In fact, the alliance between the Colombian drug trafficking organizations and Hezbollah has been reconstructed. Again, the key player in this process has been a Colombian citizen of Lebanese origin, Ayman Saied Joumaa, who has built a criminal empire based on the sending of tons of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico to sell to the cartel of “Los Zetas”. The profits are hidden through an extensive network of businesses including hotels, shops and exchange offices in countries such as Lebanon, Colombia, Panama and Benin. According to estimates from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), between 2007 and 2010, the network could have laundered US$ 329 million. Within this scheme, Hezbollah received a share of the profits in exchange for their support in protecting the narcotics and the money received in exchange for them.
With the above in mind, it is clear that Hezbollah has developed a number of connections with organized crime in Latin America. In this context, it is crucial to ask what these partnerships mean to the operational capacity of the Lebanese terrorist group. In other words, to what extent do these links provide new operational opportunities for Hezbollah in the Hemisphere? In this regard, it is worth emphasizing three points. To begin with, it is clear that the Islamist organization has found in its criminal connections an important source of financing. Moreover, the relations with gangsters and criminals have also provided new ways to improve its strategic mobility to penetrate the countries of the region. This is the case of human trafficking networks which make it easier to cross borders. But the same is also true for the possible utilization of semi-submersible vessels used in drug smuggling to transport militants to the coasts where they plan to act. Finally, these types of alliances mean that Hezbollah can hire mercenaries to execute attacks which exceed its operational capabilities, or where the participation of the Islamist group has to be denied and others blamed in its place. The clearest example of the potential of these "attacks by proxy¨ is the case of the Iranian agent arrested by the FBI a year ago when he planned to hire Mexican hitmen to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. From this point of view, the connections between Hezbollah and organized crime can be seen only as bad news for hemispheric security: a more complex environment where it will be more difficult to prevent the threat of terrorism.