It Is Imperative that Countries Cooperate Against Crime, Uribe Says
By Dialogo May 05, 2010 Speaking at the opening of a meeting of Latin American police in the port of Cartagena, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe said that states have the “juridical imperative” to cooperate against crime. “International cooperation against criminality is not a political option; it’s not the object of a discretionary decision by states and governments. It’s an ethical imperative; it’s a juridical imperative,” Uribe asserted upon opening the “Latin American and Caribbean Police Summit.” Uribe, who will end his second term in office on 7 August, thanked the United States for its cooperation, first with Plan Colombia in the fight against drug trafficking and illegal armed groups and now with “the signing of the security agreement.” Through Plan Colombia, Washington has dedicated more than six billion dollars to military aid. In addition, in October the two countries signed a treaty permitting U.S. soldiers to use Colombian bases for operations in the fight against drug trafficking. At the same time, the Colombian defense minister, Gabriel Silva, explained that the meeting in Cartagena (1,090 km north of Bogotá) seeks to strengthen international cooperation and find new ways to combat drug trafficking and terrorism. “Without international cooperation, it’s impossible to defeat transnational crime. Borders cannot separate countries in the duty, in the legal and ethical obligation to confront criminals,” he noted. Delegates from police forces from twenty-four countries in the region are attending the meeting. Panelists at the meeting, which will last until Friday, include delegates from the United Nations (UN), the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).