Brazilian Federal Police and UNODC call for regional action to a more effective fight against organized crime

Photo: UNODC

19 May 2010 - The fight against organized crime in South America will be effective only if the countries act in an integrated way, sharing intelligence and working in an agile manner. This was the common thought between the authorities who opened the International Seminar on Repression against of Organized Crime, which was held in Brasilia. The event gathered around 120 police officers, prosecutors, judges and members of the Parliament of different South American countries.

In the opening ceremony, the representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Brazil and Southern Cone, Bo Mathiasen, stressed the importance of seeking regional solutions to common problems. "More and more, a country's problem is also a problem of all countries", said Mr. Mathiasen. "Our work will only be effective if we work together, with compatible laws and assuming a position of sharing responsibility among different countries to effectively succeed to achieve positive results in combating organized crime", added the UNODC's representative.

The Director of the Brazilian Federal Police, Luiz Fernando Correa, said that cooperation with neighboring countries to Brazil has been thorough among the polices, and he urged other sectors of the criminal justice system to do the same. Therefore, according to Correa, parliamentarians, magistrates and prosecutors of different South American countries were also invited to the seminar, in addition to representatives from other continents' countries, which presented models that could be used as inspiration for the improvement of existing laws in South America.

The main theme of the seminar was a discussion on techniques for telephone and computer interceptions, which may aid in the production of evidence for the prosecution of criminals. The participants underlined the importance of the appropriate use of these techniques, preserving the individual rights and the privacy of citizens. "We will never defend an inadvertent or an uncontrolled use of these techniques, but we must recognize the essential nature of these instruments in some cases", said the Attorney General's Officer of Brazil, Roberto Gurgel.

At the end of the seminar, there will be a systematic summary of discussions and suggestions raised during the event, which will compose a document that will be sent to the parliaments of Brazil and other South American countries, serving as the basis for the improvement of national laws of those countries.

As custodians of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, UNODC has the mandate to assist member countries in the constant improvement of their national legislation on the subject and to promote the exchange of good practices among countries, through international cooperation.

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