Date of Graduation

Summer 2014


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Andrei Shoumikhin


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the development and motivations of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and their impact on the Latin American region, from countries in South America to Central America. Many of the security issues the United States now potentially faces as a result of regional TCO activity, including the threat of a possibly overwhelming illegal immigration problem, TCO-terrorist collaboration, increasing gang violence, and economic difficulty, are explored. Recommendations for combatting the activity of TCOs are given, with an emphasis on international, multilateral intelligence cooperation and anti-money laundering (AML) operations, as well as increasing the presence of Threat Finance Units and the development of a plan of action; i.e., actively following through on the enumerated White House anti-TCO strategy. The threats posed by transnational organized crime are numerous and its effects are global, making the counteraction of TCO activity an important part of national security strategy for the United States and all governments worldwide.


transnational criminal organizations, Latin America, narco-trafficking, security, anti-money laundering

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Lori M. Blackmon

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