tv Senator Marco Rubio Delivers Remarks on Transnational Organized Crime and... CSPAN July 1, 2017 4:44pm-6:22pm EDT
insight and information is ignored, it often leads to consequences that might have been averted. announcer: friday, harvard university sociologist -- citizens do not fully understand the complex forces that have increased for example their economic woes. economic insecurities create breeding grounds for racial and ethnic tensions. announcer: next week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. next to, republican senator markey or rubio talks about the need to combat transnational organized crime and the drug trade in ac latin america. from the american enterprise institute, this is one hour and
a half. by the american enterprise institute, welcome to the american enterprise institute. i'm a senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies here and i am genuinely delighted that we have senator rubio here with us today to help us rule out the new report here. it is the product of the working group on transnational organized crime run by the visiting scholar. i don't think marco rubio needs a bath of introduction to this audience, but i'm going to give a word or two nonetheless and then hand things over and do a little housekeeping. marco rubio is the senator from
florida elected in 2010 and 2016 is a member of the committee on appropriations and the committee on foreign relations and has a resume much longer that i'm not going to keep reading but to us he has been a leader on international affairs and somebody who increasingly a country turns to hear where we should be going on these issues and for us today i know we are very proud that he's been a leader on issues of extraordinary importance to us in maintaining support for u.s. engagement globally. the report, you will hear more about it then you're going to hear from me at this very moment, but this is a report that's a little bit different than the things you usually see coming out of the american enterprise institute. it is practical, it's very tactical, it's very focused on what we can do in the here and
now and the main reason for that is frankly transnational organized crime is an issue we haven't spent a great deal of time focusing on. it's at the nexus of the whole series of national security threats to the country. it degrades our hemisphere and addresses press that otherwise wouldn't be here. earlier this month to have been arrested on the panama canal. the report profiles the ms 13 which the trump administration has been going after and which is an instrument for all these disparate threats to the country to come together. so i know that they are going to
spend a lot of time talking about these issues. i have a housekeeping item i have to read to you because i ii don't understand because i'm technologically inept. we are going to be taking questions from the audience in an online system today. you can feel free to sit with your questions now, feel free to submit your questions now following the senator's remarks. is it a question into the code is very simple, type in your question and then it will be chosen to be read on stage. i hope it works. we can ask you to come up to the podium and then take questions from the audience.
[applause] thank you for inviting me today. this is tha isn't a new crime ie united states. to transnational organized crime resides at the heart of every major threats confronting the americas today whether it is a deadly opioid crisis, catastrophic collapse or gang violence in the american cities and can be traced back to networks from drugs, trafficking and extortion.
the threat posed for too many years it's not done enough and has led to the suffering of too many people. we begin with venezuela. it's called protesters, destroyed the nation's economy is also rich in farmland. the regime's criminal networks are getting exposed. we see the government not just a dictatorship but a criminal enterprise. the treasury department that the sanctions against venezuela on
the 13th of february this year naming him a specially designated narcotics trafficker under the kingpin act playing a narcotics trafficking. a federal court and his cousin for conspiring to ship cocaine. officials said the former president of the assembly was the head of the drug cartel. colombia we see growing concerns in the implementation of the agreement. many remain unaccounted for and
too many are joining groups and continue to profit on illegal war narcotics trafficking. the relationship must continue. between fiscal year 2000 the congress appropriated more than $10 billion under plan colombia. peace in colombia cannot come at any cost. members have committed atrocities must be held accountable by the judicial system and colombia should extradite the members indicted in the united states and that they should face justice. in large part they come in from the jumble the explosion is another major concern. the production numbers have consistently risen during the peace negotiations increasing by more than 141% from 2012 to 2016 including a sharp rise beginning
in 2015. these developments are likely to be the direct result of the 2015 physicians to end a the eradication of the plans. i believe it was a mistake in part as a concession to achieve a peace deal in colombia. now the largest drug gang that deals with marxist terrorism and drug trafficking have paramilitary groups that have emerged as the renewed production. they control 70% of the cocaine productions according as an estimated 1500 fighters making it roughly one fifth the size of the mobilization military force. mexico we found transnational organized crime is a problem. some estimate 130,000 people
