On September 10, the residential phase of the CHDS course on Counter Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) and Illicit Networks began in Washington, DC. This two-week in-person phase was preceded by three intense weeks of distance learning through Blackboard. CHDS Director Dr. Richard Downie welcomed the 32 participants, who come from 15 different countries of the Americas, and encouraged them to work together to find the best policy solutions to cooperatively confront the common threats facing our hemisphere. The great demand for spots in this year’s course allowed CHDS to organize two simultaneous sessions, led by Course Professors Celina Realuyo and Patricia Escamilla-Hamm.
The participants come from a variety of backgrounds in the fields of government, the Armed Forces and other security institutions, private consulting, academia, and NGOs to begin examining developments in transnational organized crime and illicit networks, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trafficking, and cyber-crime. They will also pay particular attention to different regional and national strategies to confront cases such as Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Central America, and the United States. During this phase, participants will dedicate part of their time to research and preparation of a policy proposal for confronting the most important threat facing their respective countries, and this research paper will be completed in the final phase of the course when participants return to their original countries.