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Challenges at Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay Borders in the Context of Counter-Terrorism and Related Transnat

About This Webinar

Many security threats emanate from the broader geographic area encompassing the three South American States of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. These threats include document gaps and challenges relating to travel documents security and border management procedures and capabilities, which leave this ‘Southern Cone’ vulnerable to criminal and terrorist activities. The sub-region’s geography makes it a key trans-shipment route for South American narcotics destined to the United States and Europe, as well as for illegal migration, human trafficking, and other criminal activities. Such illicit activities have been linked to terrorism and its financing. In spite of concerted efforts by all three countries there continues to be challenges to be addressed.

Argentina, South America’s second-largest country, has a large number of land, sea and air entry points. Its remote and often porous borders enable the movement of drugs, arms and other illicit goods into and through the country. Moreover, there are indications that localized crime groups have developed ties with transnational criminal organizations present in the country and involved in drug trafficking from Argentina’s northern neighbor, Bolivia, over the northeastern border with Paraguay.

Paraguay has taken steps to enhance its counter-terrorism efforts, but those efforts continue to be hampered by gaps and challenges in immigration, customs, and law enforcement controls along its borders. Ciudad del Este is the heart of Paraguay’s informal economy and a centre for drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorist financing, arms smuggling, money laundering and fundraising for extremist organizations.

Uruguay’s strategic geography is attractive to transnational criminal organizations who engage in smuggling operations in the region, or in transit to other markets. Montevideo’s prominence as an international seaport renders Uruguay an attractive transit country for illegal cargo from South America bound for North American, European and African markets.

The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR for its Spanish initials) is a regional integration process which has also supported cooperative and national efforts to combat cross-border organized crime, its potential nexus with terrorist activities, and their destabilizing effects on the States within the region and beyond. However, these efforts are challenged by borders that are often remote and porous, vulnerable to exploitation by criminal organizations that are deeply rooted in the area, and exacerbated by the complexity of the broader region’s organized crime clusters, as well as the challenges within national and regional counter-terrorism architecture.

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), under the framework of its global Border Security Management (BSM) Programme, supports Member States in strengthening border security and management capacities to counter terrorism, by stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) across land, air, and maritime borders, as well as preventing the cross-border movement of illicit cargo and related transnational crimes, including through enhanced inter-agency and international cooperation, to collectively address terrorism-related threats more effectively and efficiently.

This webinar, focusing on ‘Challenges at Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay Borders in the Context of Counter-Terrorism and Related Transnational Organized Crime’, aims to virtually delve into the region-specific context and explore threat landscapes, border security and management challenges and successes, and discuss response measures and mechanisms related to countering terrorism and transnational organized crime. The virtual discussions will include presentations from key experts from the region, as well as incorporating the international perspective, and will touch on current threats and the evolving terrorism landscape, the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism, main gaps and challenges for border management, and the need for border security strategies, plans of action, and processes that incorporate counter-terrorism components as well as crisis and risk management mechanisms within the current pandemic context.

The webinar will bring together counter-terrorism coordinators, border and law enforcement experts and practitioners from national governments, as well as international experts from the private sector, civil society, academia, and other relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations to share their experience and ideas for addressing the existing challenges.

[1] MERCOSUR was initially established in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Promoting the principles of democracy and economic development, its main objective has been to promote a common space that generates business and investment opportunities through the competitive integration of national economies into the international market.

