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On behalf of the ILGIA Board of Directors I would like to personally invite each of you to the 17th Annual International Latino Gang Investigators Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Tropicana Hotel from August 12th through the 15th, 2019. Our 17 years of success can be attributed to our commitment to providing up-to-date training, our global following and membership and our continued response to emerging trends. The world of gangs is a challenging and exciting area in which to work and study, and we will continue to ensure ILGIA remains on the forefront of gang training.

This year, I became president after being closely associated with ILGIA since the first annual conference in 2002 in Seattle. It is an honor to head such a tremendous association. We have hosted past conferences in Atlantic City, Las Cruces, San Antonio, San Diego, Denver, Madison, Annapolis and Las Vegas. We have a loyal membership and an Advisory Board of true heroes who have battled gangs around the world.

This year we are very excited to offer some innovative, eye-opening classes and a tribute to the families of fallen officers. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience how to better investigate gangs. Our goal is to offer classes for new gang investigators to prepare them for success in their assignments along with new classes for the experienced officer to continue to broaden their knowledge base and effectiveness. We also offer networking events which allow you to meet other officers from around the world. These events provide excellent opportunities to share and offer investigative strategies along with your successes and blunders so we can learn from one another. The connections made between officers at ILGIA conferences have proven to be invaluable over the years.

ILGIA has recently established a partnership with the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. We are developing a panel discussion on “The Loss of a Spouse to the War on Drugs.” The panel will be held in the evening of August 12th at the Mob Museum as well as at the conference on August 13th. The panel members feature James Kuykendall, author of “O Plato O Plomo,” and supervisor to Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985 when Kiki was abducted, tortured and murdered by drug leaders in Guadalajara, Mexico. His book is the basis for the hit Netflix Series “Narcos Mexico” (Seasons 4 and 5) in which he is a main character. Genevieve “Mika” Camarena, Kiki’s widow will also participate and provide a first-hand account of the tragedy. Rita Ware, a Las Vegas resident and widow of DEA Agent Roy Ware, who died from wounds suffered from an abduction and murder attempt in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico in 1975 will be honored at our conference and participate in the panel. Last, but not least, DEA Agent Rosalinda Conde will complete the panel. Agent Conde recently was assigned the Roy Ware fugitive file and, based on a report written by Kiki in 1980, was able to bring the last fugitive to justice. She also sought our Rita Ware and helped provide the emotional support she was in desperate need of. Agent Conde also introduced Mika Camarena to Rita Ware this year and both have become friends. It is an amazing, yet tragic story you will not want to miss.

Steve Murphy and Javier Pena of “Narcos,” Season 1, 2 and 3, will also present their thrilling account of the investigation of Medellin Cocaine Kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Former Fox 11 Investigative Reporter Chris Blatchford and author of the book “The Black Hand,” has blessed us with his attendance and will open the conference with his inciteful and passionate session on gangs. Chris is a legend and life-long friend to law enforcement and his investigative pieces have  educated law enforcement for decades.

Let us give thanks to the entire ILGIA Board of Directors; Joe Preciado, Sergeant at Arms and Conference Coordinator for his hard work in organizing this and past conferences. Vice President George Norris, the “heart and soul” of ILGIA, hosted a very successful training in Prince Georges County, Maryland this past April and Secretary Andy Eways hosted an 8-hour gang course in Santa Rosa, California that was inciteful and well-received. Our Training Coordinator, Todd DePalma, hosted his annual Inland Empire Gang Symposium in May that drew hundreds of attendees from around the nation. And throughout all these events, our Treasurer, Scott Barfield, has worked diligently behind the scenes to make each event possible. We will continue to assist our friends creating opportunities to provide gang training. If you would like to have ILGIA provide gang training in your area, or if you would like to volunteer and assist at one of our established events, please feel free to contact any member of the ILGIA board.  If you are interested in becoming a member of ILGIA, please visit the website and follow the instructions provided.

We would like to extend a huge “Thank You” to our conference sponsors and vendors. We encourage you to visit the sponsor and vendor booths. The world of gang investigations continues to change and so do your needs. Our sponsors and vendors bring tools and technology to our conference so you can see firsthand and ask questions. Please visit with them and thank them for their participation. Special thanks go to the Las Vegas law enforcement community for its participation and support.

On behalf of the ILGIA Board of Directors, I would like to thank our instructors. We believe we have assembled a world class group of instructors again this year. These instructors donate their valuable time to provide top notch training so please be sure to thank them personally. Their willingness to share their knowledge will undoubtedly impact how our attendees continue to respond to emerging trends in the world of gangs.

Lastly, the Board would also like to thank each of you for choosing the ILGIA Conference. We understand training funds are very limited and choices are vast. Without your support this conference would not be possible. Please take time to introduce yourself to myself and the other board members as we appreciate and invite your input to address your future training needs. Be sure to visit us at www.ilgiaonline.org and most of all-enjoy the conference!

Sincerely, Steve Duncan, ILGIA