on
a populace.
Increased drug trafficking
proliferated in the early 1980s,
and continued largely due to a
hedonistic and incredible
demand for drugs in the
U.S. Many billions of dollars a
year some estimate up to
US$80 billion paid for drugs
annually in the U.S. alone, with
much in these proceeds simply
handed away to transnational
criminals, local gangs and other
thugs to grow and prosper in
U.S. cities; and throughout the
hemisphere. Most of those
swimming in the highly illicit
profits could never imagine
reverting back to, or working
again for, average world wages
and lifestyles.
The hedonist mentality, in some
cases, is to ignore and look
beyond astronomic and
miscreant inflicted deaths and
victim tolls of the trade, focusing
instead on what is described as
prohibition, this as whoever
calls for drug legalization. In
delusional rationalizations,
many claim that an end of the
so-called prohibition will make
all the greed and killings simply
disappear from all these regions.
Federal, state and local police,
as well as those in nations to our

south plus their militaries,

know and share the realities that
drug trafficking is but one facet
of aggressive and dangerous
transnational organized crime
and terror.
Officials also know that
organized crime groups and
gangs may sacrifice some drug
trafficking activities in order to
reap revenue from replacement
endeavors and
contraband. However,
considering demand, dont look
for many of the addictive drugs
and deliriants to just go away. A
black market for drugs will
remain; regardless of any
government acquiesce to liberal
hedonistic demands. As well,
drug potency levels continue to
rise for a reason.
Societal demands for unlawful
products and services that
generate or enhance the
pleasure of the individual
continue to grow in this
hemisphere, and those involved
continue to produce misery and
despair in the nations in their
path. Through illicit labor
forces and means, organized
criminals and their henchmen
intensify demand, as well as
their abilities to deliver, enforce
and take with impunity, the
latter including human lives.
This organized crime-terror
nexus has a norm and nuclei
of fear and intimidation that
includes murder, kidnapping,
extortion, political tampering,
torture, and human and sex
trafficking. The killing and

kidnapping of government
officials, politicians, police
chiefs, mayors, members of the
military, and journalists
graphically demonstrate the
presence of an out of control
criminal insurgency.
How could it possibly be true
that drug sales might be even
remotely substituted for, as an
example, human
trafficking? Human and sex
trafficking is very appealing
compared to drug sales that
systematically require more
drugs, while facing high risks
and sophisticated
enforcement. Compare this with
the ownership and use of
human/sex laborers over and
over again, as long as they are
alive and capable and can
abundantly be replaced.
While Latin America has eight
percent of the worlds
population, it is the region
where 40 percent of the worlds
homicides and 66 percent of the
kidnappings for ransom are
Argentina is now the second
largest domestic market for
cocaine in Latin America, after
Brazil. It has become both a
major market and transit point
in the world drug trade. As well,
Argentina is currently a source,
transit, and destination country
for men, women, and children
subjected to forced labor and sex
trafficking, according to the
U.S. State Department.
In Mexico, human rights activist
and former congresswoman

Rosi Orozco (PAN, DF) claims

that more than 800,000 adults
and 20,000 children a year are
trafficked for sexual
exploitation. The U.S. State
Department estimates that at
least 100,000 Latin Americans
are trafficked internationally
each year. It has identified
Spain, Italy, Portugal, the
United States, and Japan as
major destination countries for
Latin American trafficking
victims. Panama has been a
destination for women from
Colombia and Central America
trafficked to work in the sex
The average murder rate for the
countries of the Caribbean is 30
per 100,000 residents. A
challenging world comparison
graphically demonstrates the
murder rate in Europe is 8.9
per 100,000 residents, while
that for the Western Pacific
region is 3.4 and in Southeast
Asia it is 5.8.
There can be no question or
doubt that this hemisphere must
do everything necessary in 2015,
and not just tread water, to
enforce the rule of law and
safeguard human rights, human
dignity, and respect for human
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

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