The Rita Hauser Annual Event

Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a three session symposium on Novermber 18, 2009. The symposium brought together experts who discussed how illicit transnational flows of goods, money, information, and people increasingly dominate U.S. relations in the Western hemisphere. They discussed the challenges for the international community and Western Hemisphere nations in particular, to build on initial areas of cooperation, finding new ways and new regional mechanisms to reduce the harm that these violent organizations reap on populations across the region. Videos from the symposium can be viewed below. This symposium is supported by a grant from the Robina Foundation, the Hauser Foundation, and the Tinker Foundation.

Session 1: Organized Crime and Transnational Threats


David Holiday, William F. Wechsler, and Lee S. Wolosky reviewed with Stanley S. Arkin the expansion of organized crime networks in the Western Hemisphere.

Session 2: Local and National Policy Responses


Ramon Garza Barrios and Rodrigo Pardo discuss with Andrew Selee local and national experiences, policy responses, and the lessons learned in Colombia and Mexico.

Session 3: Regional and Multilateral Responses


Adam Isacson and Francisco Thoumi review with Shannon O'Neil the national and regional policies of the United States toward organized crime.

Summary Report: Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere