This project seeks to strengthen the capacities of the agencies in charge of fighting the finances of illegal mining throughout its irregular production chain. The activities will directly benefit officials and agencies in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana and Suriname. These countries are among the largest gold producers in Latin America. Their combined production places them as the second largest producer in the world. It is estimated that between 50% and 60% of its mining industry in the region is informal, which makes supervision and control difficult by the State and creates the ideal conditions for its exploitation.

Along with illegal mining, there is a chain of illegal activities that range from the irregular importation of precursors and machinery to the commercialization of illegally extracted resources, including the laundering of profits that are used again in other illegal activities, or expanding operations of illegal mining to other areas in the countries of the region.

The gaps in regulatory frameworks and procedural protocols; the insufficient coordination between the authorities responsible for the detection, investigation and prosecution of illegal mining and its illicit financial flows; as well as the need to improve the mechanisms to promote international cooperation, are some of the challenges perceived by the DTOC and on which this project focuses.

Achievements

Achievements Illegal mining

Activities

  • Preparation of a situational diagnosis of the phenomenon of illegal mining and money laundering activities in the beneficiary countries and definition of the project baseline.
  • Dialogue sessions between experts for the exchange of good practices in the complaints of operations potentially related to illegal mining.
  • Creation of National Task Forces (NTF) against Illegal Mining in beneficiary countries.
  • Establishment of an informal regional network of these NTFs, to promote cooperation in the fight against illegal mining.
  • Training of judges and prosecutors in the application of legal frameworks for money laundering and illegal mining.
  • Trainings and training sessions for the agencies in charge of managing assets of illicit origin, for their correct administration and disposal.
  • Strengthening regional cooperation against illegal mining: contact with other relevant regional institutions.

Strategic partners

United States of America
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
US Department of State
Grupo de Acción Financiera de Latinoamérica (GAFILAT)
Grupo de Acción Financiera del CARIBE (GAFIC)

Team

Gastón Schulmeister
Gastón Schulmeister

Director
Department against Transnational Organized Crime
e-mail: GSchulmeister@oas.org
John Grajales
John Grajales

Technical Specialist
e-mail: JGrajales@oas.org

Publications

The Department against Transnational Organized Crime of the Organization of American States (OAS-DTOC), based on its specialization in associated matters and its international experience, intends to raise awareness and contribute to a topic of relevance to Latin America in general, and of great concern to Colombia.

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We hope that this document will serve as a tool for identifying trends and specific behavior patterns in the way in which transnational organized crime groups transform, transport, transfer, and manage resources of illicit origin in a way that facilitates the processes of detection, intelligence, investigation, and sanction ...

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The Department Against Transnational Organized Crime of the Organization of American States (OAS-DTOC) provides valuable expertise and oversight into regulations for the mining sector in Peru and the broader region to help combat illegal mining and related criminal practices. The OAS DTOC coordinates projects and events with member states, including Peru, helping to build capacity to combat transnational organized crime.

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While criminal syndicates often produce the gold themselves by means of illegal permits, they also extort small-scale mining companies and miners to produce their gold. The illegal gold is not only sold in domestic and regional markets, but also shipped to the United States, Canada, and European markets. This expansion of illegal mining -especially illegal gold mining- has destroyed and displaced communities, contaminated clean water sources, and ravaged environments and ecosystems.

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