have been killed that's roughly the population of gainesville florida nearly 60,000 died from drug related deaths and a concern mexican heroin and methamphetamine production and trafficking of fentanyl. in 2008 the congress appropriated 2.8 billion for its efforts to combat the cartels. the fight cannot be won only with money and guns. we must also provide assistance to the mexican law enforcement and public officials. the report released notes fewer than 12, notes that at least 12 are accused of corruption, money laundering or narcotics trafficking and also notes that an astounding seven of ten
crimes in mexico are not even reported. people do not trust their institutions, the local police and the prosecutors and elected officials the mexican government is going to struggle to win this fight which is one of the reasons why i continue to work to ensure we keep foreign assistance strong. we are not just going to the world's poor they are going to g to programs that work with other countries to bolster law enforcement and of the rule of law and promotion of stability and democracy with a direct impact and they are essential. what are some of the solutions and i hope we will get into them some today that the first is to continue the funding have developed and security programs in trouble to come to transnational criminal organizations in the western hemisphere. in venezuela those in power or the real problem and i hope we can build international pressure in every possible form. in addition to ratcheting up sanctions on anyone in venezuela suppressing the people not just
of the lower-level wheels is up for the venezuelan people in their struggle for freedom which is why as a member of the senate appropriations committee in asking for funding for the democracy programs in hope for transitional funds so that when they are removed there will be funds available from this long nightmare. in colombia we need to assure they support the implementation. we will need to work with a new colombian government to ensure the crimes committed do not go unpunished and the victims are adequately compensated and we need to encourage our allies to resume the eradication of coca plants, the threat of terror and missiles on the risis also on te cultivation of present in colombia and guatemala and mexico we hope to work with them to target that as well.
bad actors and transnational networks must be brought to justice by fully utilizing all of the tools to target the traffickers including the kingpin in mexico as i said earlier we continue to support against the cartels while working with our partners in the mexican government on improving its legal system, its law enforcement and respect for human rights. it will only begin to swing against the cartels when the government is there for them and has the ability to keep them safe and here at home we must confront directly the scourge of drug abuse and dependence and the demand and pressure that it predates which is a major contributor to all these problems. in conclusion let me say as i said at the beginning, receiving far too little attention our security here at home relies on the country in the region sharing our values and creating freea free, stable and democratc
societies to protect people and reward citizens with opportunities for their hard work and entrepreneurship. in colombia we have seen how they combine with the courage and the dignity, hard work and sacrifice yielded that the return for the foreign assistance investment and an excellent starting point to ensure that america remains a priority in the new report today. as it makes clear in its recommendations, we have a lot of work to do but these are all things that given the proper motivation we can do and must do and i believe we will end we must do so before our neighbors and for ourselves. so i thank you for the chance to make these remarks and i look forward to answering questions and hopefully learning more about the way forward. thank you. [applause]
important issues. how did the microphone worked even when i had it off? [laughter] the report to be presented here makes recommendations in a couple of areas, the use of the total sanctions as a way of getting kingpins but also to identify where the assets are in freeze the assets this is extraordinarily important to those having venezuela and those that claim that the justice department called the biggest cocaine producer in the world because they don't have any money except a few ranches here and there whenever they carry any knapsack but there are others that possibly they have
anywhere between two to $10 million. how would you react to the idea of an initiative that insisted the branch go after these things targeted as priority is to seize the assets and new legislation to give authority to repatriate the money to colombia or stolen assets to venezuela? i think it is a matter of policy directive in all of the elements to identify where they are being placed and to use our influence to gain access to the funds but rather to send them to these countries to help fund their efforts and in the meantime also make clear to the groups that the world banking system is not at the point they will be allowed to continue.
