tv House Hearing on U.S. Drug Policy in Latin America the Caribbean CSPAN December 3, 2020 11:05am-12:00pm EST
find that's the est way forward in these countries, with this whole of government in providing safer, people toss place for have other choices than to be involved in the drug trade. mr. wilson: thank you for your efforts. thank you, mr. chairman, you'll always be appreciated. wilson. you, mr. i appreciate you as well. mr. connolly: thank you. wild. i'd like to direct my first question to dr. o'neil and important or your testimony you are giving today. my question is the leahy laws prohibit the united states from funding for foreign units, forces, forced
implication of human rights. human rights violations torture, forced abuses rances and gainst migrants has continued under the administration of rador.ent observe i notice the report does not nclude in the reference to leahy law in mexico. does the u.s. government have in place safeguards to guard against systemic human rights violations by mexican security forces? thank you, representative wild. it's an important question. thething we have seen under administration is, frankly, a eterioration in the relationship and working back and forth between u.s. law initiative and their programs and the current governments. dr. o'neil: they're less
than we have seen in past governments. one of the challenges, too, in is this reordering of the security forces. o we've seen the disappearance of some and the rise of totally new forces that have yet to, let's say, find their footing or find their coherence and order. i think all those are important considerations. and we create a ew merit initiative which both sides are calling for, particularly the mexicans are calling for, the human rights the nts of that, anti-corruption elements of that i think will be vital to be part of any compact that the u.s. government would form with the mexican government. you think by do undermining trust in mexican authorities these human rights the tions not only hurt mexican people but also undermine the objective of effectively combating narco trafficking? r. o'neil: mexicans have very
complicated relationships with their security forces. you see variations in support them. if you look at polls of municipal police and state olice, they're much less trusted than, say, the army has been trusted. variations in trust in the military forces, depending on geographics and depending on army.t with the yes, when the general population does not trust law enforcement in anyrmines, as we know community, right, it undermines of ability to bring a rule law that is sort of a fair and neutral rule of law. worrisome sly is a issue. ms. wild: do you have any pecific ideas what a u.s. administration can emphasize to our mexican counterparts that we elieve in a holistic approach combating the effects of narco trafficking in ways to advance rather than undermine human rights? dr. o'neil: well, what our report lays out is in many ways
we need to have a are mo holistic approach ourselves so he idea of strengthening, creating and strengthening the p.b.r.o. and the state epartment to convene an interagency situation, our way of dealing with this issue is a start. right? if we don't have a holistic approach, then it's hard to ask others to have a holistic that.ch to we've seen in the past, i would say, with the initiative, a more holistic approach ourselves. here was a high level security dialogue that's existed in the mix congovernment but -- mexican government but not in recent years. interacting with their mexican counterparts would be help. ms. wild: i know i'm running short on time. ambassador, recognizing the united states interference in the sofrpt of many -- sovereignty of many latin american countries, what see the most important initial steps that a u.s.
administration can take to make clear that its intent to on d relationships built mutual respect and partnership? really like that question. one of the high points as term my ambassador in brazil is a group within the state which does the., work of policy planning for the future, came down and the in brazil kept asking me, well, what are they going to nobody comesecause without asking. and the whole trip was to listen what was important to brazil, how do we work together, and not directing. listening e an early round without 100 new policies, chaired gency process by a -- let me go back to one
other thing. usa usaid as great of an organization it is, and we can't xist without them internationally, working with p will giving it more clout. one of our recommendations global said develop a health fund similar to the successful global fund to deal issues of drug treatment and dealing with the deal with patients in local communities. think we're killing you with the word holistic and whole reinforcesnt, but it each other. just go to our report that lists the fact that american correctional the a.c.a., has ecently continued to accredit prisons in mexico and today here's over 100 that are accredited that comply with our rules of safety, security, and
health standards. so that's an improvement. doesn't deal with the whole of country, but we are working together wherever we can. thank you, ambassador. i wish we had more time to talk. i'd love to continue this. mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. engel: thank you, ms. wild. mr. perry. perry: i thank the chairman calling this timely hearing. and the valued work and input of to commission and i want say it's been a privilege and a pleasure to serve with you, mr. chairman. agreed, but ways you've always been respectful and honorable and i sure appreciate that. that. everybody knows mr. engel: thank you, mr. perry. remain in the midst of an opioid crisis in this country and the crisis is exacerbated by the roduction and trafficking of fentanyl. we know that fentanyl and other synthetic opioids claimed the 36,500 americans. that's in one year. one year.
