BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – The new site of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau offices in Buenos Aires was officially opened on Tuesday, creating through its unique global tools and services an enhanced central point for police co-operation across South America and with each of the world police body’s 188 member countries.
With the Regional Bureau providing support to each of INTERPOL’s 12 National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in the region against transnational crime, senior officials at the opening ceremony – including Argentina’s Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, Anibal Fernandez, Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights, Julio César Alak, Secretary of Homeland Security, Sergio Lorusso, Federal Police chief Nestor Valleca, and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble – said that the new office would strengthen policing regionally and internationally by enhancing INTERPOL’s capacity to provide 24/7 operational support to police with greater mobility.
Speaking at its inauguration, Mr Fernandez described the INTERPOL Regional Bureau’s new facility as ‘a milestone’ for police in the country and across the region. “The establishment of the building is an outstanding effort at targeting specific regional crime from an international perspective. INTERPOL is recognized in the region as a very strong policing tool whose strength in tracing and stopping fugitives is fully acknowledged by countries, and only a regional office of this kind will allow us to truly achieve our objectives,” said Argentina’s Chief of Cabinet of Ministers.
Describing the Regional Bureau’s new office as a 21st century police infrastructure that would increase INTERPOL’s global operational reach, the head of INTERPOL said the Regional Bureau’s new facility would play a crucial role in international police co-operation in South America and beyond, helping INTERPOL National Central Bureaus achieve even more successes against transnational crime.
“Concerted actions against drug trafficking and counterfeiting of goods have already made a real difference regionally and globally,” said Mr Noble, pointing to the Regional Bureau’s support for international police activities such as giving assistance to INTERPOL Major Event Support Teams (IMESTs) in the region, carrying out Jupiter operations against intellectual property crime, developing projects such as Project White Flow against intercontinental drug trafficking in conjunction with INTERPOL’s Harare and Abidjan Regional Bureaus, or with Project Amazon against terrorism threats.
The INTERPOL chief said the Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires would ‘set new international standards’ since it will now include a Command and Co-ordination Centre (CCC) that will allow the Regional Bureau to become the first of INTERPOL’s seven regional bureaus worldwide to have 24/7 police support capacity. It will also further support efforts to expand access to INTERPOL’s global databases beyond the regions’ NCBs to strategic locations such as border control points.
“With this 24/7 capacity, National Central Bureaus in the region and beyond will be able to seek immediate assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And in turn, the assistance of your colleagues in all 12 countries of the region and in all of INTERPOL’s 188 member countries will also be at your fingertips,” Mr Noble told the Regional Bureau’s police officers.
“True to the vision and determination that drives the South American continent, this modern police infrastructure will pioneer international police co-operation by greatly enhancing regional and global capacity to act against transnational criminals and to address today’s security threats,” added Mr Noble.
Countries served by the Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.
In addition to Buenos Aires, INTERPOL has Regional Bureaus in Abidjan, Harare, Nairobi, San Salvador and Yaoundé, as well as a Liaison Office in Bangkok, serving Southeast Asia.