for many of the agencies that isn't going to happen unless there is a policy initiative and it is one of the strongest recommendations to turn to the productive. >> re: colombia, let's see one of the most important issues we are confronting in the insurgency in the armed conflict that hasn't pronounced its object is how can we best assist them in that process as we endeavor not just to the criminality? >> first and foremost the
leaders are elected and responsive to the people of colombia as the partner i think it is our obligation to make them understand we are prepared to contribute to these efforts which took the nation that was on the verge of collapse almost being a failed state and brought it to the point of relative prosperity and security in a significant period of time and i think we are prepared to continue in that regard but i don't think we can allow, someone that needs to answer the people in florida and the country held their taxpayers dollars are being spent any of them can be used unfairly to benefit for example we want to make sure funds are being used for things like ensuring the victims thavictims that the syst up and compensated and [inaudible] we want to make sure there isn't a creation whereby the people that partnered to confront these groups are now being put on trial and being treated like
criminals themselves and we want to make sure they don't end up in the hands of the groups we still associate and that includes leaders that wanted for those crimes as long as we are fair and frank and direct and to the point we will have an opportunity to work with the administration. in the absence of that that dollars are not producing results and it could be challenging continuing the partnership and i think to me this isn't just about preserving the relationship but two m. sure we can justify direct and indirect. >> the president took some steps
engaging with the regime. one of the things the administration is proud of in this operation in the government we were told by the administration in private briefings that that sort of thing would continue. how would you assess the value of that kind of cooperation and how do we ensure that its use ud for our essential national security interests? if benefits the government not find themselves in that situation with strong allegations about what they allowed. our goal was pretty straightforward and that is we want a nation that has the same right as people virtually everywhere in the hemisphere. every country in the western hemisphere has at least one free and fair except for cuba and
that may not be the case any longer in places like nicaragua and bolivia and venezuela but they've had some experience over the last two decades except for cuba and we remain hopeful understanding it's not going to be from one day to the next but we want to ensure american policy towards cuba is incentivizing that as opposed to providing funds for the status quo to become embedded and take even deeper roots which is the goal of the castro regime to and of the military controls the economy and has kind of a concrete ion mass to become a permanent fixture in the hemisphere that's something the foreign policy shouldn't be encouraging and in that realm it behooves the government even the repressive want to cooperate with everyone when it comes to drug trafficking the worst thing that can possibly happen is to
cooperate with because i believe that it would further isolate them in the region >> do you think it is possible if those of us that understand what is going on in venezuela cuba is playing a role. not just the advice in the agency apparatus for key functions are obligated for that purpose there is a direct invasion in venezuela whether it's the personal protections, the passports and documentation office or even how the national guard is confronting protesters in the street all these things are being directed directly
participating in these acts so there's no doubt in the minds of many and there should be no doubt in the minds of the people in the hemisphere that the cuban government is the reason why it is unconstitutional. the protesters and the opposition are asking for them to follow the constitution. it calls for elections every two years and the assembly to achieve in all these things have been canceled and ignored. >> fair enough, very clear. we call it a narco state and say the family is directly involved, the vice president is involved. if that is the case, cuba is managing venezuela and the cuban government. >> they are well aware of how these people made their money
and what they do and obviously their conscience is not heavy in terms of being cooperative in that regard. i imagine why you've probably seen the last 15 years is that they a lot of them not supporting the networks and there's a reason why they were the host for many of these negotiations and that is the relationship that they knew was a narco trafficking and they also provided support for them and silent and/or protection. >> there are some who are skeptical of the war on drugs, the overall course of strategy and someone here asks what will you say to those who disagree with your views on that? >> the impact it has in this country is illegal.
there is an adage if something is not illegal it can't be that bad. without consumption, they are a parasitic entity undermining and threatening the rule of law they controlled territory for bringing them into ungoverned spaces, they undermine the security, corrupt institutions, they undermine the international community's confidence in the countries that they are in, they have enormous security threats in many parts of the countries they directly rivaled the government in terms of ability to provide money and security or whatever they call security.
all these things are major threats and if you look at the migratory pressures we face, a lot of the spaces clean. in the end is our hope is to have stable nation where people are prosperous and come to the united states because they either come here legally or they come here to invest or as tourists if that is our goal you can do that as a nation with a significant amount of its capital being spent managing or attacking these and you can do that in places in which these groups undermine the very legitimacy of the state. another one of our friends says you called them a willing partner. are they at risk in the upcoming elections? >> i hope not.
it's not venezuela and it's not cuba they will not have a fair election and it will be debated. we are prepared to work with whoever because it is an important relationship and so obviously that is a question that will be answered but my hope is that it remains steady and i think it is in the best interest of mexico and the united states. >> on >> one of the concerns going back to columbia.
it's very difficult if you don't have security companies are not going to invest capital in places they feel threatened or think the rule of law doesn't apply. people are not going to visit places they think are dangerous. we had a bombing that killed three people as an example. if we are going to return to those days that is problematic and also a state cannot find governmental services unless it has an economy to generate the revenues necessary for those purposes so they are related before there can be economic growth you can't have one without the other. >> a related question would you say nafta has played a role in driving impoverished mexicans and into make ends meet? >> i think like any trade deal they have benefits and costs and that is part.
