AIRCOP in Latin America and Caribbean
AIRCOP implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean is in its early stages but various programme initiatives are currently underway. The Dominican Republic is the first country in the region to formally join the programme. The country requested the implementation of AIRCOP in April 2013 and the joint needs assessment mission by UNODC, WCO and Interpol took place in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana in late May 2013. On October 10, 2013 the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Dominican Government and UNODC. AIRCOP units in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana underwent the initial basic training in February 2014 with support from the Dutch Government.
Panama became the second country in the region to join AIRCOP, signing the MoU in April 2014. Furthermore, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru and El Salvador have also requested the implementation of AIRCOP. In Jamaica an assessment mission took place in early June 2013 and negotiations are currently underway to sign the MoU in 2014. Likewise, in Colombia an assessment mission took place in early October 2013 and discussions are also underway to sign the MoU. Likewise, in El Salvador a joint needs assessment mission took place in June 2014.
AIRCOP will continue to be rolled out at specific airports in other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in the coming months. As the region continues to be exploited as a corridor for transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, UNODC and its programme counterparts will continue to work closely with governments in an effort to meet the specific needs of the region and identify how national benefits can be maximized through the initiative.