americans. in 2016, a report by the d.e.a. drug that mexican traffickers are importing felt ational and -- fentanyl and fentanyl precursors from china which isn't a surprise. am sure everybody expects that. highlights china as a main source of fentanyl trafficked in states.ed again, not a surprise. regina labelle, chief of staff control tional drug policy during the obama doubtedration expressly the c.c.p.'s genuine oversight of the production and export of drugs in a "time" year.iew just last my question is for ambassador sobel. i'm going to quote to you a section from the commission report regarding the measures we take to confront traffickers. and i quote. the concept of a majors list increasingly an ak row
nistic. policymakers design the process plant-based drugs, in ly grown and processed lat latin america, and then transported directly the to united states. such distinctions make less rise of synthetic drugs, which can be manufactured lmost anywhere and shipped through the postal system. and they are. questions is, t why has china not been placed on the majors list? and then the second question would be, would you characterize the c.c.p.'s role in the export of and synthetic drugs as an evolution f the challenge drug trafficking possesses? and what can we do to china's role in synthetic drugs overseas? them to them to add majors list. i'll wait for your response. mr. sobel: clearly, we don't make policy, so it will be difficult for me to answer that
directly. that in let me put context. definitely indicate we don't see the value of keeping the drug certification and in place, process that does not mean that we are strongly indicating that i.n.l. should produce a global eport reviewing countries' efforts and clearly pointing out those countries that or, worse, work against the purpose of our citizens. that would be an appropriate place. but ultimately, while these processhave a political to it -- as mary pointed out, designations on sanctions have been so limited, bolivia, venz -- that it takes a political decision to do that -- venezuela -- that it takes a political decision to do that. y belief is in this whole of government effort here, those be and i'mues should
sure will be addressed in the future because they're critical right.ing it's interesting. i don't want to get political here. a country can w say one thing and do something else. nd we've seen it repeatedly with some countries. hopefully we'll hold them accountable over time. o thank you for asking that question. shannon. r. o'neil: i would just reaffirm cliff's comments there. the fact that china, for all the the ns you say, is not on list as a majors list, should that mechanism and sort of the ineffectiveness and the reason why we should kind of report. thank you. mr. perry: just to clarify, you oth agree the report should be something very different because t doesn't accurately reflect the current circumstances, the ever-changing circumstances? even so, even if there were a different report or some other
would tend to think you would agree that china needs in whatever our efforts are in that regard? answer that will quickly. every nation should be held accountable, especially as it welfare of our citizens. mr. perry: thank you, mr. chairman. yield. mr. engel: thank you, mr. perry. words.ciate those kind houlahan. ms. houlahan: thank you, mr. chairman. i very much appreciate you all i are testifying today, and will, i think, start my first question with dr. o'neil. been trying through my the foreign rs on affairs committee to focus on women, women in security, in particular, and this report we talking about today notes that the international drug been courts have not updated for more than three decades and they need to be
modernized. 2014 report from the organization of american states, nowhere in existing international agreements mandates or commitments made to nderstanding global crisis of controlled substances through the gender lens. so i'm wondering if you can talk a little bit, any of you all, i guess starting with dr. o'neil, bout how you would recommend our government seek to understand and address the role women in the role of the illicit drug trade? and how can we use these women gender-focused lens or issues or initiatives to help reduce the supply of dangerous drugs to the united states? dr. o'neil: great, thank you. important ncredibly question. as i know you are well aware, there's lots of evidence that included in peace agreements, negotiations in eace agreements, those agreements tend to come to resolution faster and last longer on the other side. so it is important to think
