Perry Center professor Pat Paterson presented to the Committee on Hemispheric Security (CHS) at the Organization of American States (OAS). Professor Paterson spoke about the impact of organized crime at a special session to address security concerns of the small island states of the Caribbean.
He emphasized that crime concerns in the Caribbean are growing in scope and magnitude, fueled by a resurgence of drugs being transported through the region and conditions such as ungoverned spaces, lack of economic mobility, and weak state institutions that exacerbate the political instability. Professor Paterson cited UN and World Bank reports that contend that illicit activities from organized crime generate billions of dollars of profits for criminals. The illicit activities such as arms smuggling, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and cybercrime are valued at an estimated $1.3 to $3.3 trillion dollars per year, about 2-5% of the global Gross Domestic Product.
Other panelists including lecturers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize. The Minister of Defense from Trinidad and Tobago, Edmund Dillon, also addressed the group.