03 September 2015
Category : Entrevista
The head of FIIAPP's Security and Justice team explains the Foundation's work in the fight against drug trafficking and the EU's anti-terrorism efforts.Ana Hernández, manager of FIIAPP's Security and Justice Team.
Ensuring the security of citizens is a major objective in FIIAPP’s work. All over the world, the Foundation develops cooperation projects funded by the European Commission in the areas of security, the fight against drug trafficking, the eradication of terrorism and money laundering, and the prevention of natural disasters and nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical threats.
The experience exchanges it facilitates between European Union member states and the beneficiaries result in changes to laws, regulations and working strategies that enable the receptor countries to offer a more secure life to their citizens.
In this conversation, Ana Hernández fills us in on the details of the work of the Foundation in the fight against drug trafficking and other areas in this sector, and how the European Union, in response to the current context, has put the focus on preventing radicalisation and terrorism.
Where is FIIAPP’s work concentrated in terms of illegal drug trafficking and why?
We are focused mainly on the ‘Cocaine Route’, which theoretically runs from Latin America to Europe, through Africa; and on the ‘Heroin Route’, which runs from Afghanistan and has one branch through Asia and another through the Black Sea. These are the two routes we concentrate on for developing projects, because the Commission is focused on these two routes.
What do we do there?
Right now we have many types of projects. In the ‘Cocaine Route’, we have projects focused both on ports and container control, and on fighting money laundering of the proceeds of drug trafficking. In Latin America, through AMERIPOL, we are also trying to create a new police network in Latin America. This means applying a global approach to the fight against drug trafficking. In the ‘Heroin Route’, we’ve also been working on human trafficking and on the creation of information networks so that police forces can exchange information and conduct monitoring.
Are more and more projects of this type being funded?
The European Union has a very powerful security strategy right now and is funding large projects. What we’ve observed is that they are funding large-scale projects: they want various member countries to join together to develop these projects with a more global approach to contribute their experience, along with Spain, to other countries—for example, Ghana or Venezuela—with very different idiosyncrasies, so that they can benefit from this knowledge. In the end, this means creating networks, creating links, learning together. Often, when it’s our policies or our civil guards that are going to these countries, you realise that there are many things over there that they can learn from, and synergies and good relationships end up being created.
Is the EU starting to work in new areas?
Lately they are focusing on issues related to terrorism. Large-scale programmes are being launched to fight terrorism, and radicalisation is being attacked. The EU is realising the great power terrorist groups have in communication media, on the Internet, and in all these networks, for getting their messages out, and that many people who were not radical are becoming radicalised, being recruited… So they’re making a great effort in this area. In fact, one of the large projects for which we have submitted a proposal recently is specifically on the issue of radicalisation. Although it’s also true that this aspect is included in all terrorism projects.
Another issue being addressed increasingly in Europe is cybercrime. It’s an issue which is rising in importance and which, evidently, is being developed increasingly and has great potential.
And, lastly, the EU is working on the fight against money laundering. This is also important because of its role in financing terrorism and organised crime. The fight against money-laundering and financing networks, which in the end is what feeds these groups, is also a way of eradicating this problem.
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