EUROFRONT specialists have visited Desaguadero, the border between Peru and Bolivia to cooperate with the authorities and combat trafficking and smuggling
Desaguadero, border between Peru and Bolivia. This border crossing is considered one of the most important crossing points for both countries. It is the daily scene of incessant traffic of people and commercial trucks, but also one of the busiest criminal activity spots in the region. “It is a border area that covers 50% of Peru’s smuggling, from drugs to fuels, we are talking about a key axis and therefore we want to increase security at the border,” explained Manuel Rodríguez, a French gendarme who works to reinforce Peru’s criminal investigation through a European cooperation project managed by FIIAPP. “Improving security at the border makes it possible to effectively combat organised crime,” he added. Rodríguez also collaborates with EUROFRONT, a cooperation programme that works on various border crossing points in Latin America, reinforcing security and supporting the fight against human rights violations. Within the framework of this programme, specialists from the National Police and other European security forces have visited Desaguadero with the aim of exchanging knowledge with the national authorities of Peru linked to border management to add similar European experiences that have the possibility of adapting to particular national contexts and dynamics.
“The visit has allowed us to learn about the challenge faced by the Peruvian authorities and learn about the facilities they have, as well as the coordination mechanisms,” said the commissioner of the National Police and director of the integrated border management component of EUROFRONT at the FIIAPP. “Together with Peru, we are going to develop national and regional agreements to improve border management,” added Chiara Paolucci, IILA specialist in the programme.
The technical visit has been considered, in the words of national authorities of the Ministry of the Interior of Peru, to be “an invitation to each institution, within the scope of their respective competencies, to evaluate and seek to take concrete actions on the problem at the borders.”
In order to identify areas of joint work within the framework of the programme, the specialists met in Lima with representatives of the General Directorate of Organised Crime of the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police of Peru and the Public Ministry, addressing issues related to the protocols activity at the border, security and control mechanisms and the nature of cross-border crime, with special attention to one of its greatest problems: human trafficking and smuggling.
In Desaguadero, the shared concern about illegal activity on the border has been manifested in the exchange with Jaime Carhuavilca, head of Migration in Puno, who considers that “more effective regulation regarding irregular migration is necessary”. Carhuavilca has influenced the positive effect that the EUROFRONT programme can have, considering that it focuses on the whole of Latin America. The head of migration has underlined its potential to standardise migration control procedures in the countries of the subcontinent, thus “creating a space for the flow of migrants with regular documentation and respecting international mobility rights.”
The technical visit was completed with a visit to the Binational Border Service Centre, facilitating knowledge and exchange with the National Superintendency of Migration, the National Superintendency of Customs and Tax Administration (SUNAT) and Regional Police, and to the bridge over the river Desaguadero in Carancas.
EUROFRONT is a programme funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by IOM, IILA and FIIAPP.