HomeNewsBriefCentral America Plans to Share Criminal Records Across Borders
BRIEF

Central America Plans to Share Criminal Records Across Borders

COSTA RICA / 11 MAR 2013 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The governments of Central America and the Dominican Republic are planning measures to share information on criminal records and allow “hot pursuit” chases across borders, in an effort to fight transnational criminal groups.

Designed to target organized crime groups, the agreement will allow law enforcement agencies from one country to pursue suspects over the border into a neighboring another country. The agreement will also see states share criminal records so suspects are prosecuted as repeat offenders for crimes they have committed in other countries.

Representatives of the governments agreed on the wording of the deal at a conference in Panama last week, reported EFE. Once the agreement is signed by justice ministers from each country, it will be taken to the mid-2013 Central American Integration System's (SICA) annual summit for signature by the presidents.

InSight Crime Analysis

Weak law enforcement cooperation between countries and lack of border controls has helped make Central America an attractive venue for organized crime with criminals able to move quickly into the next country in order to escape pursuit by the law. One example is offered by the case of Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, or “Chepe Luna,” a Salvadoran drug trafficker who in recent years has been hiding out in Honduras, where he also holds citizenship, after a series of failed police operations to capture him in El Salvador.

Those that do get caught may get away with relativly light sentences despite a long criminal history if it is their first offence in the country where they are arrested.

Free movement policies, like the Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement, have also made it easier for criminals to do business between El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The Central American Parliament, which oversees SICA, has plans to expand the Central American Court of Justice to further coordinate law enforcement efforts in the region, currently a major corridor for trafficking drugs from South America up to Mexico and the United States.

The case of Facundo Cabral, an Argentine folk singer murdered in Guatemala in 2011, has also drawn attention to the importance of cooperation in the region. Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez, alias "El Palidejo," allegedly ordered the hit, which was intended to kill Nicaraguan nightclub owner Henry Fariñas. Authorities in all three countries have been cooperating in the case, which has also led to arrests in Colombia.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 21 JUN 2021

A massacre between the Barrio 18 and MS13 gangs in Honduras’ most notorious prison raises questions on whether the military…

HONDURAS / 15 JUL 2011

Honduras' Navy intercepted a semi-submersible vessel, containing between three and five tons of cocaine, in the Caribbean Sea.

BARRIO 18 / 16 JUN 2011

The 18th Street Gang, also known as "Barrio 18," is one of the largest youth gangs in the Western Hemisphere.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.