LYON, France – Through a project to enhance police cooperation in fugitive investigations, INTERPOL has supported the arrest of two most wanted fugitives in South America.
Coordinated under the INTERPOL Support to El PAcCTO project, INTERPOL provided assistance in connecting the relevant countries leading up to the arrests. El PAcCTO is a European Union-funded initiative to enhance interregional police cooperation in fugitive investigations in Latin America.
In one case, a Brazilian fugitive wanted for killing a police officer was arrested in Bolivia some 17 years after he fled the country.
Gilmar José Bassegio, the head of an international drug trafficking ring in Brazil, was involved in an ambush against a team of the Brazilian Federal Police in 1999 where one officer was killed and two others injured. He was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 37 years but escaped from prison.
INTERPOL issued a Red Notice for Bassegio at the request of the Brazilian authorities, and the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Brasilia placed him on their most wanted list.
INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit, which manages the INTERPOL Support to El PAcCTO project, facilitated coordination between the national police and NCBs in Brazil and Bolivia on the case, leading to Bassegio’s location in Bolivia where he was arrested in March following extensive surveillance.
“The INTERPOL Red Notice was extremely important to the successful outcome of this case, as was the close cooperation between Brazil and Bolivia,” said Bruno Eduardo Samezima, Head of NCB Brazil, who noted that the photographs and fingerprints included in the notice helped police to identify Bassegio in Bolivia.
In the second case, Jose Ramiro González Jaramillo, the former Minister of Industries and Productivity of Ecuador who is wanted on corruption charges relating to his time as president of the Board of Directors of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security, was arrested in Peru in April.
González Jaramillo had been on the run since 2013, and he was the subject of a Red Notice. The case was discussed under the EL PAcCTO project in October 2018, where the the Ecuadorian and Peruvian authorities worked together to coordinate the arrest.
Angel Francisco Merino Cespedes, Head of NCB Peru, said: “The smooth exchange of information within the framework of the project INTERPOL Support to EL PAcCTO and good coordination between the NCBs in Lima and Quito played a very important role in determining the fugitive's whereabouts, identifying him and his subsequent arrest.”