In our August 10 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa spoke with Simon Fraser University Research Associate Benoît Gomis about the myths and realities of the threat of “narco-terroism” in Latin America.

The conversation began with LaSusa asking Gomis about his analysis of the threat posed by terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Islamic State in Latin America and the Caribbean. Gomis explained why he believes that the threat posed by these groups — though it is real — has often been inflated, typically for political reasons, and how this has at times distracted from more pressing security concerns.

LaSusa and Gomis also discussed the threats posed by other terrorist groups in the region — such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC), the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN), and Peru’s Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) — and how militaristic policy approaches have often failed to address underlying factors sustaining these groups’ activities and driving recruitment.

Watch the Facebook Live broadcast for the full conversation:

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