Chairman Cook on the hearing: “Transnational criminal organizations profit from illegally trafficking drugs, weapons, and people. Their illicit activities throughout the Western Hemisphere are threatening to destabilize the region with violence, and they have directly contributed to the opioid epidemic facing our own country. President Trump has demonstrated that tackling these threats is a critical U.S. priority, and Congress has the responsibility to ensure that our federal agencies have the authorities and resources necessary to combat the threats by these networks. In Latin America and the Caribbean, this includes the Mexican drug cartels, MS-13 and other transnational gangs, and Iran-backed Hezbollah. This hearing will examine these threats and how the U.S. can more effectively target these organizations’ financial resources and undermine their business structures. Following the recent Summit of the Americas, this hearing will also consider how the U.S. and our partners can strengthen democratic governance and anti-corruption efforts to stop these organizations from continuing to profit from government corruption.” 

Opening Statements

Witnesses

Mr. Richard Glenn
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
U.S. Department of State
[full text of statement]

Ms. Jennifer Fowler
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes
U.S. Department of Treasury
[full text of statement]

Rear Admiral Brian Hendrickson, USN
Director
Network Engagement Team
U.S. Southern Command
[full text of statement]

Mr. Raymond Villanueva
Assistant Director for International Operations
Homeland Security Investigations
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
[full text of statement]