DOJ's Role in Fighting Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in Latin America | Wilson Center

60 minute watch | November.23.2020

Over the past four years, the White House and State Department have largely retreated from the fight against corruption in Latin America. The U.S. Department of Justice, however, has continued to take a more active role, combating drug trafficking, money laundering, and public corruption in the region.

The flurry of recent cases involving Latin American lawbreakers includes the indictment in March of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro for alleged cocaine trafficking; the conviction by a Brooklyn jury last year of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord; allegations by federal prosecutors that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was a co-conspirator in his brother's drug-running; and multiple prosecutions under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Most recently, federal prosecutors charged a former Guatemalan finance minister with laundering $10 million, including in drug proceeds, and U.S. officials arrested former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

This session discussed the Justice Department's role in policing high-level misconduct in Latin America, and the U.S. interest in strengthening the rule of law in the region.

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