if you are an american manufacturer they've been threatening. i think it has to be viewed in the context of legitimate overall. by and large the relationship between the united states it's been a general positive like any it was created before the internet exploded, before google and all these others. there was the need to do that now and it's in a way that is very positive at this point but ultimately it behooves us. i think they properly modernized it as an answer. >> one final question. >> one of the things you hear they want to go in and convince someone in the drug economy to
>> to the extent people can violate the law and migratory status will not put them in danger of interacting i think is problematic. it will solve the problem. these are intricate networks that include americans on this side and that's part of the network if you look at the network of distribution, the cross-border operation but then it comes to the southern states and those are american organized crime groups. it's called transnational for a reason these are intricate organizations that operate across the border including distributors who are the typical heroin dealers are offering some othenot from someother country o lives here on the supply throughout the region but
ultimately we have a distribution network and they are not going to deal with that. this will give you an opportunity to get on the right side of the white house. you already are actually. [laughter] the president gets a lot of criticism and the state department this came up a while back. how do you think that he's doing so far in latin america. i guess i have to admit i am possibly surprised by how he's orienting. how would you rate that? >> there is a willingness to be
more engaged. it's not like we are going from the era of engagement to a dramatic drop-off, i think it's been largely neglected and you see that with the professionals entering the field. there's a willingness to be more engaged in the region and understanding that regional stability is one of the most important things we can do here in the unite united states so ts a willingness to be more engaged and hopefully we can provide input on what that means. >> we thank you for your discussion on this issue and the
[inaudible conversations] we don't have a lot of time, but we have a lot of knowledge. i'm going to dramatically reduce your biography is. i think we would rather get the question. the defense studies at university focuses on national security, transnational organized crime and financing. she's taught at numerous
institutions including those at the foreign service office in the state department director of the finance program is a global security expert on warfare producing research and investigations on topics such as extremism and influenza in the hemisphere and is also i do want to note in the u.s. marine corps having served. a senior visiting fellow at the university center for operations she is a national security consultant and analyst and has been a correspondent and investigative reporter covering cartel and organized crime in latin america and west africa for two decades.
the ambassador is a visiting fellow here and managing director which advises clients on international business issues and also served as the secretary of state for the western hemisphere and u.s. ambassador to the organizations of american states so thank you all and i'm sorry to reduce your biography is so dramatically. the important things have already said been said, frankly. we are talking about this report today because there's a lot of experience and knowledge here about the crime issue was as well as the members of the panel and we have been very focused on the sword of march of positive things, and a lot of trade
agreements, of of of positive development but the pathways of criminality and all sorts of things back and forth across the border these are serious network threats way more complicated than taking one person off the board. they have very profound rates that want to be partners but maybe can't because your criminals with thi for this proi think a lot of people are familiar. here's the collection of information about the threats in the region whether it is el
salvador, venezuela. but the group has done is assembled on a series of threats in the region and then wrote about latino and the idea is to present a set of recommendations on what to do about it and what other tools might be needed so i think we should just get two questions. for the first round we want to give you each a couple of moments to articulate some of the challenges that have been presented in the region and i think we will start on your end since we've already talked a bit about venezuela i would like to go back to it as you sort of characterize for us with the elements are and is it
fundamentally different than what is going on in other parts of the region? >> you've been on the plenty end of this looking at the policy standpoint and have an appreciation so thank you very much for that question. i remember when elected the president of colombia and people would throw around the word marco stated we were doing a great disservice and it's more than the regime is a continuing criminal enterprise where it's very highest levels.
resources of the state and the person now of the state you have these ministers of government who were more preoccupied with the criminal activities than doing their own jobs and it was something where they systematically destroyed the institutions of government and the checks and balance and even through the foreign-policy developed these instruments that would be used to want move the cocaine. that is a game changer and we are grappling that kind of
target. one of the more important parts of this report, it's all important but one of the more important parts of the chapter on the state of america. it's a critical phenomena for people to understand and to acknowledge the sort of connective tissue that exists between criminals and the estate in many of these countries. can you talk to us about what that means? to give us a sense of what you are talking about in the state? >> we have had drug trafficking for so long one of the fundamental differences is now and you have a government that uses them as instruments of state and engage in an entirely
separate type of reality. it's when they have the permission of the government officials involved and where the state itself and individuals benefit from the process of that it is an entirely different structure than if you have corrupt individuals buy someone a jump across the border. i think you see we have a letter this last week from the bipartisan group of legislators requesting information on the official known to traffic extensively and the business as he is associated with generated huge amounts money. it'the state doing it in those
cases. you have a series of states where the government is viewing them not just individually but as a project and to understand the movement which venezuela has been the leader it's not just the ongoing criminal enterprise i think it is multiple states together that share this and the advancement is legitimate so then when we start saying it is illegal and this and that, we think that they are committing a foul like we are playing basketball. essentially they are playing an entirely different game and that's the way it is. ..
