Drug trafficking continues to be one of the most lucrative businesses for organised crime and has become the main challenge in regions where drug cartel violence operates. Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean are home to only 9% of the world’s population, they represent 34% of all violent deaths, a statistic that is directly related to the presence of drug trafficking in the region.
Over the past decade, some Latin American countries have also become centres of consumption, while others serve as transit points for the illegal merchandise.
In this context, the European Union-funded Support to AMERIPOL project, in the management of which FIIAPP participates, has held a series of videoconferences channelled through the Executive Secretariat and AMERIPOL to disseminate and promote good practices and lessons learned regarding different areas among European Union and Latin American countries. The aim was for Latin American and European police forces and organisations to be able to highlight good police practices in investigating crimes related to drug trafficking.
Specifically, these videoconferences allow an exchange of experiences between European and Latin American regional organisations. The session was attended by Antonio De Cristofaro, from the Italian Anti-Drug Services as representative of the COPOLAD program on drugs, funded by European Union, who shared the experience of the Italian Anti-Drug Services on drug trafficking, highlighting the importance of new technologies and cooperation between countries.
The ninth conference addressed the problem of drug trafficking. Marcos Alvar, head of the ‘Support to AMERIPOL’ project, highlighted the importance that Europol has attributed to AMERIPOL as a counterpart in the Latin American region: “The importance of the latest advances regarding cybercrime, illegal migration and human trafficking, the development of the police information exchange system and data protection regulations have to be taken into account.”
Milton Fornazari Jr, the delegate of the AMERIPOL Executive Secretary, acknowledged the need to work together in order to combat drug trafficking: “Only intelligence work and joint investigation can effectively combat this kind of crime.”
Through these exchanges, strategies to combat crimes associated with drug trafficking such as money laundering, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, document forgery andtrafficking in arms and other illicit products can be analysed.
The European Commission is preparing a third phase of this programme, therefore COPOLAD will be back at the beginning of 2021.