Europa and latin america / Covid-19

COVID Channel: Sharing information to save lives

08 April 2020

It has already started working. It is the first initiative of its kind to share information and  positive and negative experiences on how states face the fight against the pandemic. The exchange of information between Europe and Latin America will promote the coordination, cooperation and prevention of COVID-19 with the aim of guaranteeing citizens’ health.

The first elements are being exchanged between the security forces, justice representatives and the prison systems of the two regions.

Regarding the security forces, a colonel from the Spanish Civil Guard has been appointed coordinator of the COVID Channel that EL PAcCTO has promoted. This officer is already in contact with the security forces of several Latin American countries to share information on the service, personnel and coordination needs caused by the coronavirus health crisis in Spain.

In the coming days other security forces from France, Italy or Portugal are expected to join the Channel. All will share their experiences with Latin America. It is also intended to facilitate the exchange of information between Latin American countries.

The COVID channel, to share information on the state of prisons

The Prison Systems team component of EL PAcCTO also held a virtual meeting with experts from the Italian Prison Administration department and representatives of the Covid Channel from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Paraguay.

At this first meeting, the challenges facing prisons in Latin America and Europe due to the health crisis were analysed. Recommendations were also shared and the demands of Latin American countries in the face of this emergency were identified. The aim is to be able to quickly activate the initial cooperation actions within the framework of the Covid Channel.

The pandemic reached Europe before Latin America, and for this reason we consider it essential to share the lessons learned. The situation changes every week so any actions will also have to be adapted. In this context, the information shared among colleagues must be forthcoming and honest.