and how long are they? think over time, we are seeing more and more revealed. suspected they would rise to that level. for u.s.ual challenge law enforcement and intelligence. on one end, we have to look at how security, national security has been over the last couple of decades and it's been viewed from the optic of counter narcotics and that's the number one threat that most of the u.s. government has wrestled with latin america over time and they use the word threat networks, and we have to understand that with a counter narcotic alleged strategy there is an opportunity cost to that. what's the opportunity cost to counter narcotics? counterintelligence. the iranians know that.
they are masters at deception. why is it that everywhere in the world we acknowledge that hezbollah and iran work hand in hand. we see it in syria. i just came back from latvia, at a forum, mostly members of the eu, and they look at me like with shock, they didn't know that this even existed. when we get to latin america, we say, no, we don't. they don't cooperate. i think fundamentally what happened is we lost the ability to do counterintelligence in latin america and the iranians know that. they have been exploiting that for a long time. theink what to look at latin america part, i think we also have a legal challenge that lacked counterintelligence and it's a point of communication. it's become more prevalent, meaning that a bunch of networks are converging and how is that interpreted with our partners
and friends in latin america? they hear the criminal part before they hear the terrorist part. so oftentimes when we talk to folks in latin america they don't have a proper designation of terrorism the way we do in the united states. hezbollah does not exist as a terrorist organization in latin america. nobody designates it, in paraguay it might be a counterfeiting organization and they don't acknowledge that hezbollah is what they say they are and what we know them to be , which is an international terrorist organization. there are legal challenges that we need to address and that's been the vacuum in which most of the u.s. government has seen things which is why they missed it. >> we had to tackle those issues as they're making their way north that of columbia they knew that would not be a friend of the submersible and then some
point you have to have that framework with the partners where they are willing and able now we will give you a giant issue because the note you can handle it. but president drums administration is going after some of these issues to issue the executive order to call us the strategic review of organized crime is now like to get your sense are they maximizing the use of the tools available? i would also love to understand the issue of what
they put out there because at the end of the day with all of these practical things so help us out because i know you are wise. >> so we will start with the good news and also expand what joseph mentioned looking at trans regional and transnational looking at at how all of these networks are related we are silos of excellence i only do counter narcotics.
oh i only do has blood or how mons but to think about how will these groups ever collaborate?. >> that is the convergence how was that reflected with the new administration? so also to show some political will. it was the of first act in the package have been ready for quite a while so how do we take that political will to export that? so our partners throughout the
so what are the lessons learned or what is a the impact of this and certain country has with interdiction you can have a lot in place to still have a corrupt prosecutor so until you have a holistic approach it is a bigger challenge. >> that makes it seem overwhelming. that is one of the challenges that we have. but in terms of treasury that is the law enforcement peace. >> so as you know, i have
trained many generations there is an inherent competition that we have the talent pool is fixed we are cannibalizing on our own people so how do we keep people abreast of the situation? or to keep up-to-date of the latest ways of virtual currency and also those innovative ways of coming in after 9/11 people want to serve but it is how you engaged those different sectors of society that was tendered 20 years ago but now it is all of us
with a public-private partnership to make amends when you have this very austere budget environment or even at the fbi with amazing investigators. >> if you talk about a very specific problem putting cases like this if we ever want to see venezuela this has to be part of what we take gone but had to tackle
this when the state itself is a problem? what are the tools that we have? so what do we acquire for those?. >> first and foremost, a package that was sitting there for year and a half with no action taken because the administration at the time did not have a broader strategy on venezuela. but it is always the right time to do the right thing and then to launder the proceeds of that so one of
those that we've mentioned and what we are recommending are those sanctions of billions of dollars and is a very important political actor so we don't want to be perceived but this is one way the united states can signal the asymmetrical tools that we have. that the speaker of the house of venezuela we will seize his assets so we may
