Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —On Thursday, December 5, 2019, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issue, will convene a hearing titled, “Illicit Mining: Threats to U.S. National Security and International Human Rights.”
 
The hearing will be live-streamed on the committee’s website here.
 
Members of the media planning to attend must RSVP to RubioPressShop@rubio.senate.gov
 
Witnesses:
Patrick J. Lechleitner, Assistant Director for International Operations, Homeland Security Investigations at ICE
Jeffrey Haeni, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at USAID
Carrie Filipetti, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hem Affairs at State Department
Richard H. Glenn, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at State Department
Regina Thompson, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation
 
Hearing Details:
Illicit Mining: Threats to U.S. National Security and International Human Rights
Thursday, December 5, 2019
10:00am EST
419 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.
 
The hearing will highlight the global economic and environmental impact of illegal mining, with a focus on Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and other countries in Latin America. Illegal mining activities have increased throughout Latin America as there is high demand for gold worldwide. It is a profitable business for drug traffickers, and due to the lack of state presence in the mining areas, it is easier for criminal entities to launder money while posing tremendous damage to the environment. Earlier this year, the Miami Herald reported that illegal gold mining was a significant source of income for the despotic Maduro regime in Venezuela. Illicit mining poses a significant regional threat and a direct threat to the United States’ security interests in the Western Hemisphere as it enriches the pockets of undemocratic regimes.