Last Edition

Latin American Governments Meet in Colombia to Strengthen Cooperation against Cyber-crime

Government representatives from 18 Latin American countries will gather September 3-5, 2008, in Bogotá, Colombia, to participate in a regional workshop aimed at strengthening the national legislation in each country against cyber-crime. 

The workshop comes at a timely moment. A survey conducted by the OAS General Secretariat indicated that the people, businesses, and governments of OAS countries are often victims of cyber-crimes such as online identity theft, crimes involving intellectual property, and child pornography shared over the Internet.  Yet, as of early 2007, only 15 of the 34 OAS member states had substantive cyber-crime legislation in place, while only 12 states had enacted procedural cyber-crime legislation. 

The Bogotá workshop is a collaboration between the Organization of American States (OAS), the Council of Europe, the Colombian Foreign Ministry and the United States Department of Justice

The three-day workshop will cover the following issues:

  • Substantive and procedural laws required for an effective, comprehensive national legal framework against cyber-crime
  • Knowledge of best practices and reforms underway in the Americas and other regions of the world regarding cyber-crime legislation
  • Steps countries can take toward strengthening national cyber-crime legislation
  • An overview of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber-crime and examples of how countries have implemented it through national law

This event was organized as a result of recommendations from the OAS’s Working Group on Cyber-crime.  The Working Group, created in March 1999 and currently chaired by the U.S. Government through its Department of Justice, was created by the Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General of the OAS member states.

The Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General have given the Working Group mandates which include the identification of cooperation mechanisms to combat cyber-crime, and the completion of a diagnosis of national legislation, policies and practices on the topic.

The workshop in Bogotá was preceded by a similar meeting for the Caribbean region which took place May 13-15, 2008, in Trinidad and Tobago.  It will be followed by a third workshop, to be held in Central America in early 2009.

The following countries will participate in the workshop in Bogotá: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

For an agenda of the event, please click here. 

For more information about the Working Group on Cyber-crime, please click here.


Countries from the Hemisphere Meet in Chile to Analyze Prison Policies

The second meeting of the Officials Responsible for Penitentiary and Prison Policies of the member states of the Organization of American States took place in Valdivia, Chile August 26-28, 2008.  The meeting was organized by the OAS General Secretariat through its Department of Public security, with the support of the Chilean Ministry of Justice.

The topics discussed during the three-day event included international penitentiary and prison standards, public-private ventures, rehabilitation and social reintegration in a restricted environment, alternatives to imprisonment, judicial oversight in the penitentiary system, overcrowding in prisons, and adolescents and young adults in the penitentiary system.

The event was inaugurated by the Chilean Minister of Justice, Carlos Maldonado Curti, and included the participation of 22 countries from the region.  Other participants included international experts in prison policy from the King’s College of England, the Canadian Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Sub secretariat for the Federal Penitentiary System of Mexico, the Center for Security Studies of the University of Chile, the General Directorate of Prisons of El Salvador, FLACSO-Chile, GTZ-Chile and the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress of Costa Rica. In addition, presentations were made by representatives from the General Secretariat of the OAS, the Inter-American Children’s Institute, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The event, which was organized in response to the recommendations made by the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA-VII), provided an important platform for the exchange of information and best practices.  The results of the meeting will be reported at the next REMJA meeting, which will be held in 2010. 



Click here to subscribe or unsubscribe from this newsletter.

Newsletter Archive

Department of Legal Cooperation
19th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20006