Special Report

China’s Rampant Illegal Fishing Is Endangering the Environment and the Global Economy

If the term “illegal fishing” conjures images of small numbers of scattered vessels independently pirating the sea’s resources, think again. The problem of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing stems increasingly from state-supported deep water fishing fleets, including massive trawlers accompanied by sustainment vessels, freezer, and transport vessels. Operating continuously in large groups with global reach, these industrial-scale flotillas are able to drag massive nets, literally capturing everything in their wake, often without regard for fisheries laws or consent of the coastal nations.

It’s how a sharp increase in IUU fishing by Chinese fishing boats over the past decade has come to threaten the world’s oceans, deprive seaside nations of their economic livelihoods, and undermine international laws and norms.

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Academia

Climate Change as a Regional Security Issue 
Climate Change as a Regional Security Issue 

Published in the Journal of the Americas, Volume 4, Third Edition 2022, the U.S. air Force professional magazine.    Introduction  This paper analyzes the impacts of climate change on the roles and missions of the armed forces in Latin America and the Caribbean, and examines the range of missions generated or affected by direct or indirect effects of climate change. First, it starts with credible evidence from the United Nations’ intergovernmental panel on climate change, which states that temperatures are likely to rise by two to four degrees Celsius, thus increasing the number of extreme weather events, and leading to [ … ]

Tussle for the Amazon: New Frontiers in Brazil’s Organized Crime Landscape 
Tussle for the Amazon: New Frontiers in Brazil’s Organized Crime Landscape 

Brazil is witnessing a “tussle for the Amazon”—a new and deadly phase in the history of its organized crime groups and their operations. While the country is no stranger to violent criminal organizations, recent years have seen groups building increasingly sophisticated networks, both within and beyond Brazil’s borders. In the strategic state of Amazonas, these developments have sparked a power struggle between several of the country’s largest criminal organizations that has concerning implications for the stability of Brazil as a whole.    Three major groups currently vie for power. The most known is the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da [ … ]

Toward a Strategy for Responding to the PRC in Latin America
Toward a Strategy for Responding to the PRC in Latin America

This article was first published on Global Americans on October 6, 2022. As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) expands its engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean, a common refrain in Washington is to lament the lack of an effective U.S. strategy in response, as well as the lack of U.S. government attention to the region in general. Having served on the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department (S/P), as well as engaging with U.S. government colleagues over the years, in an academic capacity, I can attest that many talented people in both republican and democratic administrations [ … ]

Fishing for Security: Taking on Illegal Fishing in Latin America
Fishing for Security: Taking on Illegal Fishing in Latin America

This article was first published in September 2021, by the Jack Gordon Institute for Public Policy, part of Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School for International and Public Affairs. Introduction Over 25 years ago, illegal fishing was seen as a significant threat to international fisheries. Extraordinary efforts, such as the adoption of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the UN Compliance Agreement, illustrated the importance of addressing illegal fishing at the global level. The countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have a long history of addressing fisheries interests by leading global efforts. The Santiago Declaration of 1952 [ … ]

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U.S. Air Force Major General Barry Cornish, commander of U.S. Air Forces Southern/12th Air Force
Primarily, we do security cooperation. We focus in the aerospace and cyber domains. Our planning assumptions and our campaign support plan mesh with SOUTHCOM’s [U.S. Southern Command] campaign planning and strategy.
U.S. Air Force Major General Barry Cornish, commander of U.S. Air Forces Southern/12th Air Force
Brigadier General Steven Ortega, commander of the Belize Defence Force
Our relationship with Mexico is very good. Presently, we offer Mexico overflight rights, so they can try to locate the illegal flights and try to identify where they could land, so we are in a better position to respond. We do combined patrols along the border with the Mexicans and it’s working excellently.
Brigadier General Steven Ortega, commander of the Belize Defence Force
Brigadier General Miguel Ángel Rivas Bonilla, deputy chief of the Salvadoran Armed Forces’ Joint Chiefs of Staff
We integrate in different ways to combat transnational organized crime on our borders. One of them is through the Central American Armed Forces Conference, where we build relationships based on mutual support and trust, a highlight of which is transnational border patrols.
Brigadier General Miguel Ángel Rivas Bonilla, deputy chief of the Salvadoran Armed Forces’ Joint Chiefs of Staff