Authorities from several Latin American nations signed the treaty for the constitution of the Police Community of the Americas (Ameripol) in Brasilia, Brazil. This document, known as the Treaty of Brasilia, consolidates the Community as a regional police organization to strengthen cooperation and information exchange between the police and security forces of the countries of the Americas to combat transnational crime, Spanish news agency EFE reported.
“This institution will support its member police forces in pursuing transnational crime without politicizing the cases,” Misael Rivas Soriano, a Salvadoran lawyer and criminologist, told Diálogo on December 9. “It will shut down getaway areas for people accused of crimes related to corruption, supporting drug trafficking, or organized crime.”
“Initially Ameripol was an idea, a book with blank pages to write. But over the years, the strategic partners who are here today have worked hard and steadily to create a regional police cooperation body in the Americas,” said Dr. Andrei Passos, Ameripol’s executive secretary, at the signing of the treaty on November 9. “What once seemed like a dream has become a reality and we have achieved our legal consolidation. With the signing of this international treaty, Ameripol will no longer be formed by police forces, but by countries.”
The organization will now be able to receive mandates from member states or carry out regional operations autonomously, German broadcaster DW reported. As a regional organization, Ameripol also has the backing of their partners.
According to Nicaraguan media Despacho 505, Latin America and the Caribbean account for 10 percent of the global population and 28 percent of the world’s murders.
Among the many groups whose criminal activities cross borders are Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Brazil’s First Capital Command, and Colombia’s Clan del Golfo. These gangs, despite the blows dealt by various police and military forces, have cells throughout the region and ties to international mafias and terrorist groups, Forbes magazine reported.
“The fight against transnational organized crime, which is a threat to our countries, to our democracies, but above all to our citizens, requires collaboration, support, coordination, and joint work between countries,” Chile’s undersecretary of the Interior Manuel Monsalve said. “[Ameripol] will allow cooperation in the fight against organized crime, to share information and develop intelligence, to carry out joint operations against criminal organizations, to educate and train our police, to have more capable states to protect the security of their citizens.”
“Collaboration varies according to the country where it’s requested […], because each country protects its jurisdiction. For example, strong police forces such as the Spanish Civil Guard or Italy’s Carabinieri, which have iron doctrines, are more aggressive than even Interpol,” Soriano said. “In these countries the regional bodies become a support to the police, who act with more force.”
Just like the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) or Interpol, Ameripol is a cooperation mechanism that promotes and strengthens police support in technical-scientific matters, to make the exchange of intelligence information more effective.
“The strategy that police directors within Ameripol studied involves the permanent exchange of information from national units, the implementation of specialized centers, captures through the ENFAST Network [European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams], and the training of police forces to reduce asymmetries and create strategic alliances with Europol, Interpol, and other international agencies,” Ameripol said via X (formerly Twitter). “In addition, we will share the analysis of organized crime in the region, the protection of human rights, and the implementation of joint operations through a schedule defined by Ameripol’s Criminal Investigation Support Coordination.”
The institution also plans the creation of a unit that will combat drug and human trafficking and immigrant smuggling and of a virtual network against terrorism, violent radicalism, and hate crimes. The Human Rights Office will be headquartered in Bogotá, Colombia, Agência Brasil reported.
Ameripol is currently made up of 33 police forces from 27 Latin American countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. It also has 31 observer organizations, including the Spanish Civil Guard, Interpol, and Europol, among others.