Netanyahu commended the South American nations for their lead role in the “struggle against global terrorism.”
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed a joint announcement by Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala regarding their official designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, possibly targeting a major source of revenue for the Iranian proxy.
The three countries made the statement on Monday during the third Western Hemisphere Counterterrorism Ministerial conference in the Colombian capital of Bogota.
In recent months, Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have led an effort in several countries in Latin America to ban Hezbollah.
Netanyahu raised the issue in his meetings in recent months with many leaders. Israel’s Director of the National Security Council, the Foreign Ministry and the defense establishment also worked on the effort.
Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala joined Argentina and Paraguay, which have already banned Hezbollah.
Colombia also adopted the full US terrorist list, which includes the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Netanyahu commended the countries for joining Israel and the US “in our struggle against global terrorism. This is an important step.”
He called on additional countries to join this move
Pompeo applauded the announcement, noting that Hezbollah “and other transnational terrorist groups remain active in the region. The US continues to rally international support to counter these threats.”
In this move, the three countries joined Germany, Israel, the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council and Japan in banning Hezbollah in its entirety.
Hezbollah’s Global Drug-Trafficking Network
Hezbollah is active in central and south America and is a key player in the drug trade, profits of which it uses to funds its terrorism operations.
Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah has amassed a net personal worth of around $250 million due to his organization’s global drug smuggling operations, Al-Ittihad, an Arabic-language newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates, reported in May 2018.
The scope of his fortune was discovered within the framework of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Project Cassandra against Hezbollah, which aside from operating as an international terrorist organization also runs one of the largest drug cartels in the world.
Hezbollah established business relationships with South American drug cartels, the DEA said.
The DEA in February 2016 said that the “ongoing investigation spans the globe and involves numerous international law enforcement agencies in seven countries, and once again highlights the dangerous global nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.”