On July 7th, 2020, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Mexico organised the eleventh online think tanks dialogue, “Criminal networks and COVID-19: mafias and cartels changing roles?” (“Redes criminales y COVID-19: ¿cambio de roles para mafias y cárteles?”). The following experts participated: Maricarmen Hinojosa, Mexican Council of Foreign Affairs (COMEXI), Gian Guido Nobili, Italian Forum for Urban Security, Michele Riccardi, Transcrime - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, and Gerardo Rodríguez Sánchez Lara, Centre for Impunity and Justice Studies - Universidad de las Américas Puebla. The webinar was moderated by Érika Ruiz Sandoval.
The experts exchanged perspectives on the repercussions of COVID-19 on transnational organized crime and criminal networks in the European Union and Mexico. They highlighted that the common elements in the objectives and behavior patterns of these criminal groups allow the comparison between both regions and could facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned to combat them.
The consequences of the interruption in global value chains on drug production and the illicit market were discussed, as well as the infiltration of criminal groups into the licit economy. Experts from both sides emphasised the importance of governments to support lawful businesses to prevent them from resorting to criminal sources in search of credit, as well as the need to monitor the change of ownership in establishments affected by the economic recession to identify possible infiltration of criminal groups.
The experts discussed the importance of promoting cooperation between Mexico and the European Union in the fight against organized crime through the joint analysis of the behaviour of these organizations in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the actions to combat them. Experts mentioned that Mexico and the EU could also cooperate in training federal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as in strengthening financial intelligence units and the prosecution of cases. Finally, the exchange of good practices in anti-money laundering policies, and the formation of city networks that exchange methodologies to combat organized crime were also mentioned during this webinar.
*The content of this video does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union or its Member States.