Mexico and OAS to hold hemispheric meeting against transnational organized crime

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico — The Organization of American States (OAS) will serve as the framework for the High-level hemispheric meeting against transnational organized crime convened by the Mexican government, to be held March 1 and 2, 2012, in Mexico City, and to be inaugurated by the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón.

The regional meeting will also feature the participation of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Patricia Espinosa, and Minister Marisela Morales Ibáñez, the host country’s attorney general, among other officials.

Insulza assessed the importance of the thematic agenda of the Mexico gathering, noting that “transnational organized crime is the principal continental source of activities such as drug trafficking, the illicit trafficking of firearms and immigrants, human trafficking, money laundering, corruption, kidnapping, and cybercrimes.”

He placed emphasis on the danger of the organization capabilities of transnational crime, adding that “when control of organized crime over neighborhoods, communities or broader geographical areas impedes or substitutes for the work of public institutions, we are before a full threat to democratic governance.”

The meeting in the Mexican capital will convene attorneys general and prosecutors from the countries of the technical group against transnational organized crime (GTDOT), organized within the OAS with the purpose of elaborating concrete proposals to optimize the activities of governments against the organized crime phenomenon. It will be an important complement to the meeting of ministers of justice or attorneys general of the Americas (REMJA), also held in the framework of the hemispheric organization.

Among the issues to be discussed in Mexico City are the importance of effectively combating organized crime through legal and institutional modernization; progress in the region on penalizing criminal activities set in the Palermo Convention; and the strengthening of institutions in the fight against transnational organized crime in the Caribbean, among other things. The meeting will feature numerous brief presentations on various issues, followed by open dialogue between the delegations.

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