Chapultepec Consensus: Establishment of the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation Against Transnational Organized Crime

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
September 20, 2012


PREAMBLE

Considering the need to strengthen and promote bilateral, sub-regional, regional and international cooperation in order to prevent and counter violence, corruption and the diversity of the activities of international organized crime in full observance of the Rule of Law, domestic legal frameworks and international law, as well as human rights;

Acknowledging the importance of executing, at the regional level, comprehensive strategies, policies and actions which encourage the application of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the Protocols thereto;

Recognizing also the importance of existing regional and sub-regional networks to form a common approach in the hemisphere against transnational organized crime, considering the harmonization of strategies and objectives;

Considering the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach to prevent and combat transnational organized crime, relying on institutions which perform such duties, in order to articulate, utilize and promote the institutional networks, as well as existing technological platforms;

Recalling that the Heads of State and Government agreed in the Sixth Summit of the Americas, held on April 14 and 15, 2012, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, the “establishment of a hemispheric approach against transnational organized crime”;

Taking into account the recommendations of the First, Second and Third Technical Consultations to establish the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation Against Transnational Organized Crime, held on May 28 and 29, 2012 in Cancun, Mexico; June 28 and 29, in La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala; and on August 2 and 3 in Santiago de Chile, 2012, respectively;

Therefore:

Pursuant to the Commitment adopted by the Heads of State and Government during the Sixth Summit of the Americas, held on April 14 and 15, 2012, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, the Representatives of countries which participated in such summit, gathered in Mexico City as of September 20, 2012 at the International Conference, declare:

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HEMISPHERIC APPROACH FOR COOPERATION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME:

Hemispheric Approach:

Ministers, Attorneys GeneraI and Heads of Delegation of participating countries hereby establish the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime, hereinafter Hemispheric Approach, as a cooperation mechanism in the Americas consisting of two independent pillars, namely, an operational pillar and a technical - political pillar.

Objectives of the Hemispheric Approach:

The Hemispheric Approach has as its objectives the coordination of efforts and action of our States in terms of a harmonized approach against transnational organized crime by promoting, among others:

  1. The application of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the Protocols thereto; the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime (PAHDOT) of the Organization of American States (OAS), and its work plan, as well as other international programs and instruments applicable on this matter;
  2. The articulation and facilitation of assistance, as well as technical-operational and financial cooperation for and between participating States;
  3. The adoption of public policies, strategies and laws on prevention, law enforcement, social reintegration and victim assistance; studies and analyses for the harmonization of legal frameworks, exchange of best practices and information, criminal prosecution policies, as well as training in matters related to the fight against transnational organized crime, among others;
  4. The coordination and articulation of strategic, tactical and operational actions against transnational organized crime by States and by hemispheric networks;
  5. The full harnessing of the programs and activities of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations (UN) and Organization of American States (OAS) to fight transnational organized crime;
  6. The coordination with and the strengthening of the UNODC-backed Prosecutors Network against Organized Crime of Central America and the Dominican Republic (REFCO) and other existing hemispheric networks, as well as others that could be established.

Mandates of the Hemispheric Approach:

The activities of the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organize Crime take into account the mandates adopted in the Summits of the Americas, the decisions and outcomes of the OAS General Assembly, the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA), the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA) and other relevant agencies and entities of the Inter-American System related to the fight against transnational organized crime, as well as the decisions agreed upon during regional and sub-regional specialized meetings in which all Member States are invited. In order to fulfill these mandates, the Coordinating Center of the Americas (CCA) and the OAS are committed to maintaining close coordination.

Operational Pillar:

The Operational Pillar of the Hemispheric Approach should be housed in the Coordinating Center of the Americas against Transnational Organized Crime, an intergovernmental entity with technical, operational and financial autonomy.

