The launch event for the operational task force on combatting drug trafficking has been co-organised by EL PAcCTO and MAOC (N), with the collaboration of COPOLAD III and SEACOP V and the launch will take place on Wednesday 19 October 2022 in Buenos Aires in Argentina. Twelve countries from Latin America and four from the European Union will be taking part, in addition to other programmes and agencies from within the European Union, such as CRIMJUST, EUROJUST, FRONTEX and EMCDDA, and the EMPACT .
The operational task force, which aims to transform itself into a network of specialised anti-narcotics police within a year, was the result of the request by the Ministers of the Interior of the EU Member States (JAI) and the Latin American ministers in charge of security, who are all members of CLASI, after a meeting held in Brussels to exchange information on the serious threats that international organised crime poses to the security, economy and public health of the countries in the two regions, and particularly in relation to drug trafficking.
All this information was obtained thanks to the fact that seven Latin American countries, supported by EL PAcCTO, jointly carried out the first Evaluation of the Threat of Transnational Organised Crime in Latin America – IDEAL 1.0, which established that the main threat against the region is drug trafficking and, in particular, cocaine trafficking, which overshadows other forms of illicit drug trafficking.
With the aim of organising joint operational-level activities between the two regions to tackle drug trafficking, the operational task force is expected to strengthen both regional and bi-regional cooperation structures, in synergy with existing programmes, institutions and initiatives, and to develop bi-regional operational cooperation in combatting drug trafficking to support countries in dismantling large transnational criminal groups specialising in drug trafficking.
During the days of collaborative work, it is expected the operational task force will be launched and operational work priorities defined for the coming years, identifying specific case studies, developing mechanisms for the fluid and rapid exchange of information between operational services, as well as supporting the development of concrete operational actions against drug trafficking.
European and Latin American contact points
The operating rules will be drawn up based on the experience of the experts from both continents, such as the coordination and mobilisation of the operational working group to combat drug trafficking, as well as the objectives of future operational cooperation and the strategic and operational aspects related to the maritime route, which represents a priority for the two regions.