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Latin American and Caribbean Criminal Court

by Camila Lopez Badra  

  

It has been more than five years since the Argentine NGO "Democracia Global" started the campaign to create a Latin American and Carribean Criminal Court Against Transnational Organized Crime (COPLA, for its acronym in Spanish). Thanks to the restless endeavor of the NGO, this campaign now has over 3000 signatures, including those of academics, politicians and parlamentarians from all around the globe. 

 

But, why did such a small organization based in a country in the far corners of the world prompt this iniciative? The first reason is that Latin America has become the most violent region in the world, exceeding even Africa's statistics. The latest report released by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (CCSPJP, for its acronym in Spanish) shows that 43 out of the 50 most violent cities in the world are located in the Latin American region.

Organized crime is one of the principal instigators for these violent acts and, thus, COPLA's primary objective is to closely follow the leaders of the organizations linked to the regional threat, as well as prosecute and put them on trial. 

The second reason for the creation of this Court is the unsatisfactory responses of the States when it comes to facing this great affliction. Brazil, Mexico and Venezeula have decided to use military forces as security measures, however, these countries are home to two-thirds of the most violent cities in the world, according to the CCSPJP. Therefore, the stategies available to the States, be they in regards to security or simply regulations, have become obsolete as criminals embrace the integrated world we live in, both on a regional and global scale. Using this to their advantage, they get around borders and elude the control of local institutions.

Currently, the COPLA campaign has become a government policy for the Argentine Republic. It receives the support of the national legislative power and has been institutionalized by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. However, this is still not enough. We need the participation of all the Latin American citizens, civil society organizations and governments that wish to face one of the key issues in the economic and social development of the region: organized crime.

If you are interested in joining the COPLA campaign, please sign the petition at www.coalicioncopla.org.


 

 
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