Experts on transnational organized crime and corruption in the Americas met at AEI on Friday to discuss ongoing challenges in tackling the region’s evolving crime landscape. AEI’s Roger Noriega spoke with El Salvador Attorney General Raúl Melara about the United States’ partnership with El Salvador on combating criminal groups. Attorney General Melara noted how strong the partnership has become in recent years but also voiced concern about his office’s ability to address increasingly sophisticated crime operations in El Salvador.
Later, AEI’s Juan José Dabou led a panel discussion with AEI’s Ryan Berg, former President of Mexican Senate Roberto Gil Zuarth, and William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Scholar Celina Realuyo. In light of the Mexican government’s recent failure to detain Ovidio Guzmán in Culiacan, Dr. Zuarth emphasized the country’s need to develop local crime-fighting institutions. Ms. Realuyo explained that as criminal organizations take on a more global scale, it will become more vital to focus on their financial operations to dismantle them. Finally, as evidenced by Brazil’s Primeiro Comando da Capital, Mr. Berg argued that the fight against gangs does not stop with incarceration and must address gang violence by tackling structural and institutional weaknesses