For immediate release | Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tri-Border Countries Enter into Alliance Against Terrorism

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Argentina Designates Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization

(New York, N.Y.)On July 22, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay entered into an alliance with the United States to counter “illicit activity” and terrorism in the Tri-Border Area (TBA), the region that straddles the three South American countries’ borders. The “three plus one” alliance, which targets Hezbollah and Iran specifically, was made at the Buenos Aires Summit with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The announcement follows Argentina’s decision to formally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which coincided with the 25-year anniversary of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) headquarters in Buenos Aires. Both Hezbollah and its financial sponsor Iran are blamed.

Argentina has a history of Islamic terrorism. Numerous groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda, operate in the TBA and have fundraised and plotted attacks from the region, including two Hezbollah-linked attacks on Jewish targets in Buenos Aires: the 1992 bombing of the Embassy of Israel that killed 29 people, and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA headquarters that killed 85 people—Argentina’s deadliest terrorist attack to date.

Last year, CEP released a report titled The Many Criminal Heads of the Golden Hydra. It found that the TBA has grown into a mini-state that benefits a corrupt elite. The area has become the center of a number of illegal activities like money laundering and cigarette smuggling that benefit Hezbollah—to the tune of up to $800 million a week or $43 billion a year. The TBA presents a significant challenge for national authorities of all three countries. The International Monetary Fund has expressed particular concern about the effect the money laundering and terrorist financing in the region will have on the effective functioning of legitimate capital flows around the world.

To read the CEP report, The Many Criminal Heads of the Golden Hydra, please click here.

To read the CEP report, Argentina: Extremism and Counter-Extremism, please click here.

To read the CEP report, Brazil: Extremism and Counter-Extremism, please click here.

To read the CEP report, Paraguay: Extremism and Counter-Extremism, please click here.