MERCOSUR Ministers of Security, Justice and Interior Assess the Viability of COPLA

On 8 June 2018, within the 47th Meeting in Paraguay of Ministers of Justice and the 41st Meeting of Ministers of Interior and Security of MERCOSUR and Associated States, a declaration was signed in which the Ministers committed to assess the viability of a Latin American and Caribbean Criminal Court Against Transnational Organized Crime (COPLA). This initiative could be an alternative in the fight against organized crime which affects these countries.

The declaration was signed by Germán Garavano, Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, and his Peruvian peer Salvador Heresi Chicoma; Ever and Ariel Martínez, Minister of Justice and Interior of Paraguay; Torquato Lorena Jardim, Minister of Justice of Brazil; María Julia Muñoz, Minister of Education and Culture of Uruguay; Nelson Cox, Vice Minister of Justice and Fundamental Rights of Bolivia; Juan Pino, diplomatic representative of the Republic of Chile and Javier Alberto Flórez, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia.

In the document, the need was expressed to approach the main issue of MERCOSUR from a coordinated inter-sectoral perspective, that enhances its logistic, human and cooperation resources. A “MERCOSUR free of drug trafficking” and a “MERCOSUR free of organized crime” are the two main claims that are part of the Organization’s agenda and that appear in the joint declaration. It is in this framework that Germán Garavano said that it is important to carry out an interagency and multidisciplinary approach to fight transnational crime, while Ever Martínez pointed out the need to implement mechanisms to allow confiscated assets to be returned to society.

In this way, the signing of this joint declaration in the Republic of Paraguay constitutes a progress and an important endorsement to the COPLA campaign, which today counts more than 3000 signatories and 40 institutions from all over the world. (c.l.b.).

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