Latin America and the EU join forces to strike and attack the finances of organized crime

More than 150 representatives of institutions from Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union (EU) meet, from this Monday until next Friday, in Panama to “Strengthen” the fight against organized crime finances, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Within the framework of the EU program “EL PAcCTO”, the event “The finances of organized crime: how they affect us, how to combat them” will allow the design of “concrete actions to develop (…) operations against organized crime and have greater effective cooperation between Latin America and the EU“, Explained the project manager, Juan Gama.

“In the end, what With these actions we want to stop bad people, take advantage of the illicit resources that they have generated, even provide a social benefit to the institutions themselves, and create a preventive system that prevents more crimesGama said.

During the event, held on the outskirts of Panama City, workshops are held to know how to identify the final beneficiary of these illicit finances, expedite international cooperation, seize assets and specialize in the fight against financial crime.

Hit to Crime: Seize Property

These finances of organized crime “increased” with the Covid-19 pandemic, a situation that “took with a relaxed guard”, as admitted by the Head of Unit of the General Directorate of International Alliances of the European Commission, the Spanish Jorge de la Chivalry.

If the enormous money that these groups move has a financial surface as if they were the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country, imagine the ability to influence. They generate very serious problems, ”said the Cavalry.

Thus, he pointed out that in order to “stop” the finances of organized crime, it is necessary to improve “legislation, networks, data sharing, effectiveness of the police and judges, and penalties”, but he assures that what hurts the most in the end “is to seize the assets that they have obtained through these illicit activities ”.

When the result of the crime is disproportionate, lucrative and it disappears, they think about it more“Said de la Caballería, who highlighted that initiatives of this type are being developed in many Latin American countries.

“What we want is to do better, and for the State to modernize to have weapons and recover those sums of money without control,” he added.

Initiative: “Europe Team on Governance, Justice and Security”

De la Cavalry covered the initiative “Team Europe on Governance, Justice and Security”, a “way to bring together all European actors, who want and have added value to advance the priorities” of the countries.

“One of the priorities that we are dealing with here today is that of justice and security, which are closely linked to shared values ​​such as democracy, the rule of law,” he said.

This is “the way of working that We have learned in Europe that it has worked for us and that we want to offer Latin America to adapt it to its reality and develop it.He explained.

An initiative that for the other director of the “EL PAcCTO” program, Xavier Cousquer, guarantees “greater coordination between what the member states do in the framework of their bilateral cooperation with Latin America”.

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