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Permanent Council of The OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security


With the support of

Government of Canada
through its "Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program" (ACCBP)

OAS - Inter-American Observatory on Security
SMS > Inter-American Observatory on Security > News
In the News

We need more international cooperation against drug trafficking – Insulza
Notimex (México)

Not only do the joint effort by member states, but worldwide - said the head of the OAS. Notimex.

Lima – Earlier today, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, asserted that the fight against narco-trafficking is being hindered by the flow of high-powered arms in the Americas.

In an interview with Notimex, Insulza said that “it’s difficult to maintain a permanent fight against drug trafficking, while the demand for drugs rises, and the flow of weapons comes from outside to create problems for the countries”

“What is certainly lacking here is more international cooperation”, stated Insulza, who arrived in Lima on Wednesday to attend the Thursday presidential inauguration of Ollanta Humala.

The former Chilean foreign minister said that “what concerns the Organization of American States is the easy access that criminal cartels have to high-powered weapons.”

Insulza found it difficult to speak of total democracy “when organized crime threatens political life, disregarding established legalities, following by their own rule of law.”

Insulza said that the issue of security is one of the major challenges to democracy in the region and should be treated as a top priority on the agenda of governments. “It is a difficult subject to discuss It requires not only the joint efforts of Latin American states, but also the collaboration of the outside world.”

The former Chilean minister also pointed out that “it is difficult to discuss democracy, when there are groups within society that do not respect the law”, and warned that the phenomenon of organized crime is growing, and further threatening political life in Latin America.

Without mentioning any specific country, Insulza added that “when there are high crime rates, it’s difficult to talk about the respect for human rights”. Acknowledging that in this context, “fundamental human rights are not guaranteed.”

“We are facing a situation in which private police forces outnumber the public forces, like in Central America,” he said.

Insulza explained that the reality of public security is different for every country “We must be careful when discussing the public alarm in regards to security; as this is both an objective and subjective phenomenon.”

He added that “in general, this region has some of the highest crime rates (and violent causes of death) in the world. Furthermore, two thirds of the world’s kidnappings occur in the Americas.

“70 percent of the world’s kidnappings occur in a region that holds 8.5 percent of the world’s population,” he said.

According to official figures, this region accounts for about 27 percent of the world’s intentional homicides, and every year, approximately 200 million citizens of Latin American and the Caribbean are victims, either directly or indirectly, on an act of violence or crime.

According to Latinobarometro, over the past decade, 1.2 million people have lost their lives due to violence in the region, with a large percentage of these deaths linked to the activities of transnational crime.


OAS Training Institutes of Foreign Affairs on Trafficking in Persons in Kingston, Jamaica

Report on two day conference held in St. Kitts & Nevis entitled “Confronting the Challenges of Youth Crime and Violence in Society: Defining a Multi-Sectoral Response.”

June 24, 2009
Press Releases

» UN supports anti-crime action plan of OAS
People’s Daily Online (China) - June 8th

» OAS alert the Americas on Public Safety.
The Americas Post (USA) - June 6th

Selected publications
Alertamerica.org: Report on Citizen Security 2011
PDF,  10 MB
Documentos Claves de la OEA sobre Seguridad. Volumen II
PDF,  1.5 MB
La Seguridad
Pública en las Américas: Retos y Oportunidades
La Cárcel: Problemas y Desafíos para las Américas
PDF, 7.4 MB
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