Mexico, Italy Agree to Share Lessons on Fighting Mafia

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At a conference in Rome, Mexican and Italian officials agreed to continue bilateral security cooperation and increase their support for Central America’s fight against transnational organized crime.

At the fifth annual Italy-Latin America Conference, Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa and her Italian counterpart Franco Frattini agreed to increase knowledge sharing about their nations’ experiences of battling criminal groups. Frattini expressed his country’s admiration for President Calderon’s commitment to fighting organized crime.

In a speech, Italy’s foreign minister said that Mexico and Central America’s biggest challenges come from the availability of illegal guns and huge incomes of organized criminal groups. He challenged the countries in the region to coordinate their disparate laws against organized crime, and develop unified legislation to make it easier to seize assets bought with the proceeds of illicit activities. Frattini provided examples of how Italy has attacked “the heart” of organized criminal groups by seizing illegal obtained assets.

Espinosa voiced support for Italy’s proposal, and emphasized the need to attack organized crime’s financial structures while combating illicit weapons trafficking in the region.

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