This meeting is part of the actions carried out by the institution within the framework of the international strategy to combat the criminal phenomena in the region.

In Panama City, the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa, talked about the assessment of the joint actions that are carried out with the country in terms of migrant smuggling, human trafficking, transnational organized crime, and criminal finances.

“We always applaud these works, we have seen the statistics of joint work, the multiplication of efforts of the countries against this crime. We also want to send a message to the citizens of Panama and those Colombian citizens who are in this country that we are a single entity in terms of criminal prosecution”, assured the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado.

During the meeting with the Attorney General of Panama, Javier Caraballo, the Attorney General Francisco Barbosa highlighted the creation of a strategy to characterize the migrant smuggling phenomenon and to identify investigative progress in real-time, and bilateral collaboration between countries and institutions.

“We are aware that our countries have common realities, that our countries face criminal groups in common, and only with the help and mutual interrelation, we can perform functions efficiently and effectively in order to reduce the transnational organized crime that affects our countries”, said the Attorney General of Panama, Javier Caraballo.

This joint work with neighboring countries has allowed an increase in prosecutions of this crime. This is how in 2020, 42 investigations were carried out; in 2021 (196) and so far in 2022, 11 have been conducted.

The head of the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office pointed out that the investigative progress in real-time has made it possible to charge 322 people, seize 131 assets, and identify 133 parts of routes used in this crime, among other actions.

Concerning these investigations that are advancing in the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office, at least 16 mention Panama, Costa Rica, or the Dominican Republic as transit or destination countries for this phenomenon.

In addition to this, there are working groups with Peru, Ecuador, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States, among others, to socialize good practices and coordination between prosecutors to address investigations.

Concerning the coordination between the Attorney Generals, three working groups have been created by both countries.

About money laundering, there are 44 structural investigations that seek to dismantle criminal organizations in the territory of Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Additionally, 35 people have been prosecuted for crimes related to criminal finances.

International strategy

As part of this international strategy, three summits have been held in Panama, Colombia, and Guatemala to join forces in the fight against transnational crime.

The first meeting was held in August 2021 in Panama City, where the “Declaración para el Combate al Crimen Organizado en el Contexto del Flujo Migratorio Irregular Continental, Extra continental y Caribeño” was adopted to strengthen mechanisms for the exchange of information and the creation of joint investigation teams.

The second summit was held in October 2021 in Cartagena, where the Declaración contra el Tráfico de Migrantes y su relación con las Finanzas Criminales was signed, which established the need to develop strategies at the regional level to facilitate the promotion of transnational investigations.

The last meeting was held in Antigua (Guatemala), where two proposals from the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office were adopted related to judicial police activities, and investigations to jointly and simultaneously dismantle the criminal structures involved in the illicit trafficking of migrants in the region.

These summits have been carried out thanks to the leadership of the Attorney General of Colombia and the Attorney General of Panama, who initiated a whole process of coordination and integration in the region.

When we speak, results follow.