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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 21, 2016

U.S. Attorney Ferrer Attends Bilateral Summit with Attorney General of Colombia to Discuss Transnational Crime

Today, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker, Attorney General of Colombia Nestor Humberto Martinez Neira and Colombia National Police Director General Jorge Hernandez Nieto Rojas met in Cartagena, Colombia for a summit to combat organized transnational crime.

During the meeting, the delegations from the United States and Colombia agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in dismantling the financial structures of the criminal organizations, the fight against drug trafficking and the use of asset forfeiture against organized crime.

Colombia and the United States seek to exchange the understandings, visions and interests with respect to the objectives of both countries in order to combat transnational organized crime. In addition, in order to strengthen the commitment of both nations, the parties reached an agreement concerning the sharing of assets confiscated in connection with criminal conduct. The agreement aims to allow Colombia and the United States to share assets - including money and goods of any kind - that have been confiscated by the respective authorities of the parties, and are subject to forfeiture in either of the two jurisdictions.  The main purpose of this agreement is to collectively impact the financial structures of the criminal organizations.  The recoveries will be used to cover the costs of the investigations and the prosecution of offenses by the respective authorities.

Leaders of the international law enforcement community attended the summit, including representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Colombian government was also represented by the Assistant Attorney General María Paulina Riveros Dueñas, the National Director of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, the National Police and the Financial Analysis and Information Unit.

Updated November 23, 2016