Bolivia Interior Minister Carlos Romero

Bolivia, Peru and Brazil declared that they will create a joint fund using money seized from criminal groups to help in their fight against organized crime in the region, highlighting how this often untapped source of revenue can be utilized.

Bolivia’s interior minister, Carlos Romero, announced on November 15 that his government had agreed with Peru and Brazil to create a shared fund to fight organized crime, reported La Razon.

The fund -- which, according to Romero, will be used to purchase technology used in the fight against crime and to pay informants -- will be financed primarily using money and assets seized from criminals. Both Peru and Brazil already have laws in place permitting the use of criminal assets by the state. Bolivia has yet to pass its own version of the law.

Romero added that the three governments had agreed on a set of protocols to shoot down suspected drug trafficking planes, and that Peru will set up two radars along its border to help track drug flights.

The announcements came during a tri-governmental meeting in the Peruvian capital, Lima.

InSight Crime Analysis

Goods seized from criminal gangs have the potential to provide governments in the region with a valuable source of funding in the fight against organized crime. Nicaragua, for example, announced last month that the government would build five new prisons, using a portion of the $9.2 million seized from a group of alleged cash smugglers currently on trial. But other countries have faced difficulties in redistributing criminal assets quickly and efficiently: in Honduras, one law meant to allow the government to use seized drug money has proved largely toothless, thanks to bureaucratic red tape. 

It is also noteworthy that Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru are all discussing implementing shoot-down protocols for suspected drug flights. Traffickers moving drugs by plane have made great use of routes through Brazil and Bolivia, as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted last year. In response to the problem, Bolivia has conducted joint exercises with the Brazilian Air Force and drafted a law last month that will enable Bolivia to shoot down suspected drug flights

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros

On the morning of April 5, 1988, Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros left his palatial Tegucigalpa estate for a jog. Matta Ballesteros was wanted for murder, drug trafficking and other crimes in several countries, but in Honduras he felt safe. He regularly hosted parties for high-level officials at...

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The 'Huistas'

In the northwest corner of Guatemala, a little known criminal organization known as the "Huistas" dominates the underworld, in large part due its ties with businessmen, law enforcement officials and politicians.

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Don Berna'

By the end of 1993, Pablo Escobar was cornered. The cocaine king -- known as "El Patrón" -- was running out of money and options. His top assassins were either dead or had turned themselves in. Almost all of the senior members of the Medellín Cartel were...

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Guatemala is Central America’s most populous country and its largest economy. But an intransigent elite, an ambitious military and a weak state has opened the way for organized crime to flourish, especially since the return of democracy.

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Guatemala Elites and Organized Crime: The CICIG

Like any arm of the justice system, the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala - CICIG) had its battles with elites who used their charm and their muscle to try to influence what and who the celebrated commission...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: The Cachiros

As it tends to happen in Honduras, the news began as a well-heeled rumor: Javier Rivera Maradiaga, the oldest of the three Rivera Maradiaga brothers still alive and leader of the feared and powerful Honduran drug trafficking group known as the Cachiros, had handed himself in to...

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: 'Jorge 40'

Rodrigo Tovar Pupo never imagined it would come to this: dressed in an orange jumpsuit in a Washington DC courtroom and standing in front of a United States federal judge, the grandson of a wealthy Colombian cattle rancher and nephew to a governor was facing a possible...

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Elites and Organized Crime: Preface

Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago with a population of about 60,000. In general, it was a very low crime city, which is perhaps why many mobsters made their homes there, among them...

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

Elites and Organized Crime: Conceptual Framework - Organized Crime

This project defines organized crime as: a structured group of people that associate on a regular and prolonged basis to benefit from illicit activities and illegal markets. This group can be local, national or transnational in nature, and its existence is maintained using violence and threats; corruption...