At a meeting in BrasÀlia, Brazil’s capital city, representatives of 22 member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved a recommendation, Saturday, September 3, suggesting that a permanent organ be set up in the OAS for international cooperation in penal matters.
This information was given by Antenor Madruga, director of the Department of Asset Recovery and International Legal Cooperation in the Brazilian Ministry of Justice.
According to Madruga, the proposal will be examined at a meeting of the ministers of justice of the Americas, planned for the first semester of 2006. In his opinion, the establishment of the group would be a way to achieve closer cooperation among OAS member countries.
“It would be a forerunner of what exists in the European Union, that is, a mutual space for judicial and police authorities, in which frontiers will become less and less a barrier to the work of the police, the Public Defense Ministry, and the Judiciary,” he said.
The proposal is one of the results of the meeting, at which representatives of South American, North American, and Central American countries gathered in Brasília.
The goal was to strengthen legal cooperation in the war on crime, especially the so-called transnational organizations, on money-laundering, and on the financing of terrorism.
The meeting, which was sponsored by the OAS, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Public Defense Ministry, ended September 3.
“It was a meeting of the principal government officials who deal with international cooperation in the penal area, that is, officials who endeavor to provide banking information, for example, for the investigation of crimes or the extradition of people who have committed crimes,” Madruga explained.
“The results we have recently achieved in breaking bank secrecy abroad and obtaining quicker extraditions are the results of meetings such as this one, held every two years.”