use authorities to go after these stolen assets some estimate to the $50 billion to take those repatriate those as part of the reconstruction so those sanctions passed to be in a broader diplomatic strategy. but to confront the criminality to say you are next in venezuela and also included with international
cooperation to clean up toxic waste and build the institutions to confront criminality wherever it occurs. >> so going after the of money which makes them valuable is a large amounts of money there isn't a clear understanding of the amount of money for those of a clearer understanding that overlap with surinam or venezuela of bin overlaps with cocaine and you talk about a complex and separate
universe so the desire and willingness of those and we don't want visiting the country and focusing to resource people in treasury with the authority and they are costly overwhelmed but they simply don't have that capability if you view this as a threat so if you take the of away that is what makes it valuable. >> i agreed that money is instrumental but touching on
this a little bit this is how you fight to the networks that is sufficiently capable enough that we will not win this fight so if you're not familiar this term it means a war that is not thought through conventional means that is how you win the war. and go up against your adversaries reactor understand what they're doing. do we really know who they are? is great uncle is one
of the founders of the of movement so those networks that we're dealing with it is so well-established well funded and will train to network to build that same capability. but those structures took a lot away from us as they play with a completely different sets of rules wicking and brazil or guatemala the political will makes a difference and if you don't you can never get it again so this is the time. >> with that degree of
for violence or lack of opportunity and those other pieces to be a gauge with that idea of an anti-corruption particularly in latin america? in the third piece was so to think of the enemy is and adversaries for those that are the adversaries are the perturbations so those that are now facing best bird of drug trafficking and contraband and trying to get
them to own that. so with those toshio economic pieces but how to encourage investment so with that model that we teach that diplomacy piece of economics and investment so how do be better connect?. >> we're going to run out of time. it was mentioned earlier of the dissidents as far as the history and the connections to transnational organized crime and the question how
that peace process of columbia's touche transform itself into a political entity so how do you forestall them into coming into the political process? and know they feel there is a separate entity but the atf did they can be connected through that implementation of the peace process through the fork -- farc. some have been in combat many years and i think if
you look at the central american model there will be groups that do not demobilize with that capability in case those massacres start again. you cannot just say that the farc dissidents are one particular thing but the group that was just a bomb aboard probably retain a much organic link to those terrorist and a half to be the ones that have the illegal mining structure as
well a lot with production and this could be incredibly difficult pahari -- the numbers are small in relative terms thinking of brand new weapons and other places outside the camp with the new factory made the land mines and there is every indication now it is complicated that is a matter of political will. and i don't think from outside but to put what they did not turn over in the peace process with that critical infrastructure in
those areas in the effort to get into the political game but how long that to us so you need to harness the resources you cannot do that without money was the argument in the dow harnessing a lot of those resources to take that political power from the long lapse after 2007. >> but what about the strategic plan?. >> i was taken to school on this years ago.
so speaking to different members of the staff never assume that the enemies are as disorganized as we are. they have been cooking the sub from the insurgency to a political organization over decades and one of those that help to convince that strategy and then but the trafficking to maximize the profit. but to be a co-conspirator in money-laundering and to
masquerade as a social organization set to test my proposition to have $3 million then ask jose. and then you'll find a network of where the farc money is. and then on the peace plan that we are disorganized as we are. >> that was a success story a tremendoutremendou s thing in a very short amount of time and i do think the farc
and it is easy to do over estimate and always to do i don't think there is this monolithic force on the move either. they make a lot of mistakes. they don't all agree. . >> but the nicotine trafficking but this is replacing them above the cartel's and to be provocative with the drug trade and then what that
will look like so there are members who will that we have to hold accountable and others will create there so that the economy is still there. >> they have market diversity and all the other things. >> this is the first year we've actually had an increase in domestic consumption of cocaine in eight years in the united states, which is disturbing. >> let's give our folks in the back -- let's take a few questions which hopefully i will be able to read.
