During a three-day event in Lima, Peru, representatives of justice institutions, namely Public Ministries and Prosecutors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay met representatives of Eurojust to build trust and acquaint the Contact Points with Eurojust’s working procedures and develop mechanisms for mutual collaboration.
The event also set out to strengthen relations between Latin American peers to analyse and build upon collaboration mechanisms to investigate and prosecute transnational crimes and improve international legal cooperation in criminal matters.
The Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union, Robert Steinlechner, opened the meeting, explaining that this was one of a series of fundamental activities to improve coordination and judicial efficiency between both continents. “Eurojust’s cooperation with Latin American countries is essential to combat cross-border organised crime and obtain the same results that were achieved in Europe,” he said.
The President of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran, stressed EL PAcCTO’s commitment to the project and to cooperation with Latin America. He highlighted the proportion of cases that are investigated and prosecuted today beyond national borders, and between continents, underlining the need to partner with Latin American countries and that one way to do this is by designating a Eurojust Contact Point in each of the countries to work together and build on existing judicial cooperation process in the countries.
Likewise, Dr Zoraida Ávalos, Peru’s Attorney General, began her speech by congratulating the European Union for having consolidated advantages and benefits that reach the Latin American region through the mechanisms developed by Eurojust. “To be specific, one such mechanism is the interrelation of the countries through the Contact Points, who are public officials designated by the authorities of each country as valid interlocutors for coordination and legal cooperation matters,” she said.
During the sessions, Latin American international legal cooperation networks, Eurojust operational tools, Joint Investigation Teams (JITs), as well as other tools for coordinating and supporting the prosecution of transnational crimes were discussed.