SEACOP’s mission to Colombia began on the January 24, 2022, with outreach visits carried out with the National police and their armada.
In the presence of the Anti-Narcotics Chief Major General Ricardo Alarcon and Area Chief of Ports Mr. Colonel Yasid Alberto Montaño of the National Police, SEACOP Team Leader Dominique Bucas introduced the SEACOP project, its objectives and scope of action and its potential expansion of partnerships in the Latin American region, notably Colombia.
“We are here as colleagues, equal partners to exchange expertise and benefit from each other’s good practices. Columbia is at an impressively advanced state in the fight against narcotrafic and has a lot to offer to fellow countries in terms of the fight against illicit maritime trade.”
Following propositions by the SEACOP team to see officials from the Colombian National Police participate and deliver various training sessions not only in the Latin American region but also in the Caribbean and West Africa, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate expressed its interest in this participation. Chief Major General offered the facilities of the National Police Anti-Drug School -a state of the art facility- to be a possible host for said activities.
The SEACOP delegation highlighted the support previously offered by its network to the Antinarcotics Directorate in maritime drug operations. This support, which is being carried out together with FRONTEX with regards to exchange of information on possible contamination alerts for shipments destined for Europe, resulted in successful seizures and arrests in a coordinated manner with third partner countries such as Spain and Italy.
The SEACOP delegation later met with top representatives of the Armada, including Rear admiral Norman I. Cabrera Martinez, Chief of Naval Intelligence, and Captain Juan Carlos Jimenez Howard, from the Counter Narcotic Office Directorate.
M. Martinez started by thanking the support provided by the previous phases of SEACOP and commended the work they are doing in the support to the fight against illicit trafficking, noting “we are glad to be accompanied by such partnerships, which always enhance our work on coordination.”
Both parties expressed their desire to see the Colombian expertise benefit other countries of the SEACOP network, both in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America itself.
These meetings launch a week of outreach sessions to be held with partners and relevant institutions in Colombia, as well as a joint operation with CRIMJUST, a partner project of the GIFP.