UNODC Brazil and Brazilian Attorney General’s Office hold meeting with prosecutors from Mercosur countries to discuss cooperation in fighting cross-border crimes   

Manaus, Brazil, 13 April 2023 - In recent years, organized crime has diversified its lucrative criminal activities along and across border areas in Latin America, impacting the public security of the countries involved. Justice and public security challenges and social and economic vulnerabilities create opportunities for criminal activities.

To promote prevention of these constantly evolving crimes, it is necessary to strengthen international, regional, sub-regional, and bilateral cooperation. No country can face organized crime alone.

From March 28 to 30, 2023, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), under the Global Programme CRIMJUST, a project supported by the European Union, in partnership with the International Cooperation Secretariat of the Attorney General's Office (PGR) and the PGR in Amazonas, promoted the "Mercosur Meeting of Border Prosecutors", in Manaus, Brazil. The meeting included panel presentations, debates, and activities in working groups. 

The meeting was opened by the secretary of International Cooperation of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Sub-prosecutor-general of the Republic, Hindemburgo Chateaubriand; a representative of CRIMJUST Program; the chief prosecutor of the MPF in Amazonas; the prosecutor of the Federal Public Ministry for Labor; the director of international affairs of the Public Ministry of Paraguay, a representative of the Permanent Secretariat of Specialized Meeting of Mercosur Public Ministries (REMPM), and the head for the Americas of the Delegation of the European Union. 

According to Hindemburgo Chateubriand, "organized crime requires a quick exchange of information between the authorities involved. Events like this are important to strengthen bonds of trust, necessary for the good progress of international cooperation at the borders.”

Additionally, MPF presented a diagnosis conducted in 2021, on the main obstacles faced by prosecutors in border regions, based on a survey of 141 prosecutors from nine countries. According to the survey, the biggest obstacle is the chain of crimes associated with drug trafficking, while the greatest need indicated in the survey is the interest in getting closer to colleagues in neighboring countries. The results were presented during the 30th REMPM, whose subcommittee on border cooperation is coordinated by the Brazilian MPF. 

For Antonio Valverde, CRIMJUST officer, "multilateralism is one of the most powerful tools in addressing global challenges, including organized crime. The CRIMJUST program seeks to help beneficiary countries in their efforts to combat transnational organized crime along the routes of illicit flows, by providing technical assistance to strengthen criminal justice cooperation and promoting the development of cross-border post-arrest investigations to dismantle criminal networks and organized crime business models."

In addition to Brazilian prosecutors, representatives of the Public Prosecutors' Offices from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay also attended the event. 

CRIMJUST Project - The meeting was held with the support of the Global Programme on Criminal Network Disruption - CRIMJUST, a project funded by the European Union under the EU Global Illicit Flows Programme. The initiative aims to strengthen international cooperation in criminal investigation and justice along global drug trafficking routes. 

For more information about CRIMJUST, please visit: CRIMJUST ( CRIMJUST - Global Illicit Flows Programme

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