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16 November 2011

INTERPOL Regional Bureau hosts meeting to enhance South America’s response to drug trafficking

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A meeting of South American national agencies dedicated to the fight against drug trafficking has closed with a decision to set up a multi-disciplinary group of experts in the analysis and trends of drug trafficking in order to strengthen cooperation against the trade in illegal drugs.

The three-day meeting (9-11 November), organized by INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires, brought together experts and specialists from drugs enforcement police, customs, armed forces and governmental agencies in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and from the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

At the meeting, agency representatives who agreed to set up the network of multi-disciplinary experts and specialists also outlined joint action strategies against the trafficking of drugs by sea, river, air and land, as well as the trafficking of chemical precursors used to illegally manufacture drugs.

The experts group will strengthen the strategic and operational support of anti-drugs groups in the different participating countries, under the coordination of INTERPOL’s National Central Bureaus in the region.

“The idea behind the creation of the multi-disciplinary group of experts is to have a permanent and comprehensive structure that can facilitate the sharing and exchange of experience so as to harness a joint regional approach against drug trafficking and related crimes,” said the head of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau in Buenos Aires, Rafael Pena-Hernández.

The meeting also led to the elaboration of three maps highlighting the flow, routes and trends of drug trafficking in South America, and from this region to the different drugs markets in the world.