Corrupting Influences are taking a Toll on this Hemisphere
By Jerry Brewer
Corruption in Mexico and many Latin American and Caribbean nations has been a major destabilizing force to homeland security, tourism, and overall fiscal development. Erosion of public trust has come not only from the perceived lack of safety and security due to astronomical homicide rates for some, but also the saturation of organized crime.
Transnational organized crime and its seemingly endless financial resources is the lifeblood of corrupting police, government officials, the military, business leaders and others. Few expenses are spared to undermine the forces directed against them, as well as the ramifications of what the rule of law could do to them.
According to some estimates, the illegal economy accounts for eight to 15 percent of world GDP. This includes the illicit networks involved in human and sex trafficking, arms brokers, narcotics trafficking, counterfeit consumer goods, human organ trafficking, oil theft, and a myriad of related services and products.
Estimating the annual costs and revenues generated by transnational criminal networks has been the strategic and proactive work of the US State Department's Crimes Program Division - Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Part of this effort is for building up law enforcement capabilities of foreign governments to combat the increasing linkage between drugs, crime and corruption.
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