The Minister of Security of the Nation, Aníbal Fernández, and Amador Sánchez Rico, the ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina, launched the first Summit of the Latin American Committee for Internal Security (CLASI), under the slogan “Regional cooperation against drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms and ammunition trafficking and environmental crime”.
Fernández, who currently chairs CLASI, said “the threats we face are extremely complex, dramatically intensifying in recent years. This year’s data from the World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime confirms this with regard to drug trafficking. We are experiencing tragic events in the region, such as the current situation in Ecuador and the murder of Paraguayan prosecutor Marcelo Pecci in May of this year, among others.” He then added: “If we feel we are alone in the face of these threats, confronting them seems impossible. We need to raise our sights, look beyond our borders and know that we can think together and coordinate our actions”.
The ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina, Amador Sánchez Rico, who spoke before Fernández, said: “The European Union is committed to a security policy based on fundamental values and rights that enables an effective response to protect people, in particular the most vulnerable, while ensuring that security and respect for fundamental rights are not contradictory, but rather coherent, complementary, and I would go so far as to say, necessary. To guarantee this security, the European Union is committed to cooperation with partner countries and regions. Partners such as Argentina and Latin America. In the European Union, and I say this with full sincerity, we feel satisfaction, even pride, at having been able to join and support the process of creating this Committee”, he said.
Concluding his speech, Fernández said that guaranteeing peaceful and safe communities requires us to cooperate with each other. “Far from being an act of surrendering sovereignty, cooperation constitutes an act of love and care towards our peoples, allowing us to make the most of the resources we have, make smarter decisions and, together, be more effective in our purpose”.
CLASI is a political, strategic and operational coordination mechanism that defines and implements public security policies in the region. It brings together ministers from 11 countries who seek to define priorities based on exchanging information to achieve better results in the region’s security policies.
It brings together ministers from Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama and the Dominican Republic, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay (Peru is also expected to join today’s meeting) in order to define priorities based on the exchange of information on crime through operational action plans that permit more effective results to be achieved for the region and resources to be optimised.
The organisation was created on 2 March 2022 in Brussels through the signing of the CLASI Creation Declaration. Within this framework, on 19 October, ministers from Europe and Latin America signed another declaration for the creation of a Bi-regional Operational Working Group (GTO) for the Fight against Drug Trafficking.
The President of the Republic of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, closed the CLASI meeting with a speech in which he called for “being uncompromising in the fight against organised crime”.