Representatives of seven countries that make up the Forum for the Progress and Integration of South America (Prosul) approved today (21), in Paraguay, a declaration in which they reaffirm their commitment to increase regional initiatives to combat transnational organized crime.
At the document, the representatives of Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru and Suriname approach regional security more broadly, but at the initiative of Paraguay, which until today held the bloc’s rotating presidency, the signatories agreed to highlight the need to improve the fight against transnational illicit acts.
“The emphasis of this meeting will be on the fight against transnational organized crime, which has become a common enemy that we must fight with a commitment of the highest level, joining forces to eradicate it,” declared Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, opening the 7th Meeting of Heads of State and Government and High Authorities of Prosul, which took place this Thursday, in the city of Luque, in the metropolitan region of Asunción.
Abdo stated that, over the last few decades, South American countries have been making an effort to act in an integrated manner against transnational criminal organizations, but that this has not been enough.
“The great challenge we face is to develop joint tools to provide coordinated regional responses in order to combat the threat to security in its different dimensions,” added the Paraguayan president, citing, as an example, the need for South American countries to improve their mechanisms of combat money laundering.
“The fight against organized crime has to be solidary and cooperative”, commented Abdo. “This transversal threat is increasingly dangerous and manifests itself in the context of South American integrated security. Its consequences permeate our societies and institutions, representing a real risk to our democracy and the rule of law, as it corrodes the cement of republican life, fosters corruption and endangers the well-being and health of our people.”
In their speeches, representatives of the other Prosur countries endorsed the group’s intention to intensify coordinated action in order to “promote the strengthening of institutions and foster mutual trust”.
The Brazilian chancellor, Carlos França, said it was “very appropriate and timely” to choose the theme as the central axis of the meeting. France recalled that, less than a month ago, Brasília hosted the 1st Ministerial Meeting of South America – United against Transnational Crime, during which Brazil signed bilateral cooperation agreements with Guyana and Ecuador, in addition to a declaration jointly with Colombia.
“We maintain numerous knowledge exchange initiatives [com países sul-americanos] for the investigation and repression of illicit transnational activities, favoring actions such as mutual collaboration in the fight against money laundering; police cooperation; the exchange of intelligence information and international legal cooperation”, said França, classifying the fight against international criminal organizations as one of “the greatest challenges” faced by nations, “with serious effects on the domestic security of our nations and on our daily lives”. day of our populations”.
Mercosur Heads of State Summit
The Prosul meeting took place in parallel with the 60th Summit of Mercosur Heads of State, which also took place in Luque. At the end of the event, Uruguay assumes the rotating presidency of the bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and has Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname as associated states. Venezuela has been suspended from the bloc since 2017.