As Latin American governments continue marching toward ever-closer “integration” under transnational bodies like the socialist-dominated Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), regional leaders are now calling for what essentially amounts to a continental police force. The authoritarian regime ruling Venezuela, meanwhile, is attempting to erect a new hemispheric “human rights commission” that excludes the U.S. government.
During a ministerial UNASUR meeting held in Cartagena last week, senior officials representing the 12 member governments demanded the creation of a regional "Council for Public Safety, Justice and Cooperation." According to the member-states’ Ministers in attendance — Justice, Interior, Defense, and Foreign Relations — transnational crime represents among the most serious problems facing the region.
"One of the major threats to democracy today comes from the power of organized crime that establishes or seeks to establish, in some places, a sort of parallel power and tries to control portions of the state," explained Peru's Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo. "Organized crime not only represents a major transnational economic power but also a threat to the states."
There are numerous different criminal problems ravishing Latin America, officials explained during the summit. The trafficking of drugs, humans, and weapons, for example, are among the most serious threats. Other criminal enterprises that officials said should be tackled jointly include illegal mining, money laundering, corruption, cybercrime, and more.
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