During his participation in the meetings organized by the El PAcCto program in France and Belgium, the Attorney General also shared the successful results of the investigative strategy in defense of natural resources.

The Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, participated in a series of meetings of the Europe Latin America Programme of Assistance against Transnational Organised Crime- EL PAcCTO in France and Belgium, in which he highlighted the importance of strengthening judicial cooperation between Latin America and Europe to effectively combat criminal groups that threaten the security of nations.

“It allows us to strengthen the judicial cooperation channels, to establish joint operations to fight organized crime, and, above all, to think about the different aspects that affect both continents in terms of crime in order to improve civility and to offer citizens a prompt justice. A justice that allows people to feel represented and, of course, that allows us to live better”, highlighted the Attorney General in his intervention.

In this sense, he highlighted the coordinated work with the Prosecutor´s Offices in different countries to detect the most recurrent criminal phenomena and new threats, and to be able to improve coordinated strategies to block international crime corridors.

“It is necessary to analyze and work on phenomena such as cybercrime and cryptocurrencies to open opportunities in order to share experiences to pursuit assets linked to criminal structures” he stated. He also pointed out that crime is not only limited to one state but crosses several countries, hence the importance of joint operational work that allows attacking criminal phenomena.

Fight against environmental crimes

In one of the meetings in France, representatives of justice agencies from Latin America and Europe who attended EL PAcCTO spoke about the challenge of rigorously confronting environmental crimes. The Attorney General shared the investigative strategy defined in defense of natural resources.

“We should have itineracy in the country (…) It was necessary for our investigators and prosecutors to be able to move throughout the national territory with itinerant environmental protection units. In this sense, we currently have 31 specialized prosecutors and we have opened 1,656 investigations on environmental issues in the country” he stated.

Likewise, he revealed that, in two years, 227 operations have been carried out in which nearly 8,000 hectares of deforested jungle and forest have been inspected.

“More than 670 people were arrested and prosecuted in Colombia for different crimes such as wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal management of exotic species, deforestation, promotion and financing of deforestation and damage to natural resources; and there is also important news concerning an unprecedented action that took place in Colombia, and that is that we carried out the first accusation against the leaders of one of the dissident groups that did not join the peace process and had participated in the destruction of a part of the Amazon”, emphasized the Attorney General.

Likewise, he pointed out that, since he took office at the Prosecutor’s Office, he launched a strategy to pursue the finances of criminals. “The motivation has to do with the economy. In most of the crimes, among them, those against the environment, there is an economic motivation”, he explained.

Challenges to justice and judicial cooperation

Finally, in the meetings in Belgium on the challenges for justice and judicial cooperation in the future, Prosecutor Barbosa Delgado stated that it is important to design differentiated, territorial and specialized methodologies in investigations between countries.

He specified that capacities must be coordinated to obtain results at the regional level. Likewise, he reiterated the need to work against migrant smuggling and new environmental crimes, and cybercrimes, as well as coordinate with indigenous jurisdictions.

The meetings were attended by the Attorney General of Chile and President of the AIAMP, Jorge Abbot Charme; the Attorney General of Panama, Javier Enrique Caraballo; the Attorney General of Bolivia, Fausto Lanchipa Ponce; the President of the National Court of Justice of Ecuador, Iván Saquicela Rodas; the Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay, Elena Martínez Rosso; the Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, Martin Ignacio Soria; the Supreme Judge in Perú, Janet Ofelia Tello Giraldi, among other judicial representatives in America Latina.