August 14-15, 2019, Perry Center Professors Celina Realuyo and Boris Saavedra participated in the seminar “Drug Trafficking and Migration in the Americas,” which was hosted by the Colombian War College’s (ESDEG) Regional Center for Strategic Security Studies (CREES) in Bogotá, Colombia. Over 157 professionals attended the event, including professors and researchers from ESDEG/CREES, Nueva Granada Military University, and other local universities; members of the Colombian Armed Forces and the Colombian National Police; officials from the Colombian Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and the Interior; as well as several members of Perry Center Colombian Alumni Chapter.
On the first day of the seminar, Perry Center Professors Celina Realuyo and Boris Saavedra each delivered keynote speeches about emerging trends in transnational organized crime. Professor Realuyo’s presentation examined the diversification of narcotics produced and distributed by criminal groups and emphasized greater cooperation and collaboration between the public, private, and civil sectors in order to tackle organized crime. Prof. Saavedra discussed ways criminal groups have appropriated new technologies to deal drugs, recruit and sell victims of human trafficking, launder money, and finance terrorism, as well as tools and policies to combat cybercrime. Other seminar presentations and panels focused on the nexus between terrorism and organized crime in Venezuela, international maritime interdiction efforts, interagency cooperation, and the Venezuelan migration crisis.
On August 15, Professors Realuyo and Saavedra and Perry Center Alumni Coordinator Molly Albin also met with the new rector of the Nueva Granada Military University, BG (ret.) Luis Fernando Puentes Torres, to discuss the institutions’ academic agreement and potential areas for collaboration. Later that evening, the Perry Center team and the Colombian Alumni Chapter held an alumni event at the Colombian War College, which was attended by 30 resident course graduates. The gathering provided participants with an opportunity to reconnect and talk about future alumni chapter initiatives.