about both who is negotiating and who is working on these issues. e also know that one of the effects within latin america of the drug trade is the evastation of local communities. and we have seen -- though it's than ntidotal evidence hard, rigorous analysis, that while many of those involved in that ug trade are men, there are women who are brought into it as well in lots of different roles, from the all the way t through to the transit to -- into the united states. to the final users, as we know, as well. about developing policies, i think there are a few things here. ome of these are policies that should be gender-neutral or gender-blind. o as we think about strengthening court systems, as we think about, you know, thinksing impunity, as we about addressing citizen security, some of that should communities, all individuals, and so it shouldn't
be -- you would hope that it gendered.be but i do think it is important policy, whether it's run by usaid, or whatever agencies, because there are think about , to the types of harm and then the and of avenues that women girls play within those. an area that we have seen uptick that's quite unfortunate in recent years is as it becomes to move drugs into the united states, for various cartels areat these diversifying. they are transnational criminal organizations. hey are not just drug cart tells. and one of the businesses -- cartels. and one of the businesses is the trafficking of women and girls. i think especially with the we see, forced migration out of central america and out of venezuela, that and girls of women is -- they're increasingly vulnerable population out there out of their re homes and out of their own
countries. we would recommend as develop these compacts, as we develop this larger security programs assistant that we really think about that human trafficking aspect which exactly el to, if not part of drug trafficking, but they're often the same organizations that are committing both of these crimes. thank you. ms. houlahan: thank you. would you be interested in remarking as well before i ask my next question? mr. sobel: i want to be quick. i want to focus on the fact vertical here. if you are a drug trafficker that does not mean you do not do types of trafficking. and these hubs that exist, obviously one of those hubs is triborder area. there is definitely a crossover hat we are cognizant of and we need to be focused on as we develop local policies and ompacts to deal with these issues. ms. houlahan: excellent. it looks as though i only have and maybeeconds left, i'll try and throw in my
question and maybe ask for you help me with it for the record. you, mr. sobel, talked a little it about hole of government -- whole of government and it sounds throughout the course of this has been a theme. is in a wondering scenario that empowers the state epartment in this particular situation, what is the new role, if any, of the department of defense where they continue state ffort but the department being the driver seat? ofnly have nine seconds left my time. r. engel: i'll be very generous. mr. sobel: ok. i can't wait for somebody to say o the department of defense that they will be governed by the state department. i'll leave that to higher authorities. but it's an interagency process, ut it needs a head, it needs a convener. we believe in working -- and the report says it. shannon said it. security, h homeland defense, all of the bureaus. under pted and convened so that when we go to o.m.b.,
because only one voice, it will not ever be one voice, it's consistency. t's meant to be a convening authority. we know government too well. we won't have one person dealing critical issue. even with the state department, and i.n.l., there needs to e a demarcation of where usaid policies are engaged and i.n.l. engaged.are day.was not built in a [indiscernible] on january 20. shannon, do you want to add something? dr. o'neil: i concur what you put forward. thank you. ms. houlahan: thank you. chairman. mr. thank you, both. i yield back. mr. engel: mr. yoho. mr. yoho: i reiterate what my
colleagues said. luck to and best of you and pat in the future. mr. engel: thank you. sobel, you bassador said you are not in the role of making policy. you know the three witnesses oday, as all witnesses in the past, are the ones that give us he father that do go into the drafting of legislation that does get passed that does become law. are ur testimonies invaluable because so much this.ation comes out of president nixon had the war on drugs started in 1971. time period, to urrent, we spent over $2 trillion on the war on drugs. nd i've got in front of me a in t on cocoa production south america. they are less than half of what too.ared hecters they had 83,000 grown.
