Publication Date



[Excerpt] For most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, threats emanating from terrorism are low. Terrorism in the region is largely perpetrated by groups in Colombia and by the remnants of radical leftist Andean groups. According to the Department of State, most governments in the region have good records of cooperation with the United States on anti-terrorism issues, although progress in the region on improving counterterrorism capabilities is limited by several factors, including corruption, weak governmental institutions, weak or non-existent legislation, and reluctance to allocate sufficient resources. Both Cuba and Venezuela are on the State Department’s list of countries determined to be not cooperating fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts, and Cuba has remained on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1982. U.S. officials and some Members of Congress have expressed concern over the past several years about Venezuela’s relations with Iran, with concerns centered on efforts by Iran to circumvent U.N. and U.S. sanctions and on Iran’s ties to Hezbollah, alleged to be linked to two bombings in Argentina in the 1990s. There is disagreement, however, over the extent and significance of Iran’s activities in Latin America. The State Department maintains that there are no known operational cells of either Al Qaeda or Hezbollah-related groups in the hemisphere, although it notes that ideological sympathizers continue to provide financial and moral support to these and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and South Asia.


Suggested Citation
Sullivan, M. P. & Beittel, J. S. (2013). Latin America: Terrorism issues. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.