Latin America: Terrorism Issues [March 2, 2012]   [open pdf - 423KB]

"U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In its 2010 Country Reports on Terrorism (issued in August 2011), the State Department maintained that terrorism in the region was primarily perpetrated by terrorist organizations in Colombia and by the remnants of radical leftist Andean groups. Overall, however, the report maintained that the threat of a transnational terrorist attack remained low for most countries in the hemisphere. With regard to concerns about drug trafficking-related violence in Mexico, the State Department terrorism report asserted that 'there was no evidence of ties between Mexican criminal organizations and terrorist groups, nor that the criminal organizations had aims of political or territorial control, aside from seeking to protect and expand the impunity with which they conduct their criminal activity.' […] Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. […] The State Department terrorism report maintains that there are no known operational cells of either Al Qaeda or Hezbollah-related groups in the hemisphere, but noted that 'ideological sympathizers in South America and the Caribbean continued to provide financial and moral support to these and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia.' In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held." This document also contains maps.

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21049
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