360-Degree Security in Latin America
By Dialogo May 13, 2010Good approach and good contributions. “A just peace includes not only civil and political rights – it must encompass economic security and opportunity,” President Barack Obama said when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The world’s most important political leaders are conscious of the need to integrate their policies on human rights, sustainable development, and security. This is not a matter of caprice, since country-risk analysts award their ratings after making a 360-degree evaluation that takes into account the factors mentioned above. The modern conception of the state demands that strong economic growth be accompanied by respect for human rights and by comprehensive environmental protection, exploiting natural resources with the necessary environmental-impact studies. It is for this reason that we should remember that security is a consequence of living conditions that are both prosperous and in equilibrium with prudent use of the earth. A broader concept of security is provided by the United Nations (UN), which defines it as “protecting fundamental freedoms and protecting people from threats.” We find another definition composed by the Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network in 1999, where it was said that security is “a humane world where people can live in security and dignity, free from poverty and despair.” All these definitions coincide in a single objective: offering wellbeing to communities, a mission that has been assigned to the police forces of the different countries around the world. In this panorama, international cooperation among police intelligence units plays a fundamental role. From an economic perspective, we should recognize that behind each business started in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are people of flesh and blood who at some point in their lives had the brilliant idea of undertaking a productive project. These entrepreneurs put their faith in institutions, pay their taxes as required by law, and only expect from the state in return that it guarantee the security necessary for the harmonious development of their work and that of their collaborators. The developed world sees in the Latin American countries and in the Caribbean the perfect opportunity for investment. These are prosperous nations, full of natural resources, with hardworking people and with strategic geographical locations that make them unique. In this way, ordinary people benefit from foreign direct investment (FDI), which creates jobs, progress, and wellbeing. These countries today rely on the support of the Latin American and Caribbean Police Intelligence Community (CLACIP), an organization interested in the common good of the region, which it supports with knowledge transfer and cooperation, focusing its activities on the exchange of information for police purposes. At the same time, quietly, it works in favor of regional tranquility. CLACIP will soon mark five years of continuous work in the region, during which time Colombia has provided its Permanent Executive Secretariat. This community seeks, principally, to confront the various manifestations of crime in the hemisphere, enabling the exchange of experiences, strategies, and forecasts for the fight against transnational crime and strengthening intelligence alliances in a framework of cooperation and integration. The leadership of the Executive Directorate and the Permanent Executive Secretariat has enabled progress in the creation of effective channels of communication, through which the ongoing interchange of information takes place in accordance with the principles of effectiveness, opportunity, and security. As was said above, economic and financial security and citizen safety are difficult to separate, since a significant portion of decisions to invest are based on statistics, as well as on perceptions of reality on the ground. Developed countries are conscious of this, like Italy, which invited CLACIP to the Fourth National Conference on Italy, Latin America, and the Caribbean held in Milan on 2 and 3 December 2009. The Colombian National Police participated actively in this event with the presentation “A Regional and Transatlantic Cooperation Alliance for Popular Stability and Development,” given by Col. Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, CLACIP Permanent Executive Secretary and Director of Colombian National Police Intelligence, following an introduction by Maribel Cervantes, CLACIP Executive Director 2009-2011 and Intelligence Director of the Mexican Ministry of Public Security, who opened the panel “Drug Trafficking and Security Policies in Their Transnational Aspects.” The mentioned presentation addressed drug trafficking as a principal element generating insecurity in the continent. In a constructive spirit, the presentation laid out what we consider ought to be done in order to obtain our shared objective: contributing to building and sustaining hemispheric security with a view toward guaranteeing human security. It is only by fighting against this plague that Latin American countries can ensure the flow of FDI, which contributes so much to popular development. Even if the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that FDI will have fallen 37 percent at the end of 2009, compared to the figures for 2008, this is a phenomenon experienced in all developing countries due to the world economic crisis. The Fourth National Conference on Italy, Latin America, and the Caribbean was an event of the first rank that brought together the most elite organizations working for popular economic development, and where prominent figures like Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, World Bank Vice President Pamela Cox, and foreign ministers and finance ministers from various countries, among others, attended as presenters. The purpose of the event was to share and discuss everything that has been done in Italy to make Latin America one of the priorities of Italian foreign policy, in accordance with the administration’s program. The meeting also served to sketch the possible outlines of actions to be taken in the future. The event was organized by the regional government of Lombardy, the Monza Brianza chamber of commerce, the Milan mayor’s office, and the Italian foreign ministry. CLACIP’s invitation to the event highlights the importance of this intelligence community for the development of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. One of the discussion panels in which CLACIP actively participated was titled precisely “European Union – Latin America: Roads to Integration,” with Swedish Foreign Ministry General Director for the Countries of the Americas Maria Cristina Lundqvist, Spanish State Secretary for Latin America Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, Italian Minister for Grace and Justice Angelino Alfano, and Italian National Antimafia Prosecutor Pietro Grasso as participants. After a meeting as important as the one held in Milan, Italy, to which we were invited, we police in the region who are working for cross-border security should cooperate even more, so that all these good intentions for integral community development can be effectively put into practice. It is for this reason that the Police Intelligence Directorate, in its capacity as CLACIP Permanent Executive Secretariat, and in the name of the Executive Directorate of this community, extends an invitation to all members of police intelligence organizations and services in this hemisphere so that day by day we can unite around the aim of working for a secure and prosperous Latin America and Caribbean, as our peoples deserve.