Arms trafficking represents a multiple and cross-cutting threat of a national, regional and international nature, which affects the security of all citizens between continents. That is why the European programme EL PAcCTO works together with the Latin American continent in the fight against illicit trafficking in arms, parts, components, ammunition and related materials. Countries such as Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal and Uruguay, and El Salvador which is now part of the ARCO Network promoted by EL PAcCTO participated in a meeting with experts from the security forces of different countries of Latin America, the European Union and the leader of the firearms EMPACT for the consolidation, coordination and planning of the Network’s work actions.
Peer-to-peer exchange of experiences
During the meeting, the impact that Covid-19 has had in the fight against arms trafficking was shared. For example:
- The pandemic has led to a reduction in the number of crimes that have traditionally had the highest incidence in the Latin American region.
- In addition, restrictions on the movement of people and merchandise have changed the modus operandi of criminals.
- Cybercrime has taken on more importance than before.
- The possible synergies of work between the ARCO Network and the Firearms Empact were also discussed.
Some of the actions that will be worked on this year include the continuation of training in cyber patrol and firearms traceability that will be carried out at level two for the countries that participated in 2020.
The ARCO Network magazine
At the meeting, the ARCO Magazine was presented with a first edition that includes successful news such as the result of an inspection in Paraguay and news on modus operandi and some emerging phenomena in Panama. The magazine will act as another communication vehicle publicising, within the police community, operational actions, good practice and modus operandi in the fight against arms trafficking between Latin America and Europe.