While the days of the organized crime of The Sopranos are over, the policies that were used to fight them have been revived in the struggle against domestic and international organized crime. These strategies in combination with a new interagency coalition are seeking to not only combat gang crime, but take down the gangs themselves. Numbers put out by the FBI estimate that there are roughly 30,000 “violent street, motorcycle and prison gangs” with some 800,000 members. Many are hoping that this new strategy of interagency information sharing will help to lower these high numbers.
A recent Washington Times article, Agencies Join Forces to Tackle Violent Gangs, cites how ingrained these gangs are in their communities to the point of controlling their neighborhoods. Close parallels between these gang issues can be drawn to the terrorist and organized violence seen throughout Latin America, who often control their town and cities in the same violent manner as U.S. gangs.
Heritage’s Dr. Ray Walser’s article Terrorism, Insurgency, and Drugs Still Threaten America’s Southern Flank, highlights the continued violence throughout the region by groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbus (FARC) and drug cartels who have long terrorized the region. These foreign organizations often operate in the same manner as those of the US, seeking to “preserve and protect [their] power, territory and profits through violent assault, killings, threats of violence and intimidation” as described by the Washington Times. Dr. Walser suggests the same actions being undertaken by the U.S. in Latin America might be utilized in the U.S. itself—to “improve interagency cooperation.” While violence continues to grow interagency and international coalitions look to be a promising solution throughout the Western Hemisphere.