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OAS and Brazil Signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Meeting on Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters in Brasilia

  May 2, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Brazil today signed a Memorandum of Understanding related to the Sixth Meeting of the Working Group on Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters, to be held in Brasilia on May 15 and 16.

The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, said progress could be made in Brasilia on issues that are being analyzed by several informal working groups, coordinated by different States; and announced that participants will consider three proposals for Inter-American instruments. “The first is a draft protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance, designed to facilitate the use of new communication technologies and hearings by videoconference, an initiative that has come to be led by El Salvador." The second -he continued-is related to another protocol to the Convention for the establishment of joint investigation teams, led by Chile." "And the third aims to develop a new agile and expedited Inter-American legal instrument on extradition led by Argentina," he said after signing the agreement at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

The OAS Secretary General added that the meeting will provide the opportunity to make "concrete progress made by the General Secretariat of the OAS to consolidate the network that facilitates the exchange of information between authorities in legal cooperation". "This network has been considered as a model by the United Nations and is useful for the authorities involved in it because it allows them to solve specific cases quickly and effectively," added Insulza.

The OAS leader highlighted the "continued and active" commitment of Brazil to the process of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA) and recalled that this group already had the occasion to meet in Brazil in 2005 and in 2010, when the country hosted REMJA VIII. Secretary General Insulza said that "this active engagement is a demonstration of the importance that Brazil grants the central themes of the REMJAs: justice and international legal cooperation."

“The OAS is the natural setting for the development of international law in the Hemisphere," continued Secretary General Insulza. "It is in this field that its unique quality is expressed, as in no other. More than half of the Inter-American treaties are related to international legal cooperation. Taken together, these treaties will constitute the largest contribution of the OAS in this matter,” he added.

For his part, the Acting Representative of Brazil to the OAS, Breno Dias da Costa, said that countries in the region face new challenges with the internationalization of crime and criminal gangs operating in several countries. "In this context, legal cooperation is indispensable for the implementation of international criminal law, and in combating the various forms of crime that cross borders," said the Brazilian diplomat.

The Brazilian diplomat said the OAS has much to contribute to the region's legal cooperation. "Brazil believes that the OAS can contribute, and has much to contribute, at the hemispheric level so that our legal systems can operate more efficiently," he said. Dias da Costa recalled that it was from this perspective that Brazil offered itself to host the REMJA IX in 2010, as well as the meeting of experts on legal cooperation of the member states of the OAS to take place in two weeks in Brasilia.

Representative Dias da Costa noted that his country has great expectations for the meeting in order to "move forward in the discussions that have been taking place in the context of the REMJAs on legal cooperation" in criminal matters.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-183/14