Home » EU Strengthens Its Cooperation With Latin America and Caribbean Against Transnational Organised Crime
Crime Latin America News South America

EU Strengthens Its Cooperation With Latin America and Caribbean Against Transnational Organised Crime

Transnational organised crime is a challenge to democratic societies. The EU partnership with Latin America and the Caribbean is not only a geopolitical necessity, it is also critical to improve the daily life of citizens in both regions. Polls tell us that security is the primary concern of LAC citizens, and it is a growing one in Europe too.

At the Third Summit between the EU and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in July 2023, Leaders agreed to consolidate and strengthen EU-CELAC cooperation initiatives in the field of citizen security and social justice, such as the EU-LAC Partnership on Justice and Security, by combatting organised crime in all its forms.

The objective of EL PAcCTO is to strengthen the capacity in the region to fight transnational organised crime by supporting locally-owned regional integration in the area of justice and security and to reinforce coordination across the Atlantic.

The programme will be supported with €58.8 million from the EU budget, and its implementation will happen in a Team Europe approach through a consortium of six agencies from five Member States (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands). It will be open to all LAC countries including South America, Central America and Mexico as well as the Caribbean.

Expected results of the programme include:

  • Strengthened criminal justice institutions and increased strategic dialogue on justice and security in the region and between the two regions;
  • Reinforced technical and methodological capacity of criminal justice institutions (police, judiciary and penitentiary systems);
  • Improved legislation and policies, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, with the close involvement of civil society.

The programme will also support the operational capacity of criminal justice actors to prosecute organised crime in the main criminal markets: trafficking in drugs, humans, firearms and cultural goods as well as cyber and environmental crimes.

The programme builds on five years of successful implementation of the first phase of El PacCTO, which supported the creation of the Latin America Committee for Internal Security (CLASI), now expanded to include 14 countries. The EU has also supported the consolidation of AMERIPOL (Comunidad de Policías de América), leading up to the signature of its constitutive Treaty in Brazil on 9 November 2023. This will not only facilitate cooperation between Latin American countries but it will allow a deeper partnership with EUROPOL.

The fight against all forms of transnational organised crime is an increasingly important part of the EU’s external action. Transnational crime puts at risk not only the security of our citizens but also of supply chains and transport infrastructure and, through corruption, it also threatens our societal model. The defence of democracy and of rule of law cannot be achieved without addressing this transnational threat together with our partners.

The EU-LAC partnership on justice and security is a key feature of the bi-regional agenda with a view to the next EU-CELAC Summit in 2025.

Source: Europan Union External Action