It was a virtual meeting in which attorney generals, ministers of justice, and experts on crime and criminal justice of the United Nations member countries participated.
Within the framework of the ‘United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice’, held virtually in Kyoto (Japan), the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, explained how the Strategic Direction has been implemented to fight organized crime with greater strength and effectiveness and to affect its illicit finances since his arrival at the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office.
In this scenario, the Attorney General explained that “Colombian criminality is particularly complex: organized criminal groups are engaged in drug trafficking, illegal mining, and a plethora of other crimes across Colombian territory and even beyond its borders. Studying a case, without understanding the context, is like finding a needle in a haystack”
“The crime inside Colombia could not be effectively fought with theoretical dissertations, mere technicalities, or behind a desk in Bogotá, our capital city. We needed to get into action, with a hands-on approach, in the territories. We needed, ourselves, to get into the mountains, into the jungle, into the plains, into the rivers, and only then, we would finally get inside the criminal mind and truly grasp the criminal rationale and see the scenarios behind complex cases”, stated Barbosa Delgado.
In addition, he highlighted the benefits of itinerancy, coordination, and cooperation as fundamental aspects of the strategy to fight organized crime with severity.
“With itinerancy, with rapid deployment itinerant units, we have been able to arrive promptly at the crime scene, to collect all possible evidence and testimonies, and to request our judges provisional arrest warrants of the alleged offenders, hitting the heart of impunity ” he added.
Another aspect mentioned by the Attorney General was the joint work with other institutions such as the Armed Forces and the geographic focus adopted.
“It is only through adequate cooperation that we can attack the transnationality of these organized criminal structures, in order to address the money laundering and asset seizure segment of criminality. The front-end of criminality must be adequately complemented with a back-end and holistic approach to criminal finances and make this a safeguard to prevent repetition, as the profitability of criminality will be severely crippled”, pointed out prosecutor Barbosa.
“Following this three-tiered approach we have successfully clarified 71.5% of collective homicides, 62.3% of homicides against human rights defenders, 95.26% of feminicides”, he said.
This effectiveness has also been reflected in terms of the arrests of people linked to different crimes. During the intervention, it was announced that the institution has also issued arrest warrants for more than 9.800 individuals belonging to criminal structures operating in cities, has prosecuted (4.486) for micro-trafficking, theft (2.376), extortion (1.439), homicide (580) and cybercrimes (228).
Moreover, the Office of the Attorney General has arrested 2.117 members of organized criminal groups (FARC, Clan del Golfo, ELN) and has confiscated 373 tons of illegal substances, thereby weakening these structures.
“I would therefore like to conclude by calling upon the international community to continue cooperating within the framework of multilateralism, a tool that has united us in a fight against the greatest threats to peace and security”, stated Attorney General Barbosa Delgado.
The information contained in this press release corresponds to the narration of the objective news provided by the officials in charge of carrying out the criminal investigations within the Office of the Attorney General. By the time this communication is disclosed, the legal status of the people mentioned is still pending to be resolved by the competent judicial authority, always under the presumption of innocence contemplated by Article 29 of the Political Constitution and Article 7 of Law 906 of 2004.