The Attorney General reiterated the need to attack illicit finances in a conclusive way to affect organizations that benefit from phenomena such as drug trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

At the discussion meeting “Las Finanzas Ilícitas que promueven los delitos de Trata de Personas, Trata de Migrantes, Tráfico de Drogas y Lavado de Activos” which was arranged by the Asociación Iberoamericana de Ministerios Públicos (Aiamp) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Unodc), the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado highlighted the importance of working in a coordinated manner with countries of the region to combat organized crime and their finances.

“I believe that this scenario offers multiple opportunities to exchange best practices for prosecuting criminal finances and transnational crime, and also, something significant that all of us can do, and that is to draw protocols, joint routes, cooperation agreements to put into practice those that we have been developing” stated the Attorney General, Barbosa Delgado.

One of the main aspects that he mentioned was the fight against criminal finances. The  Attorney General stated that through the strategy denominated Argenta, the Office of the Attorney General in Colombia seized 13,980 assets between February 2020 and September 2021, valued at more than 4,000 million dollars.

“At the same time, once the criminal proceedings began against those allegedly responsible for these behaviors, the Delegate Office against Criminal Finances began the Assets Forfeiture process with precautionary measures to withhold those resources that are derived from criminal activities. (…) Criminals are aware that their criminal problems are solved with lawyers (…) and they do not feel concerned about their assets. That is why one of the central aspects when attacking criminal structures is affecting their finances” stated the Attorney General.

Regarding migrant smuggling, he stated that it is a problem that has been increasing, therefore, it is urgent to develop joint strategies to counteract this scourge that violates migrants’ human rights.

“We have detected that migrant smuggling is linked to drug trafficking and to the money production and criminal finances”. He specified that, as public ministries and Attorney General´s Offices,  it is important to join forces to understand the criminal dynamics that occur in the region and to attack them effectively.

At the end of his speech, he reiterated that Colombia will continue being a strategic partner in the fight against crime. “It is necessary that we all speak as peers to have unified investigation positions and criteria about practices; because there is no one more interested than we are in destroying criminality in our countries and improving the human rights conditions (…) to generate confidence in law enforcement”.

Finally, the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa, announced that he will hold a meeting with the Procurador General of Mexico, in that country,  to continue with the consolidation of international cooperation.