Objectives of the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

The CCA’s objectives are as follows: to coordinate and articulate strategic, tactical and operational actions against transnational organized crime by States and by hemispheric networks in a speedy and timely manner. The CCA is committed to establishing cooperative ties with and among other international, regional and sub-regional specialized organizations and mechanisms.

For the fulfillment of its mission, the Coordinating Center is charged with promoting and encouraging, among others:

  1. The comprehensive and systematic exchange of strategic, tactical and operational information to combat transnational organized crime within the realms of intelligence, investigation, law enforcement and criminal prosecution;
  2. The development of strategic products that facilitate the decision-making process, such as criminal threat assessments and geo-referenced maps, as well as modi operandi of transnational organized crime;
  3. The use of innovative investigation techniques and technologies and strengthening, consolidating and expanding the coordinating instances and mechanisms at the international, regional, sub-regional levels, as well as for the specialized networks on intelligence, investigation and criminal prosecution; and
  4. The development of mechanisms intended to make information exchanged through CCA legally admissible.

Participation in the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

All OAS Member States may join the CCA on a voluntary basis.

OAS Member States that decide to participate in the CCA may determine the manner in which they do so, by designating liaisons at its Headquarters or engaging in a virtual manner, by specifying its corresponding experts. Said officials must have a security clearance whose periodic application is determined by the CCA’s Statutes.

The Representatives appointed by the participating States to the CCA will have experience in criminal investigation and prosecution, and competence to participate in actions performed by the CCA.

Relations with the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

The CCA is committed to providing feedback to participating States, OAS, UNODC and other specialized international, regional and sub-regional bodies and mechanisms regarding best practices, emerging threats and trends, deficiencies, public policy approaches, technical assistance needs, as well as any other aspects within its purview.

Likewise, the CCA is committed to encouraging the articulation and execution of assistance and technical and financial cooperation, for and between participating States.

The CCA is charged with articulating, utilizing and promoting both the institutional networks and technological platforms against transnational organized crime. Subsequently, the CCA is committed to making use of, and benefiting from the existing technological platforms, such as the Hemispheric Information Exchange Network for Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition of the OAS.

This operational pillar is committed to working with hemispheric and international prosecutorial, police and intelligence networks, such as the Prosecutors Network against Organized Crime of Central America and the Dominican Republic (REFCO), Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors (AIAMP), Specialized Meetings of Mercosur´s Public Prosecutors (REMPM), INTERPOL, American Police Community (AMERIPOL) and the Latin American and Caribbean Community of Police Intelligence (CLACIP).

Headquarters of the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

The CCA is headquartered in Mexico and for the fulfillment of its purposes will be located in the space provided by the Government of Mexico, with whom it will define the corresponding operational bases.

The creation of Subsidiary Headquarters may be taken into consideration, based on needs identified by the CCA, according to the procedures established by participating states in the CCA’s own Statutes.

Financial and Material Resources of the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

The CCA is funded through voluntary contributions, monetary or otherwise, made by States and International Organizations. Once established, its funding is determined by participating States through the Center’s Statutes.

Structure of the Coordinating Center of the Americas:

The CCA consists of an Executive Council, a General Coordinator and Specialized Coordinators.

The Executive Council is the CCA’s highest body which may convene at ordinary and extraordinary assemblies. It consists of one Representative of each participating State, with competence according to their legal and institutional framework. It meets (at least) once a year in an ordinary assembly and, when required, higher level Representatives may be convened. It is a deliberative body whereby decisions are approved by a simple majority of participating States in the corresponding assembly.

The Executive Council is entitled to:

  1. Approve and oversee budgets and the management of CCA’s resources undertaken by the General Coordinator;
  2. Approve CCA’s Statutes, its working program and other internal regulations;
  3. Hold its first session within the next 90 days following the adoption of this Consensus.
    For purposes of such session, States joining the CCA will submit a diplomatic note to Mexico (Temporary Secretariat of the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime), stating the manner in which they wish to do so and appointing their Representatives. Once Statutes are approved, countries must communicate to the General Coordinator their willingness to join the CCA.
  4. Other tasks conferred upon it by participating States in its Statutes.

