18 countries in Latin America took part in the official presentation of the programme to support the fight against trans-national organised crime, financed by the European Union.
Buenos Aires has played host to the official presentation of the Assistance Programme Against Transnational Organised Crime: EL PAcCTO. This is a programme financed by the European Union to provide technical assistance for the States of Latin America in combating this problem effectively. It covers the whole of the criminal supply chain.
For two days, experts and institutions involved with the issue discussed the principal challenges posed by Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) in Latin America, and possible solutions for them, along with the need to set up international cooperation networks in both Latin America and Europe. In this connection, they emphasise support for AMERIPOL.
The discussions also focused on the assets derived from illicit activities. Finally, Latin American journalists and European experts discussed the importance of accurate communication and of creating good relationships among sources, be these fiscal or judicial authorities, public officials or journalists, so as to provide the public with reliable information.
The inaugural event was attended by the Secretary of State for Foreign Relations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Culture of Argentina and the Ambassador of the European Union in Argentina, who emphasised that “the EU is committed to ensuring that the two regions work more closely together than organised crime itself”; the Director of Public Prosecutions before the Supreme Court of Argentina, and the Ministers of Security, Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, who pointed out that “cooperation makes it possible to take action before the crime is committed.”
The event brought together representatives of 18 Latin American countries, along with Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, and members of European specialised agencies. The inaugural event also heard from the cooperation agencies to which the EU had delegated the management of the project: FIIAPP and Expertise France., as well as their partners, the Instituto Ítalo-Latinoamericano and the Instituto Camões. They all pointed to the importance of networking, with experts from both regions, in order to strengthen institutional capacity and common action.
This is the first time that a European regional programme has worked throughout the criminal justice system to strengthen cooperation through three components: police cooperation and cooperation between justice systems and penal systems, with five transversal dimensions: cybercrime, corruption, human rights, the generation and laundering of assets, and the burgeoning ambition to share experience and lessons learned in building a firmly-based, efficient State governed by the rule of law.