New results of EL PAcCTO: prosecutors specialised in cultural heritage and improved international judicial assistance - EL PAcCTO
Peru / Cooperation between justice systems

New results of EL PAcCTO: prosecutors specialised in cultural heritage and improved international judicial assistance

29 March 2022

Various issues related to the field of international legal cooperation have dominated the activities of an EL PAcCTO mission carried out in Peru in recent days.

Fight against trafficking in cultural assets

The trafficking of cultural assets is a transnational crime that threatens the history and cultural legacy of the various societies. In a country with such enormous cultural wealth and heritage as Peru, the ‘International Workshop against Illicit Traffic in Cultural Assets’, organised by EL PAcCTO, pursued more effective prosecution of the traffic in cultural assets, as well as identifying good practices and experiences to improve the ability to respond in this type of situation.

This meeting ended with concrete results, which the Prosecutor of the Nation herself, Zoraida Ávalos Rivera, announced, namely that the Peruvian Public Prosecutor’s Office will set up offices to specifically investigate crimes against cultural and fossil heritage . In these offices it will be possible to report the crime of trafficking in cultural assets and crimes against cultural heritage, and their investigations will also prevent and prosecute these crimes.

The Cooper@jus tool

Transnational criminality requires effective international legal cooperation. This is what gave rise to the creation of the Cooper@jus platform, promoted by EL PAcCTO, a tool allowing optimisation of judicial assistance between countries whereby information can be obtained quickly between countries to advance in ongoing investigations.

The tool is a form containing predetermined information that helps the user and foreign authorities to obtain court orders, also reducing the waiting time for specific queries.

For two days, representatives of the Public Prosecutors’ Offices of various Latin American countries (Peru, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and Cuba) as well as European representatives (Spain) shared good practices and experiences in the use of the tool to discover its strengths and difficulties, with a view to working on a common line of action and establishing proposals for improving its application.

Among other conclusions, the workshop agreed to establish and hold an international meeting among Cooper@jus user countries, to train users and raise their awareness with the support of EL PAcCTO, and to continue advancing in terms of interoperability with internal management systems.

The Prosecutor of the Peruvian Nation, Zoraida Ávalos, was also present at this workshop, in which she stressed that the Peruvian Public Prosecutor’s Office is committed to new technological instruments such as Cooper@jus.