today it's over 212,000 acres. is not really s working. a shell game.done we've displaced it. our programs, as good as they focus on the symptoms. you know, it would be like a cancer. we're treating symptoms instead of going after that. increased s are production, increased use, the violence, the corruption, lack governance. if we look at the cause of these things, it's greed, it's money, the t's the power that narcotraffickers have. and that we really need to go after that. look at what china is doing with fentanyl -- and it does come through mexico, mainly through the ports, but it's also shipped in and china supplies for ill making machines methamphetamines, one has to understand the
behind china in the opium wars and that's for etaliation of the opium wars from the 1800's that led to shame.entury of they are wanting to destroy this country. them is to weaken us. when you see how many people have died, as mr. perry brought and other members have talked about the deaths in america, just a tip of the iceberg. it's all of the people that are that will be day the death of tomorrow that we have to combat. so we have to look at a from the $2 roach trillion that we have spent on his war on drugs that's not working. and dr. speck, you talked about metrics of m.c.c., and i agree with that. program.t's an awesome the metric of dessertification work.ot in -- decertification does not
work. what kind of metric can we put place that will have the teeth in it that curbs that activity? mr. sobel: maybe the chairman have about 30 minutes on that excellent set of questions. let me -- mr. yoho: i'm going to come back to you, ambassador. speck, first. i'll come back to you because i ave a specific question for you. dr. speck: on metrics, one of things you mentioned, we tried to emphasize this in the report. this.is what's behind you have to look at the financial flows. we need better tools. investigations. quicker prosecutions. it takes an awfully long time to money laundering case and we need to do that more effectively. mr. yoho: that's the kind of hear.i'd love to if you're there, you're seeing what's not working, if you can et this committee know in a report just say, this is what
you have to do. dr. speck: well, i think inancial flows, getting at the proceeds and the profits, it's not working. mr. yoho: i agree. unfortunately, also, what is not working is the interdiction and the at the ion, just going flows. as you said, these are symptoms. so even though it's a long don't pretend it's a one size fits all or a silver bullet. regions to go into the that produce coca and give alternatives, real alternatives. it's going to take a while. mr. yoho: let me pivot to ambassador sobel, because he hit about head on this economics. what economic developments can we do with the infrastructures today, via king d.f.c., usaid, m.c.c., that we say, the o a region, northern triangle, maybe do a egional compact, to put in the infrastructure that will bring in direct investment, foreign direct investment, the business partnering up with us, not that we can do with the that significant
investment in that region so they create an indigenous economy outside of the drug drug trade rve the because people won't need it, the people that are working the fields? r. sobel: well, another great question. our government is getting much etter in taking all of our silos that exist, including d.f.c., which now has to do cant new funding programming. ex-im bank is back in business again. many tools in our overnment that can be better coordinated to go into region and look at dealing with a more government approach. almost an interagency approach. what want to go back to mary said. i think it gets to the core of your question, which is a really important question which shannon and i both mentioned earlier. and that is, we do interdict 5%,
10%. but on money laundering, it's to .2%. close and it's remarkable. and it's not that reports aren't being generated. estimated that the private sector spends $4 billion to $8 compliance issues. let me give you a stat, which is amazing. there were 163,000 activity of money laundering in 2000. today it's 2.3 million. you have an yesterday -- i don't want to be critical. you have an agency which is ritical to this process which has a budget of $127 million. i'm not suggesting what congress should spend, but i'm saying is a critical area as you take away some of the flow of will hurt these organizations. mr. yoho: exactly. thank you. chairman.ck, mr. mr. engel: thank you. titus. s. titus: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for the
work that they've done on the commissioner's report. appreciate the fact that you've taken a holistic approach and moved away from the crop eratification -- focus.tion i want to mention, instead of at economic alternatives and ways to go trafficking that we also look at how promoting makeratic institutions can a difference. good governance. more democracy. ties into tackling the drug trafficking issue. ask the witnesses from their perspective, do they agree do they see al concurrent democracy promotion of rams and strengthening new democracies around the world that we should be doing? they see that fitting in with the goals of stopping some of this drug trafficking? about any talk
