Author(s)Sullivan, Mark P.
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
Sociology and Law
*UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
FARC(REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES OF COLOMBIA)
ELN(NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY)
UAC(UNITED SELF-DEFENSE FORCES OF COLOMBIA)
ATA(ANTI-TERRORISM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM)
OAS(ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES)
CICTE(INTER-AMERICAN COMMITTEE ON TERRORISM)
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AbstractSince the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America has intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In its April 2009 "Country Reports on Terrorism," the State Department maintained that terrorism in the region was primarily perpetrated by terrorist organizations in Colombia and by the remnants of radical leftist Andean groups. Overall, however, the report maintained that the threat of a transnational terrorist attack remained low for most countries in the hemisphere. Cuba has remained on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982 pursuant to Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, which triggers a number of economic sanctions. Both Cuba and Venezuela are on the State Department's annual list of countries determined to be not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts pursuant to Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act. U.S. officials have expressed concerns over the past several years about Venezuela's lack of cooperation on antiterrorism efforts, its relations with Iran, and President Hugo Chavez's sympathetic statements for Colombian terrorist groups. The State Department terrorism report noted, however, that President Chavez publicly changed course in June 2008 and called on the FARC to unconditionally release all hostages, declaring that armed struggle is "out of place" in modern Latin America. In recent years, U.S. concerns have increased over activities of the radical Lebanon-based Islamic group Hezbollah and the Sunni Muslim Palestinian group Hamas in the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The State Department terrorism report maintains that the United States remains concerned that Hezbollah and Hamas sympathizers are raising funds among the sizable Middle Eastern communities in the region, but stated that there was no corroborated information that these groups had an operational presence in the area.
CRS Report for Congress.