since we mentioned mexico and it is discussed in the report, one of our attendees have asked what the thoughts are the meredith initiative and why the u.s. should push so much money into that strategy? i think it's a fair question. i also think if anyone wants to speak briefly and anyone else who was to add a question and specifically answer this question from the audience? >> i should note that there are four of us here but 15 people that drafted the paper. that -- when we suggest these sanctions, there has to be follow-up. in the case of mexico, there really are no rifle shots. it has to be a holistic reappraisal. i think there's a great
understanding and appreciation for -- since fox took office and certainly called around, we've had a lot of -- certainly calderon, we've had a lot of cooperation. ae initiatives approached half billion dollars. the strategy of the mexicans, wasicularly under calderon, going after the kingpins. they didn't really have a strategy initially. what we say in the report is that, as long as mexico doesn't give its arms around the corruption issue and the impunity problem, they have a more effective judicial system. you are not going to get traction against this problem. and you are not going to have
the kind of political will, sustained political will, that will deliver significant results. thousands --ns of you have tens of thousands of people who have died in mexico because of this strategy. we are willing to talk in a serious way about the endemic corruption that undermines the cooperation among agencies or levels of government in mexico. that is going to be something that mexicans have to do within the four corners of their country. there are some things the united states can do. first off, i do think we need to sustain this effort. the consumption of drugs in the united states is fueling this problem. sayan't just walk away and that's a problem they have. to appointed crisis we want
deal with -- the opioid crisis that we want to deal with here is a direct result of the failure to control prescription drugs, which creates this debilitating addictions among tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people. if he doesn't kill them, they eventually go on to illegal drugs that are produced and transited from mexico. we have to get our arms around that problem and i think that's a high priority for the government now. on gun parts, people getting around u.s. regulations and u.s. law, i know we are big believers in the second amendment. theloophole is a way that narco's can literally outgun law enforcement. i think we need to look at ways to address that problem and
close that loophole. >> anybody else? about theally talk cost of crime. it, iose who haven't seen recommend the development bank did a study in february -- the cost of crime globally is about 1.5% of gdp. in this region in the americas, it is 3.5%. think about the opportunity cost. in mexico, it is structural. they train people to run away from the police, not announce they are a victim of crime. they are taking steps in terms the ways.g they are also trying to deal with consumption, which is something they had never really seen before, and trying to deal with these precursor drugs.
bilaterally, in spite of what we think about the rhetoric, we have a very strong operational relationship, on narcotics, intelligence, border could -- border control. the fear of what we call special interest aliens coming in using the same pathways to come through into our country. at theou were to go look attacks in belgium, for example. you would see that they actually tapped into the criminal networks to get their documents and their weapons. in colombia, we saw a convergence of terrorism and criminal activity. one should assume that can't happen again some way. -- not that we need to be paranoid about it, but we need to understand the possibilities. >> thanks to u.s. training and
technical assistance, they whoally caught a somali have multiple identities who was on a no-fly list. he was crossing panama into costa rica. they use while metrics. it's a question of how you can get multiple passports. paraguay, he had come through on the way from brazil. it's interesting. atthat's a good way to look hezbollah. lawsection of iran-has the in the report -- iran-has the iran-hezbollah. if you think of crime as a
holds some ofllah the tolls. they've gotten really good at using different types of trade-based money laundering systems. system theyces, the pretty much control. do a tremendous amount of criminal activity from illicit mining to money laundering to trafficking, but they are fundamentally a terrorist organization. whoink it was the senator mentioned a couple of hezbollah operatives who got arrested in panama not too long ago. if you look into the history of one of the operatives, he said to thefamily connections bombers from the attack in bulgaria a few years ago. that's fundamentally transnational.
>> but the get through a couple more questions from the audience. we have a view on venezuela. one question, which i think is pretty easy to answer, is venezuela is the center of that the do you agree call for human rights makes it a good candidate for partisan action in the u.s.? >> there is a strong bipartisan consensus on this. saying he should be investigated and sanctioned was initiated by staff -- cosigned by jeff duncan. there were seven democrats, seven republicans.
the venezuela organization that talks about the criminology -- criminality was cosponsored by marco rubio. this is an area -- think about washington today. this is an area where you have people on capitol hill who got smart about this issue, got engaged with this issue, and work across party lines without a second thought. precisely because they know it's a crisis, they know it is something they are confronting. this is a great opportunity for the trump administration to take yes for an answer. >> any dissenting views? it's interesting. --'s just get through this this is an interesting question. i don't know if anyone will be prepared to speak to this. what role do international banks play in policing?