specific investments that we've government cratic that tie to the drug trafficking issue? dr. o'neil: thank you very much question. i'll quick off and let my colleagues join in as they choose. governance and democrat of governance matters. i think if we learned anything decades e last several of these types of policies is that it can't just be eradication. it has to be helping these countries create systems that can take on transnational organizations themselves. you can't do that if you don't systems, tioning court functioning police systems, or ther security, law enforcement that work and that can go after the bad guys and protect the good guys. and that is, i think, a challenge. if these nations have those law enforcement systems, and legislators and executive branches that work and and represent the people
not these illegal organizations, then that is how you, in the the harm that's happening there and also the harm that's happening here. how do we go about doing that? i think we have some examples of anti-corruption bodies that have at various place moments that have really helped strengthen rule of law. lawyershad exchanges of in terms of training how to work within court systems. we had programs that have helped these countries transform the legal structures to make them airer and more open and transparent and less susceptible nefarious influences and the like, and those are the kinds of programs that i think as part of this holistic approach to drug policy as we go forward. ms. titus: thank you. anybody else? dr. o'neil: mary, why don't you answer that? 'd like to talk about some of the -- mr. sobel: mary, why don't you answer that? like to talk about some of
usaid. mary, particularly the northern triangle, and i think she has a firsthand references of where we had success. dr. speck: well, shannon of them on the international commissions that have -- these hybrid commissions effective in e going after corruption. i might add, even in the absence f those, and in the case of governments like honduras, where we don't have credible counterparts, strengthening is absolutely crucial. these are the watchdogs, these need to roups that monitor campaign financing and other forms of corruption. central inly in america, there's a lot of penetration. at least there's a perception deal of great penetration, particularly in local areas of criminal groups, ncluding drug traffickers influencing elections. and controlling mayoralities and that. like the civil society, i would say, is an area we need to strengthen, particularly in weak
america.ke central ms. titus: you mentioned you were going to -- we're seeing backsliding in democratic governments around the world, nd that's become more of a problem during this pandemic. so i'm glad to hear you greeing with me we need to do things politically as well as economically to have a real and it really ch does make a difference. with mes what usaid does so few resources makes such a big difference, so thank you very much. titus.el: thank you, ms. mr. kinzinger. you, mr. ger: thank chairman. thank you to you and the ranking member for calling this hearing, thank you, both, for your leadership in our hemisphere as well as in this drug crisis. this report from the western emisphere drug policy commission could not come at a better time. during times of crisis we often
se see an uptick in the misuse and misabuse of different substances and while this pandemic is no what we're seeing is an explosion of these synthetic and other opioids. as we all know, many of these drugs are cultivated, from our southern neighbors into the united states where the market for these drugs thriving. while conditions on the ground is -- out latin manager latin america is getting worse, we counter drug trades from transition to coca go into legal crops and in the northern triangle we're making progress. as a result of this pandemic, many of the gains made n the region have been eroded by stress in the economies and in the hemisphere and i think now it's especially time to do more. question ask my first to ambassador sobel. ow difficult would it be to implement a millennial challenge corporation kind of style program to combat
narcotrafficking? and what would be the benefits nd some of the challenges that industries would face in that? mr. sobel: well, we actually your idea a lot. and we actually mentioned it prominently in our report. a lot of the measurable ty with outcomes, to be able to not are not programs that working or that need to be adjusted. accountability, which i think m.c.c., erstone of where a country takes responsibility, you have agreed upon outcomes and when you reach those get additional funding. if you don't, there are consequences. part -- t's definitely a key part of our program on accountability. not just to spend money but to effective. mr. kinzinger: thank you. et me also ask you, what role
does nicholas maduro and his regime play in the illicit drug trade in venezuela? how has that changed since he came into power? shannon, if you don't mind, i'd love to be the first that. respond to i think you hit, again, a huge resolving without that, you cannot resolve the issues that we're talking about today. you basically have a state that's become a criminal state creating an opportunity or a huge flow of additional drugs. in fact, the stat i have here is hat it's more than quadrupled since 2011 the outflow of drugs into the caribbean, our as well as venezuela as a neighbor. ut until we are able to deal with venezuela and make it a democratic nation again, not a pariah d state, we'll continue to have huge problems.
