Uruguay is the first country to assent a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with project COLIBRI. Uruguay was identified by COLIBRI during its early stages of implementation as a potential key partner to engage with and through collaborative responses, enhance and strengthen the controls around general aviation and the fight against illicit trafficking. The agreement of the MOU between Uruguay and COLIBRI, made official on 15 September 2020, is a major milestone for the development of the project and officialises the successful cooperation over the past few months whilst signifying the continued collaboration with the Uruguayan law enforcement authorities that include the National Drug Board (JDN), Customs, the Air Force, DINACIA, the National Police – Air, and the Naval Prefecture.
The MOU was signed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, and the Director General of the Uruguayan Customs Administration, Mr. Jaime Borgiani. The ceremony took place in Montevideo in the presence of representatives from national Law Enforcement Administrations and the Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union Delegation for Uruguay.
In July 2020, 37 Uruguayan officers inaugurated the very first training programme on general aviation that had been developed by COLIBRI and was based on the international handbook on general aviation. The handbook was developed with the assistance of international EU experts as well as experts from Latin America; The handbook will be released in 2021.
COLIBRI is implemented by the WCO and was launched in early 2019 and is a component project of the Global Illicit Flows Programme (GIFP) of the EU. The project supports interagency cooperation and coordination and has a strong transregional identity. In Latin America, COLIBRI partners with Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, and the Dominican Republic whilst in West Africa the project enjoys collaboration with Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. In addition to the development of its capacity building programme on general aviation, COLIBRI has been developing an innovative IT platform that will be launched in early 2021.
Read more on COLIBRI here.