By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – With the increase of regional organized crime, whose operations have reached many countries at once, government representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay met this week to devise a plan to broaden their joint efforts to combat border crime.
“We express our concern at the increase in transnational organized crime in our region, as well as at the potential impacts of global threats such as international terrorism and cybercrime, and in this regard we recognize that, in the context of current security, cooperation mechanisms are central tools for reinforcing joint action by States,” stated the declaration signed by representatives from the six nations.
According to the declaration the six countries agreed to strengthen inter-agency cooperation, encourage the greater knowledge of border problems and improve their communication channels dealing with transnational crimes and crimes against human rights.
Officials noted that transnational crimes, such as trafficking of firearms, drugs and persons, are at the heart of many of the security problems in the region, “Stricter monitoring of border crossings and surveillance by land, air, and sea, along the borders should be prioritized, improved and modernized on an ongoing basis to deal with the new dynamics of transnational organized crime.”
For Brazilian Justice Minister, Alexandre de Moraes, border crimes are directly linked to homicide rates in the region. “Latin America has eight percent of the world’s population, but registers more than thirty percent of the homicides in the planet,” stated Moraes at a press conference after the international meeting.
The Brazilian official offered the use of the International Police Cooperation Center to the neighboring countries. The Center was created for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the system was used by 56 countries during the sporting events.