want to add to that, i'm sure? dr. o'neil: no. indeed just add that is the case. we have seen from now well over hugo chavez when kicked out the d.e.a. and other u.s. law enforcement that dealt ath these issues, you've seen huge growth in the flights that as cross venezuela as well venezuela is a safe harbor for those that traffic in new drugs s well as traffic in other things as well. of a -- that is a huge cost but a challenge for are s like colombia who trying to deal with these efforts as well as dealing with lmost two million venezuelans who have fled their country and come into colombia. nations. so the drug issue and the challenges, the pandemic, economics, it's compounded by the challenges of unlawful both as an
space where these people can be harbored or can use to traffic also in the ut refugees that have left or zuela and are taxing putting strains on the systems in these other countries. issue.s a huge mr. kinzinger: yeah, thank you. i sadly think we missed a really big opportunity or i guess burden in venezuela and we've ignored our own hemisphere a long time and i think have been really almost too nervous to be involved. let me just -- since i'm running out of time, i'll also ay we need to continue to look at roles of, you know, digital like bitcoin in this whole process. mr. chairman, i thank you for calling this hearing. witnesses and i'll yield back. r. engel: thank you, mr. kinzinger. mrs. wagner. rs. wagner: thank you, mr.
chairman, for organizing the the ng and championing important review of u.s. counterdrug policies that our completed.ust i appreciate, also, your many thisplishments as chair of committee. your commitment to bipartisanship and your tireless efforts in support of u.s. foreign policy. mr. engel: thank you. i'd also like to thank our witnesses for their to to improve u.s. efforts end the illicit drug trade and on our hem impacts sfee. -- hemisphere. travel e opportunity to to the northern triangle and pursue and seen the immense the drug trade has caused in the united states nations.artner i'm committed to improving counterdrug policies. a were just talking about it little bit. i'd like to delve a little here.
mate -- ilwill he jet illegitimate regime in venezuela hampering the drug trade. how does illicit drug through ng in and venezuela support transnational organizations in neighboring countries and throughout the region? specifically, what account u.s. and international to disrupt these destabilizing operations? mr. sobel: let me start by been close a number of times, but there are a number f foreign actors of which we know who they are that continually prop up this regime which makes it difficult. he amount of homicides in the caribbean that's risen so dramatically recently, we ofieve are the direct result
the transnational gangs that are transiting from places like caribbean to the get to our country. i think at this point we need to work with our allies, which important.ly e need to continue to stay focused on putting democracy into that country. e had an answer from our commission. would be more than happy to give it to you. i think we're struggling. is.now how important it mrs. wagner: as a follow-up, and out.call it how does cuban and russian regime for the maduro undermine efforts to hold venezuela accountable for i narcotrafficking activities? i believe those are the actors we're talking about. mr. sobel: right.
