Transnational Organized Crime


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transnational organized crime Organized Crime In Africa

Organized crime is a problem that has spread all throughout the international
community. In the past, national and regional crime organizations were small,
isolated and worked independent of other crime organizations. However in the
past few decades free trade and high speed telecommunications has made it easier
for such groups to operate, therefore resulting in "global Mafiosi"
that seem to be working together around the globe. This new development makes it
hard for governments and the United Nations to combat international organized
crime. Lesotho, a nation of the African block is particularly concerned with the
escalating problem of illicit traffic of drugs and firearms linked with
organized crime. Not only does drug trafficking pose a threat to the structure
of Lesothos society, but also to its government. Profits made from these
operations are used to destabilize governments, corrupt officials and influence
government decisions. Lesotho is a member of the United Nations African
Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.
Furthermore it is an active member of the Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice. The nation of Lesotho recognizes that cooperation is the key
ingredient in combating organized crime. At present formal extradition
agreements exist between Lesotho and South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi,
Taiwan, the USA and Israel. International cooperation is required to
successfully prevent and control transnational crime. This is particularly the
case with increasing numbers of offenders fleeing from one jurisdiction to
another in order to avoid punishment and continue their activities. Countries
must respect and abide by the terms of bilateral and multilateral treaties that
they are party to. Organized crime which should be of most concern includes
terrorism, illicit arms trade, drug trafficking and economic crime, such as
international fraud. Freedom from the fear of crime is important to the
international community. There is a strong need for improved cooperation and
exchange of data for proper law enforcement. Suppression and prevention of
illicit trafficking can be accomplished by adopting an effective method
identifying and tracing good that are being smuggled. In the case of firearms,
there should be the establishment of an import and export and in-transit
licensing for their transport. States of the African region have many financial
difficulties, and are in the category of the least developed nations. Therefore
they often lack the necessary resources to combat crime within their nation.
Because of this the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime
and the Treatment of Offenders lacks funds to support itself. Lesotho strongly
believes that in the future conferences of organizations such as the Commission
of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, should concentrate on problems of
developing Asian and African nations. They are vulnerable targets for drug and
economic crime cartels. It should be recognized that because these nations lack
money they are high risk for succumbing to organized crime. Programs should be
developed to aid needy nations. To discuss these issues more conferences on
organized crime should be held in the future and all countries should strongly
be urged to attend.


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The Efferct Of Political Exchanges

In important respects, the regional context of the Western Hemisphere has changed dramatically in the past decade. Authoritarian rule has given way to democracy in
almost every Latin American country; societies wrenched by years of violent and costly civil wars, driven by Cold War ideological rivalries, have decided to settle their
differences with ballots rather than bullets; state-controlled, closed economies have been pried open, both by the distress of massive debt and the opportunity of new
markets. Today's world is marked by borders made porous by technological change, more fluid economic resources, and the continuous movement of people.

Hemispheric relations have also undergone a sea change toward more institutionalized cooperation. This has been manifest in many issues: economic cooperation as
embodied in NAFTA, MERCOSUR, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) process; political cooperation through multilateral diplomacy (for example, the
Ecuador-Peru conflict); peacekeeping operations (Central America, Haiti); and a more active Organization of American States, charged with defending democracy. Even
security cooperation has been shown in confidence-building measures among historical rivals in the Southern Cone and peacekeeping operations in Central America and
the Caribbean. Terms such as multilateralism, regionalism, consensus, and convergence pepper descriptions of hemispheric relations throughout the volumes reviewed
here. Most of these volumes must have been prompted in part by a shared belief in the positive potential of these changes.

Regionalism, moreover, means more than just free trade or military confidence-building measures; it refers to the hemispherewide convergence of values promoted by the
development of multilateral institutions, the development of a common community. The Summit of the Americas process best exemplifies this new regionalist impulse. The
three summits over less than ten years (Miami 1994, Santiago 1998, Quebec 2001) have solidified common principles and priorities in areas such as strengthening
democracy, education, and sustainable development; promoting free trade and the development of science and technology; and reducing corruption and transnational
crime. Even the summit organization itself, with little institutional infrastructure of its own, utilizes existing multilateral and regional organizations to implement its plans of
action.

Collectively, these seven books enable readers to assess the prospects for regionalism in three broad areas: economic, military-security, and social-political. Two of the
volumes, The United States and Latin America: The New Agenda and The Future of Inter-American Relations, are very broad in scope and assess major developments and
issues in all three areas. The contributions to the Dominguez volume as a whole seem to suggest a "visible shift in favor of regionalist multilateralism" (p. 5), wheras the
contributions to Bulmer-Thomas and Dunkerley are less sanguine, suggesting only that "the present government of the United States shows every sign of being
authentically torn between multilateralism and unilateralism" (p. 319).

The Grugel and Hout volume looks at economic regionalism in Latin America, Asia, and Central Europe as a response of developing countries to the challenges of
globalization. While only two chapters cover Latin America (one about Chile and the other Brazil), the theoretical chapters and other case studies are useful to
comparativists interested in the political economy of regionalism. The remaining four volumes focus on cooperation regarding security relations. A key theme of these is
that the security situation in Latin America has become much more complex and difficult to manage since the end of the Cold War.

The best overview of the range of these complexities is International Security and Democracy. Its contributors argue not only that traditional threats to security persist in
the region, but that democratization itself and the growth of nontraditional threats have created new forms of insecurity for the region's nation-states. The persistence of
traditional threats was brought home by the violent Ecuador-Peru conflict of 1995-96, which is richly documented in the Marcella and Downes volume. Traditional threats,
such as arms races, border conflicts, and forced modernization programs, are also the focus of the Tulchin and Rojas work. Despite some progress on specific issues, the
contributions to this volume make clear that considerable divergence remains among major actors concerning the possibility, desirability, and means for enhancing
cooperative security. Finally, Tom Farer's Transnational Crime in the Americas is devoted to showing how regional security relations are increasingly dominated by
nontraditional threats stemming from transnational organized crime.

While the context of hemispheric relations has indeed changed, it is not as certain that hemispheric cooperation, integration, and regionalism have now become the ... more

transnational organized crime

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