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Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

US, Colombia, and Mexico officials work to fight criminal organizations

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Prosecutors from Colombia, Mexico, and the United States met in June to develop joint strategies and best practices to dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that threaten the three nations.

The meeting of the Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCO) Working Group in Cartagena, Colombia, was attended by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez for the Middle District of Florida. Also in attendance were U.S. Attorneys from the federal districts of Arizona, Southern District of California, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Northern District of Georgia, District of New Jersey, District of New Mexico, Eastern District of Texas, Southern District of Texas, Western District of Texas and District of Utah.

Additionally, trial attorneys were on hand from the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and representatives from the Criminal Division’s International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program (ICITAP); the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); U.S. Customs and Border Protection; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Colombian National Police.

“Global cooperation is the key to mitigating threats to our national security and thwarting borderless crimes,” Lopez said. “The OPDAT Program continues to provide us, and our international partners, with the vital tools, information, and resolve necessary to defeat criminals, wherever they operate.”

Ricardo Carriazo, director of the Special Unit against Drug Trafficking for the Colombian Attorney General’s Office, said the best practices developed at this meeting will be seen soon in the development of international judicial operations.