a few re's probably others there that have been buying venezuelan oil over time china. that plays a role as well. talked -- again, we're not making policy. can be an ns effective tool for our government. both.seen them sometimes it takes a long time to work. over time howment we can deal with this issue, is a cancer in not only that country but it affects all them, countries around including our own. mrs. wagner: the western drug policy commission's report recommends our the u.s. empower diplomats to negotiate bilateral foreign assistance compacts on shared goals for combating crime, strengthening protecting ems, and human rights. a o'neil, how would
compact-based approach save money and improve outcomes? dr. o'neil: well, we -- the approach is compact it can be very specific. the actual situation on the ground. so what colombia needs is very mexico or el salvador needs. sense it saves money and not putting in place policies [indiscernible] in that particular context. the other thing we envision here flexibility and the idea, especially, asking to eally think and implementing metrics and data is we actually indiscernible] programs are working. so these programs to prioritize. other ones, too, to put away and shift gears. a compact nature of is quite useful in getting the
the u.s. for taxpayers' buck. mrs. wagner: i agree. of time here.t i just want to say that the compact system also forms the for my bipartisan h.r. 2836, the central american women and children provitection act, which i championed with toress.tative norma and already -- norma torres. kick-start it will the bilateral compacts to systems n the justice of those countries and create afer communities for women and children. so i'm very -- i'm very interested in you taking a look o'neil, and figuring out how it will protect children from violence thwarting our nd counterdrug programs. dr. o'neil: thank you. i' i'll do that. add one other i thing, shannon? as congress makes these
ecisions, obviously, in the future, but funding is to these important programs. as you build a base of support able to continue that and not lose it and take years to critically k is important. and i'll just stress that flexible funding, funding as needs derives is an mportant element in the program. mrs. wagner: i thank you all very much. i'm over time. appreciate the chair's indulgence. thank you very much. mr. engel: thank you very much, mrs. wagner. ms. omar. omar: thank you, chairman. i really appreciate this conversation today. speck, is there any relationship between drugs and zation of corresponding decrease in violence?
decriminalization f marijuana, obviously, it's been occurring in -- we now have 35 states in the united states decriminalized marijuana. but marijuana had for a while a major -- the major source, an important source of traffickers.e drug but probably not as important as cocaine and then for a while heroin and, of course, fentanyl emerging. so it doesn't really seem -- it potentially -- azzs toassador sobel pointed out, allow law enforcement to focus on the most dangerous drugs. it's likely to have much of an my view, on the see cartel violence you exploding in mexico or unlikely de -- decriminalization are sot -- organizations diverse.
thismar: is it fair to say is less of a drug trafficking problem and more of an organized crime problem? dr. speck: yes. i would definitely agree with that. looking at the groups in mexico, they're highly diverse. a major source of income right is fuel theft. to think of these as drug rafficking organizations is overly simplistic, particularly today. hey've evolved into multifaceted mafias. ms. omar: yeah. that.eciate i really think it's important for us today to address the double standards that exists when we talk about atin america and drug trafficking. in september, president trump only identified two countries have failed demonstratably nherent to their drug controls obligations, venezuela and bolivia. what struck me about this is a t one orlando hernandez, supposed u.s. ally and partner
was named ascotics co-conspirator in two different cases in new york. was convicted on narcotrafficking charges. a demonstrative failure? not just a trump problem problem.blican it's presidents from both parties. genuinely -- and this is a question for all of you -- scourge of the organized crime and violence in the americas if we turn a blind own allies when they're involved? shannon, let me take element.tab on one it won't answer your entire question but it's anning from example. we talked -- an interesting example. we talked about the designation process and the majors list, as say, is something we should do away with. first, it hasn't been an
effective tool. used, as you point out, very sparingly as far as sanctions go. i.n.o. report that we are recommending in its much morel be able to utilized for the issues that out.e pointing so that it will allow overnments to make decisions, not black and white, but in some cases they're gray. orthe whole country at fault is it the power in the government? in this case, a relative to the government? giving more 're capability to our government to up these issues, identify them so they're not swept under rug, so to say, and let government make those decisions as opposed to saying sanctions or no sanctions. if that helps. ms. omar: does anyone want to
add anything? i have one more question. dr. o'neil: i'll say this quickly. i think a broughter approach in is when you have potentially unreliable partners in places, it allows you to actors. other it allows you to bring in civil society actors. it allows you to bring in the private sector. to bring in, perhaps, local governments or state governments in a federated ystem that might be more reliable. and so i think that is the benefit of this more approach, sed precisely when you have a ariation in the federal level partnerships. ms. omar: i appreciate that. aspectsin many of these credibility is important. to it's important we try keep it intact. one of the aspects of the so-called war on drugs that i needs to be on the table n relationship, it has oppression and severe human rights violations. i think too often our and our ding -- understandable desire to fight
narcotraffickers and cartels to give military weapons and training to police orces with partners of corruption and human rights abuses. n honduras, in colombia and elsewhere, this has led pretty learly to torture, massive displacement, detention and state sponsored murdered. failed disproportionately against black and indigenous latin america. how should we and our partners protect human rights as we're organized crime, and is that even possible with a militarized approach? and any of you can take this one. dr. o'neil: i'm happy to start. ou know, when we look at this approach, and we're precisely calling for a holistic approach government approach precisely because it shouldn't be a militarized approach. different compacts in our approach of the region is strengthening the rule of law.
