The COPLA Campaign at the United Nations General Assembly

Emilia Ismael
Executive Coordinator of Democracia Global

For the third time, the campaign that promotes the creation of the Latin American and Caribbean Criminal Court against transnational organized crime (COPLA) was mentioned at the United Nations General Assembly. It was the former president of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, who sustained the fight against organized crime as the axis of his government plan during the 2015 – 2019 period.

In his speech, he emphasized the progress he made to dismantle narco-criminal networks and reduce homicides linked to drug trafficking throughout the Argentine territory. This country, in contrast to the sad Latin American reality, is an exception because it is the second in South America with the lowest homicide rate. But this does not resemble what happens in the remaining countries of the region where organized crime exerts a greater influence than in other regions of the planet. Unlike Asia and Europe, the economic growth experienced by Latin America in recent decades was not accompanied by a reduction in violence, and today, Mexico and Brazil, the two leading countries in the region, have been the main contributors to the homicide rate increase globally.

Therefore, from the beginning of his term, Mauricio Macri supported the campaign that seeks to fight against criminal organizations. In his presentation at the last two General Assemblies of the United Nations – those that took place in 2018 and 2019 – he stressed that he continues “working with the Latin America and the Caribbean governments to achieve the necessary consensus for the creation of a regional legal body capable of confronting transnational organized crime”. This had also been mentioned by the former vice president of Argentina, Gabriela Michetti, one of the main promoters of this initiative even before serving as president of the Senate: “Redoubling the international commitment to tackle this scourge [drug trafficking] is essential. In this sense, we are working to find the consensus to constitute a Latin American tribunal against organized crime in our region”.

The fact that the COPLA campaign is presented internationally is one of the most important milestones that it reached since its creation in 2013. As of today, the initiative has the support of the Argentine Congress, the Paraguay´s Chamber of Deputies and numerous regional declarations by the Mercosur Parliament, the Ministers of Security, Interior and Justice of Mercosur, EUROLAT and the groups of Argentina and Ecuador of “Parliamentarians of Global Action”. Today, the NGO Democracia Global – promoter of the campaign – continues to work hard to obtain declarations of support from Brazil, Colombia, México and Chile.

If you would like to join the COPLA campaign, please visit:

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