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Drug Trafficking in Latin America Leads to Humanitarian Crisis

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | Worthy News / World News

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– The rise of drug trafficking in Latin America has been neglected for so long, that it's creating an 'epic humanitarian crisis' on the border, creating a direct threat to national security, and threatens to destabilize the entire region, a Congressman said on Tuesday.

Rep. Matt Salmon (R., Ariz.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) that the United States "has been AWOL in the hemisphere all together, not just in the war on drugs." The most recent indication is the surge in young immigrant children crossing the U.S. border, where between 60,000 and 80,000 children are expected to seek safe haven this year.

Salmon said he recently visited a detention center in Nogales, Ariz., at the center of what he called an “epic humanitarian crisis” and a “total makeshift situation.” About 140 border patrol agents have volunteered to leave their posts and tend to undocumented children at the center. They are separated by sex and age and kept in chain-link cages under razor wire.

"I Iay this at [President Barack Obama’s] doorstep," Salmon said, pointing to administration policies such as deferred action that offer deportation relief for some undocumented immigrants who arrive as children. "It is because of his failed policies that this is happening."

"This shows us the lack of priority and focus that our government has given the scourge of drug trafficking right here in our own hemisphere," Salmon said. "Violence near our shores poses a direct threat to our national security and destabilizes our region."

The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has also made inroads into the region in recent years, revealing the transnational nature of the threat. Ayman Joumaa, a Lebanese drug kingpin, was indicted in 2011 and remains at large for trafficking Colombian cocaine into America and laundering hundreds of millions in profits back to Lebanon through front companies. — Source

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