On Tuesday, February 6, Representative John Delaney (Maryland – 6th District) visited the Perry Center to meet with faculty members to discuss the complex security environment in the Americas and explore implications for US policymakers. Congressman Delaney is a member of the US House Committee on Financial Services and the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance.
After Acting Director Jeffrey Murphy briefed on the congressman on the mission and academic programs of the Perry Center, Professor of Practice Celina Realuyo discussed transnational criminal organizations in the Americas and the threat posed by the convergence of illicit networks that include criminal, terrorist, and extra-regional state and non-state actors. Given Representative Delaney’s committee assignments, Professor Realuyo spoke at length about threat financing and how the United States can disrupt the money flows that serve as critical enablers of these networks.
Associate Professor Dr. David Spencer then talked about the peace accord between the Government of Colombia and the FARC. Topics included the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), Colombia’s transitional justice program covering crimes related to the war, including the actions of guerillas, state agents, and financiers; Colombia’s new counternarcotics policy based on crop substitution; and the upcoming May presidential elections.
Associate Professor Dr. Boris Saavedra gave an overview of the political, economic, and military situation in Venezuela, with special attention to the implications for US defense policy. Dr. Saavedra then explored cyber vulnerabilities among partner nations in the Western Hemisphere. Areas of emphasis included the susceptibility of critical infrastructure, the prevalence of attacks by non-state criminal actors, and the potential for indirect, secondhand exposure of US systems.