is there some redesign that's needed on bank regulations that needs to be addressed if we are going to get back at these issues? i'm not a banking expert. >> the u.s. banking system is one of the biggest money laundering centers in the world. they are not too bothered about -- know your customers and things like that. coupled with the offshore havens that exist, when you have an enormous amount parked offshore in ways that are completely invisible to the outside world. they all have banking relationships with the united states. the way they can move the money into the system is because they have correspondent relationships with banks in the united states. we don't come on the u.s. side, care very much about cutting off the business. you couple that, i think, with
the huge problem out of latin america, is ways that we have no visibility. they are out of our reach. when they figure out how to do that, which they are now in they have begun doing more and more, it's potentially gone. you have this creation of this very large universe of money or resources not bound by any of the rules that we would like to think that we are bound by. i think that is becoming an enormous problem. >> another alternative universe. very challenging. you probably couldn't hire enough people at treasury to get to that. >> you can push banks and there has been some success against banks to knowledge their responsibilities. wells fargo and others paid enormous fines but they still made a profit on the transaction. it would take a lot of political will.
>> anything else you would like to add? >> as a recovering investment -- it was a very fundamental piece in the united states. when you come as a bank, accept responsibility for laundering -- in the case of hsbc, the fine and mexico is $29 million. it was $2 billion almost here in the united states. it's the bank did it. somebody actually did it. nobody did what they call a perp walk. as antually take it institutional macomber. it's all about how you apply the law. for the u.s.ficult government to ask other
countries to do that when they say, taken as a write-off as opposed to actually applying the law. >> i'm not a recovering investment banker, but in the area of looking at players in the game of banking, you have to look at china. china has become a really relevant player in latin america over the last decade, has really accelerated to the number one trading partner to a lot of these countries. china has a development bank that rivals the world bank and it's developed all sorts of alternative systems to make payments. it was done in part -- in partnership with the u.s. congress but also the department of treasury who are looking at things like crypto currencies thatther new technologies
we haven't really gotten into that game yet. china is a big player on that. >> i think a lot of folks think that they understand putin and who he is. r, he wants to realize the greatness of the soviet union, the russian empire. an expert explained to me that he is a gangster. he is a criminal. he's a criminal boss. withs no problem working any others with a similar profile to advance his interests. he's one of the principal ofporters of mindoro -- think, is and he, i
going to be taking a good look at mexico and playing in mexico, too. -- playing in mexico to sow unrest but also tap into the criminal and intelligence networks that the criminals operate right here in our neighborhood. theo there's no end to criminality? i think that's a depressing note to end on. let me try to make it less depressing. think it is the hope of the people who were involved in this, many of whom are in the audience. of --s a whole series actually, everybody on this list , we know them a debt of gratitude for being involved. i think it is the hope of the people that we are involved in this process, that policymakers
will take a serious look at what has been assembled here from public sources, from the knowledge of the people who are involved. the tools recommended, and think seriously about how they push them into motion and act on them, whether it is treasury or some other element of the u.s. government. we see this, i think, as an imperative, not just in the western hemisphere, countries that we share with, but also ourselves, what these people carry across our border. in terms of threats and criminality in our cities, drugs and other things, i think it's an imperative. this group of people sat down and really gave some thought to how we dig out of it. for that, we thank them. [applause]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] a --nday on two and >> -- sunday on q&a -- >> nick, two years later, he would win a landslide, and then it often part. >> columnist and political commentator pat cannon. he served -- pat buchanan. he discusses his book, "nixon white house war." pat: i wrote in a memo saying, i think you will have to keep the
five tapes of conversations with dean. i didn't think they would be that damaging to us. keep the tapes with brezhnev and the foreign policy stuff, the stuff that you need. i said, take the rest out and burn it and shut down this special prosecutor's office now before this thing grows into a monster. i didn't know it at the time but gue andad called in ha entertain the idea and they said, it would be obstruction of justice. first of all, i didn't recommend burning subpoenaed tapes and second, they were his property and executive privilege. and peach and be damped -- damned, i think he would've moved right through it. nixon said, in his memoirs, that had he burned the tapes, he
would have survived, and i think he's right. >> in his weekly address, the president talked about immigration legislation in the house this week. representative joe kennedy delivers the democratic response, giving his reaction to the health care law or replacement. -- pres. trump: my fellow americans, this week, i was joined at the white house by american families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants. many of these illegal immigrants had extensive criminal records and had been repeatedly deported. every single one of these deaths was preventable. these beautiful american lives were stolen because our government refused to do its job. if the government had simply enforced our immigration laws, these americans would still be alive today. that is why, since the day i took the oath of office, i have been restoring the enforcement of our immigration laws and the