Illicit Arms Trade in South Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Involved people in these illegal transfers take advantage of institutional weaknesses and corruption to achieve their objectives.

One of the constant features found along the research is the weak handling of systematic information by the state authorities, especially from the police bodies. At the same time, the lack of channels that facilitate the free access to information about official proceedings make it difficult for the citizens to take part in solving the problem (ibid.).

The borders' porosity is another risk for democracy because bordering zones are strategic spaces for different illicit traffics which look to be controlled by organized crime. Internationalization of crime and its organization structures represent a problem for national security and for the region's stability.

Illegal traffic of fire arms is associated with other illicit traffics which are complemented mainly with drug traffic. Economic resources generated with those actions at the sideline of law are higher than state budgets of the region and groups involved possess very flexible structures, with amazing levels for adjustment and alliances that go beyond borders. Information from the United Nations reveal that drug traffic reached a volume of resources above the ones generated with the oil trade.

This has allowed the organized crime to control territory, even by consent of their population who get involved in illicit activities.

Governments from the region must give answers to this problem collectively. Confiscation of arms, with exceptions, respond to police operations addressed to the illegal possession of fire arms and not to fight the illegal trade and traffic (ibid.).

The lack of a regional strategy leads to the official denial of the role each country plays in the traffic routes. These weaknesses translate in the scarce importance given to the formation of officials and units to face the illegal traffic of fire arms.

Furthermore, there are regional and international instruments that should comprise the legal framework and frame of reference for the State's actions, but they need to be assumed and applied by national governments: CIFTA and the Central American Democratic Security Framework Treaty are some of them. But it is evident that officers and justice operators do not know about them. The Central American Police Chiefs Association or the Central American Integration

System could be some of the spaces in which

formative processes could be generated and specific policies formulated (ibid.)


In this short essay, the author has looked at the illicit arms trade in South and Central America and how that affects U.S. foreign policy regionally and globally. In Central and South America, the drug trade and the arms trade are completely linked. The problems of drug trafficking and the illicit arms trade are phenomena that are essentially related. It is practically impossible to deal with each issue separately.

As illicit trades, they account for the largest sectors of the black market.

They generally use the same routes, although arms production and the demand for illicit drugs are found in industrialized countries like the U.S., whereas illicit drugs production and the demand for weapons are found in the so-called developing world such as Central and South America. The war in Columbia between Marxist rebels and the Columbian government is at the epicenter of this trade and draws the U.S. almost inevitably deeper into conflict there. Without a coordinated response from all of the countries in the region, there will be little likelihood of resolving the problem there any time soon and bringing the conflict to a peaceful end.


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