if you have court systems that that works both for narcotraffickers and also human rights abusers. break the law in any sort of sense. i think that's important for citizen security in latin america. it's also important for the flow of illicit drugs that comes to the united states. sense, these kinds of policies i do think benefit both at what our ultimate goal is which is to reduce the harm of americans that happen here. so thank you. mr. sobel: clearly, i just want policies int of our every one of these compacts that today, whether it be carsi, focuses on justice, training, law professionalization. t focuses not only on the interdiction but being able to deal -- l society with deal with these issues. it's not always 100% effective.
critical part a of our program in the region. mr. engel: thank you. he gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. omar: thank you, chairman. you.ngel: thank >> i echo sentiments a lot of members.ttee you will be missed. i appreciate your friendship, brother. mr. engel: thank you. over this my disgust issue. it seems like talk is cheap and getting done.lot we have a war on drugs and that doesn't work and then we say money oing to go invest in these countries and then that doesn't seem to work and it just seems we're back at square one always. i have friends that lost loved ones. entanyl seems to be the hot ticket. mr. burchett: at some point i hope we tell these countries of rights, ave bail they don't have a constitution.
they maybe say they do. is they can stop it and they won't. china can stop it and they won't. central american banana rep licks, whatever you want to call -- republics, whatever you to call it, maduro and all it but they n stop won't. at some point we have to quit playing ball with them. soon. that will happen i'm wondering, how are we working with mexico to stop the and of fentanyl from china how can future foreign assistance better target and of the drug and what policies or strategies u.s. adopt to punish fentanyl producers? again, i think at some point like china, mexico, some of these folks, they know these roducers, they know where they're at. they ought to execute them. they're murderers, they're it just ur people, and never seems to end. i'll throw that out to the committee.
looking ell i am not for a job at the united nations. sir.'neil: yes, mr. burchett: and it's cold in here. hat's why i'm keeping this jacket. they normally keep it cold to keep these old folks awake. a boring topic. it's freezing in here. the ngel: if you know person. i will have the question and probably in 12 be heated up right in the middle of sum summer. ahead.t sorry. dr. o'neil: i think there are two ways to go after the issue.l these precursors come from china. this is a china problem. problem.s a mexico and so there it is working with discussing it with china and setting it up so that these leave china.n't that is a big china.
there have been discussions think those could be prioritized and focused on amid the obvious tensions we with china today. with mexico, once they enter of course, this is a new drug and one that laces in with that her sorts of drugs mexico transities up to and travis into -- transits up to into the united states. as these transnational criminal diversifies, i think we need to work with mexico but also work with strengthen some of the things we talked about in this report. of criminality. one of the issues that matters fentanyl is strengthening our ability to go after these financial flows. f you can't transfer the money to the people making it in china, then you won't be able to buy the fentanyl that comes in direction. as cliff has laid out in detail, and support unding
others to track it. that's a big part of it. the other part of it is finding mexico to share the intelligence when we see the in.anyl coming we know it's coming from china. other places but mostly china. we stop them when they come to the port system which is mexico's military, which is just a recent development. so working with those partners stop these as they come into the mexican space. burchett: you said stop the -- go ahead. mr. sobel: we also prioritized fentanyl very much -- now to capitol hill to fulfill our longtime commitment to live gavel-to-gavel house here on c-span. members will begin debate on decriminalizing marijuana on the level. and to ban private ownership of lions and tigers. first, the opening of the session. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captiong