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Follow the Money: Drug Crime, Money Laundering, and Regional Security in Central America

November 17, 2011
The newly elected President of Guatemala, retired military general Otto Perez Molina, ran a campaign that promised a crackdown on crime and drug-related violence. But Guatemala enters the fight against organized crime with distinct disadvantages when it comes to resources since it has one of the lowest tax bases in the hemisphere. Additonally, many observers consider the country's institutions to be among the most corrupt in Latin America. We spoke with a former Guatemalan Vice President, Eduardo Stein, about the challenges ahead for his country and its new President. Dr. Eduardo Stein was Vice President of the Republic of Guatemala (2004-2008) and served on the Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Prior to his election, he held a number of positions with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organization of American States. He also served as foreign minister under President Álvaro Arzú (1996–2000). He is working with Red Centroamericana de Pensamientos e Incidencia (laRED), a network of Central American research and policy organizations, and recently visited the Wilson Center to discuss laRED's paper on "money laundering" in Central America.

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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more