Bogota joins forces with european ports to strengthen the fight against crime

Bogota joins forces with european ports to strengthen the fight againsAlcaldía de Bogotá
Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp; Reina Buijs, Dutch Ambassador; Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam; Carlos F Galán, Mayor of Bogotá; Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg; Martina Klumpp, German Ambassador; and Bert Schoofs, Belgian Ambassador.

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Translated by Andrés Martínez

With the aim of exchanging successful and relevant experiences in the fight against transnational crime and establishing lines of cooperation in security, intelligence, trade, and energy matters, the Mayor of Bogota, Carlos Fernando Galan, welcomed the Mayors of Hamburg (Germany), Peter Tschentscher; Antwerp (Belgium), Bart De Wever; and Rotterdam (Netherlands), Ahmed Aboutaleb, on Monday, January 29th.

During the working session, Mayor Galán addressed the growing incidence of illicit economic activities in the Colombian capital. He also mentioned the strengthening of organized crime structures at both national and transnational levels, as well as the weakening of the security system, leading to an open criminal competition for urban territories.

Regarding the security strategy in the Colombian capital, which will not only focus on the weakest links in the chain but also on dismantling organized groups that benefit from crime in the city, the Mayor emphasized the importance of strengthening and establishing new lines of cooperation in intelligence and security.

He also highlighted the role of local governments in Colombia in imposing restrictions on drug consumption in cities, especially in areas with a high concentration of children, and the importance of enhancing intelligence through international partnerships and cooperation.

"We have to decide when and where people can’t consume drugs as a decision that we have to take at the local level. We are working on that because the people are asking, saying you should restrict that in public parks when you have children, for example, around schools or universities or places where you have either kids or young people," Galán stated.

Hamburg, Antwerp, and Rotterdam are the most important ports in their respective countries, making them entry points for cocaine traded in Europe. Hence, the importance of combining successful experiences, resources, and knowledge to combat the abuse of maritime infrastructure by transnational organized crime.

In addition to the issues associated with ports and the trafficking of illicit substances, these cities are also experiencing an increase in drug consumption and violent crime related to this issue. Colombia and Bogota have extensive experience in combating organized crime, facing large cartels and microtrafficking groups; therefore, Bogota's experience can be highly valuable for European cities.

The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of the Netherlands, Reina Buijs; Germany, Martina Klumpp; and Belgium, Bert Schoofs. On behalf of the Bogota Administration, there were also the High Adviser for International Relations, Sandra Borda; the Secretary of Security, César Restrepo; and the Chief of Staff, María Lucía Villalba.