The 4th COPOLAD Annual Precursors Week brings together 40 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in Buenos Aires


Published on 14/10/19

The 4th COPOLAD Annual Precursors Week brings together 40 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, 15 October 2019. The 4th COPOLAD Precursors Week, organised by the Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drugs Policies (COPOLAD), financed by the European Union and managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), will take place from 15 to 18 November in the capital of Buenos Aires.

Within the framework of the Programme and under the leadership of the Ministry of Security and the Secretariat for Comprehensive Policies on Drugs of the Argentine Nation (SEDRONAR), together with the Intelligence Centre Against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO) of the Ministry of the Interior of Spain, this annual meeting ends the work developed around the objective of articulating a bi-regional collaboration between experts from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union (EU), belonging -among other instances- to Police Units, Ministries of the Interior and Specialised Prosecutor's Offices, among others.

A total of 80 experts from 40 countries are present at this meeting, which will have a large representation of the most important international organisations dealing with these issues. In them, the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors (AIAMP), the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS), Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) of the European Commission and the Programme on Strengthening criminal investigation and criminal justice cooperation along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa (CRIMJUST), also financed by the European Commission.

The opening session will be attended by Eugenio Burzaco, Secretary of Security and Martín Verrier, Undersecretary of Fight against Drug Trafficking, both from the Ministry of Security of the Presidency of the Argentine Nation; Roberto Moro, Secretary of Comprehensive Policies on Drugs of the Argentine Nation (SEDRONAR), Luis Pereira Mateus, Attaché of Cooperation Projects of the Delegation of the European Union in Argentina, José Andrés Pérez López, Head of the International Area of CITCO and Claudia Liebers Gil, Institutional Relations and Strategy Manager of COPOLAD.

COPOLAD's Annual Weeks on Chemical Precursors: a consolidated model of joint work to address this issue

With the aim of effectively tackling the threat posed by the proliferation of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in both regions, COPOLAD has placed particular emphasis on chemical precursors, the study and treatment of which is essential in anticipating and tackling the emergence of these substances. There continues to be a pressing need for a global and regional strategy to control the diversion of drug precursors that do not appear on the control lists of the countries, a challenge to which COPOLAD is trying to contribute hand in hand with the CELAC and EU countries.

This last edition closes the cycle that began in Barcelona (2016); with subsequent editions held in Brasilia (2017) and Lisbon (2018). After four editions, COPOLAD's Annual Weeks on Chemical Precursors have become a reference activity at the bi-regional level.

Among the success factors is the acceptance of COPOLAD as a reference framework for the discussion of issues and problems around NPS, as well as the working methodology, which by having daily plenary sessions and field visits, allows experts to know first-hand the experience of different countries and institutions, their facilities and procedures. This exchange of information and best practices is key when facing common challenges in the region related to the prevention and control of chemical precursors for the illicit manufacture of drugs.

On this occasion, the status of the situation and presentations of cases in CELAC and EU will be debated; new psychoactive substances and their challenges will be tackled again; forensic techniques and the role of laboratories will be explored; processes related to seizures and ocular inspections will be deepened; and the importance of collaboration with industry and inter-agency cooperation will be stressed, among other topics. During the week, visits will be made to the forensic and criminalistics laboratory of the Federal Police of Argentina.