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Editor Border Security Report / World Security Report
Tony Kingham is the Editor-in-Chief of Border Security Report and World Security Report
Webinar hosting presenter
Legal Officer, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED)
Mr. Martínez has been working in the United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UNCTED) as a legal officer since 2005. Before, he had developed his professional career for more than 20 years working for the Government of Spain as a civil servant. He worked in the CT Office in the Security of State Secretariat. He participated in the Spanish Delegation at the Counter Terrorism Committee of the European Union. He was posted in the Spanish Embassy in Warsaw (Poland) (1989-2004) and in the Spanish Embassy in Rome, (1994-2000). Later he was working for the Presidency of the Government of Spain until joining UNCTED when it was established. He has a degree in Law from the University of Barcelona (5 Years) and a Master’s degree in Business International Direction from the Autonoma University of Madrid. He has made presentations in different Seminars and Workshops about terrorism, around the world. He has been awarded with the Civil Merit Cross of Spain, the Military Civil Cross of Spain, The Civil Merit Cross of Italy, The Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr of the Vatican. He speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish (mother tongue).
Webinar hosting presenter
Senior Expert, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism - United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Esther Zubiri joined the State Attorney-General’s Office of Spain in 1998 where she has developed her professional career over twenty years as a State Attorney specialized in counter terrorism. She currently works as a senior expert in the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT). Formerly, she served as the Chief of Justice, Policy, Legislation and Human Rights (JHRA) at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan. In 2012, she was appointed as the Agent of the Kingdom of Spain to the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe, representing Spain at the Committee of Experts on Terrorism (CODEXTER). From 2014 to 2019 she worked as a Senior Legal Specialist at Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States. As State Attorney Chief she worked at the National Court, the Central Economic-Administrative Court, the State Tax Administration Agency, the Ministries of Interior and Justice and the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country. She served as a counselor at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations and the Embassy of Spain in the United States of America. She holds a PhD and a Master’s Degree in Law from the Comillas Pontifical University of Madrid (ICADE). She has been awarded with the Merit Cross of the Spanish National Police and the Silver Cross of the Spanish Civil Guard.
Webinar hosting presenter
Chief, CRIMJUST, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Mr. Glen Prichard is a Project Coordinator at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), managing the CRIMJUST Global Programme since April 2019. He joined the UNODC in 2013 as the Project Coordinator implementing a drug control project in Nigeria. Before joining UNODC, he worked at the Australian Crime Commission in various investigation management roles since 1999 with a focus on money laundering, organised crime and drug trafficking cases. Prior to this, He worked as a criminal investigator in the Queensland Police Service in Australia since 1986. He holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Webinar hosting presenter
Director of the Center for Counter-Terrorism and Hemispheric Security, University of Buenos Aires (UBA)
Lawyer and PhD in sociology. Director of the Center for Hemispheric Security, Terrorism and Financial Crime of the University of Buenos Aires. Professor of Criminology and Director of the postgraduate course on Global Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, University of Buenos Aires. Former National Coordinator for combating money laundering and terrorist financing and, also, former National Coordinator and Representative of the Argentine Republic before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF-FATF), the International Financial Action Task Force for South America (GAFISUD) and the Group of Experts for the Control of Money Laundering of CICAD- OAS.
Webinar hosting presenter
Director of Multilateral Affairs, Uruguay - MERCOSUR pro tempore Chair
Director of Multilateral Affairs and Women Peace and Security Focal Point for Uruguay (current Chair). A career diplomat, she joined the Foreign Service of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in 2002 and has served as a counselor in the Embassy of Uruguay in Buenos Aires and as the Consul General of Uruguay in Barcelona. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, and Development and a Degree in International Studies.
Webinar hosting presenter
Acting Attorney-General, Argentina
Eduardo Casal has served as the Acting Attorney-General of Argentina since November 2017. He is one of the longest serving officers in the Attorney-General’s Office. He has worked 42 years in the legal sector, 30 years in the Attorney-General Office and 25 years as the Federal Prosecutor at the National Supreme Court of Justice. He was appointed as the Federal Prosecutor at the National Supreme Court of Justice in 1992 and remained in office until he assumed the role of Acting Attorney-General. Nowadays, he is in charge of both positions. He received his legal education at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) where he also teaches as an associate professor. During his tenure, the Argentinean Public Prosecutor’s Office has enhanced its ability to identify, investigate, and prosecute terrorism and terrorism financing offenses. In July 2018, Dr. Casal issued a Resolution creating the Counter- Terrorism Secretariat (SAIT, for its Spanish acronym) within the Argentinean Federal Prosecutor’s Office. The SAIT is not a prosecution unit. It does not handle investigations or advance prosecutions. Its mandate is to counsel prosecutors.
Webinar hosting presenter
Programme Manager, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism- United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Ms. Bradley is Programme Manager of the global, multi-year Border Security and Management (BSM) Programme at the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the United Nation Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).

Prior to her appointment with UNOCT-UNCCT, Ms. Bradley worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for Eastern Africa, serving as Head of Office and Programme Coordinator for the country programme in Ethiopia. Her work in this regard included leading national projects relating to criminal justice reform, better migration management and countering transnational organized crime and terrorism.

Ms. Bradley’s professional career includes more than twenty years with the Government of Canada working within the fields of border security, migration management, and law enforcment. This includes more than ten years within diplomatic missions managing border security and migration integrity programming in Southern and Eastern Africa and Eastern Europe.

Ms. Bradley holds a postgraduate diploma/M.Litt in Terrorism Studies from the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews, and a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Calgary, Canada.
Webinar hosting presenter
Head of the Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism- United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Mr. Rocco Messina is the Head of the Border Security and Management Unit at the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) which is the capacity building branch of the United Nation Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). Prior to this appointment, Mr. Messina served as Head of the Border Management Section at the United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), from 2011 to 2017, leading a capacity-building portfolio on Haitian national border policy. His leadership was instrumental to the creation of the Haitian Technical Border Commission, the Customs Police, as well as a specialized branch of the Haitian National Police in charge of securing the land borders. Mr. Messina started his professional career in 1990 after a two-year military police academy training with the Counter-terrorism Branch of the Italian Guardia di Finanza (Italian Military Police). During his 25-year long career he was deployed to several strategic missions, at both national and international levels, focusing mainly on counter-terrorism issues. Between September 2006 and May 2007, Mr. Messina was deployed in Herat Afghanistan with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Mission as Training Programme Officer, where he developed a training programme for the Afghan Border Police. He also served as a trainer during the same period. Mr. Messina holds a master’s degree in literature and a bachelor’s degree in international law, both from Italian Universities and he speaks fluently in English, Spanish and French.
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