The Equation for Disaster: Terror in the TBA?

Author: Joshua T. Hoffman

Map with the Tri-Border Area Highlighted
Map with the Tri-Border Area Highlighted

The Tri-Border Area (TBA), enclosed by Puerto Iguazu, Argentina; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, is recognized throughout the world as the “largest illicit economy in the Western Hemisphere.”1 Encompassing a relentless cycle of corruption, chaos, and commerce, the TBA has developed a myriad of conditions allowing for the emergence of a safe haven for terrorist fund-raising and collaboration. Weak governance and widespread poverty combine with a geographical backdrop that frames an environment highly conducive to illicit activities. This analysis examines the environment of the TBA and concludes that in spite of enhanced intelligence, stronger regional cooperation, and small-scale law enforcement success, the TBA still holds the potential to threaten United States security.

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