The General Coordinator sets CCA’s direction and he or she will be appointed by the Executive Council through a simple majority of participating States at CCA. Statutes will define the duration of this entitlement and procedures for the appointment, as well as his or her functions.

The first Temporary General Coordinator will be appointed by the Government of Mexico and he or she will serve for a two-year term, time deemed to be sufficient for the implementation of CCA.

Among other activities, the First General Coordinator is entitled to:

  1. Undertake necessary arrangements with the Government of Mexico for the subscription and entry into force of CCA’s operational bases.
  2. Begin hiring essential local staff needed for the operation of CCA and start the operation of the facilities and manage initial resources.
  3. Submit to the Executive Council the proposal concerning Statutes and general working program, within 90 days.
  4. Maintaining close contact with the establishment process of the technical–political pillar of the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime.
  5. For purposes related to the first session of the Executive Council, receive and archive diplomatic notes from States joining the CCA whereby they state the manner in which they wish to do so and appoint their Representatives.
  6. Undertake other necessary tasks for fulfilling CCA's objectives.

Specialized Coordinators are appointed according to their focus on specific types of crime and the requirements needed for the collective effort to combat against transnational organized crime and will perform other tasks conferred upon by the Statutes.

With the first session of CCA’s Executive Council, the Temporary Secretariat of the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime shall be considered as having concluded.

Technical - Political Pillar:

The Technical-Political Pillar of the Hemispheric Approach against Transnational Organized Crime should be based within the OAS.

Based on resolution AG Res 2735 (XLII-0-12), concerning the execution of the Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime and the strengthening of hemispheric cooperation, approved by the XLII OAS General Assembly, we recommend the establishment of an Inter-American Commission against Transnational Organized Crime within the OAS. Likewise, OAS Member States are encouraged to promote the Establishment of said Commission by the OAS General Assembly in its XLIII session period, according to regulations and procedures of that Organization, as well as harnessing the structure, functions and attributions of the Technical Group on Transnational Organized Crime

In order to support the Commission, the restructuring of the OAS Secretariat for Multidimensional Security is recommended.

For the development of the Commission, OAS Member States may consider the following general guidelines:

  1. The Commission should enjoy technical autonomy in the fulfillment of its actions within the boundaries established by the Charter of the Organization, its statute and its regulations;
  2. The Commission should have the support of the Secretary General;
  3. The funding of the Commission should be contingent upon the availability of resources within the Program Budget of the OAS;
  4. The Commission should run its activities pursuant to the applicable international conventions, among them, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo Convention) and the Protocols thereto, as well as the Hemispheric Plan of Action against Transnational Organized Crime and its corresponding work plan;
  5. The Commission should be integrated by national authorities designated by OAS Member States;
  6. In order to fulfill its mandates, the Commission should maintain close coordination with the CCA, as well as with other OAS organs and entities responsible for countering and preventing transnational organized crime.

Member States are urged to contribute to the work of the Commission.

We welcome the offer made by the Government of Chile to support the Commission's operations and the establishment of its operational capabilities.

In addition to cooperation with the OAS, our Representatives will work closely together within relevant United Nations fora, in particular the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as encourage UNODC to continue and strengthen its programs of assistance to member states.

We express our deepest gratitude to the peoples and Governments of Mexico, Guatemala and Chile for hosting the Technical Consultations to develop the Hemispheric Approach against Transnational Organized Crime, which facilitated the fulfillment of the Mandate of the Sixth Summit of the Americas.

We also appreciate, with great satisfaction, the special attention, the kindness and the helpfulness offered by the people and the Government of Mexico for having arranged this International Conference to Establish the Hemispheric Approach for Cooperation against Transnational Organized Crime.

Adopted in Mexico City, Mexico, at the Alcazar of Chapultepec Castle, on the Twentieth Day of September of Two Thousand and Twelve.