|Photos Courtesy of Marcos Souza, Brazilian Federal Police|
n August 27, IACP President Russell B. Laine was the keynote speaker at the second AMERIPOL meeting. Most countries in Latin America were represented by their National Chiefs of Police, a congregation not repeated often in Latin America and the Caribbean. Being the keynote speaker was indeed an honor for the IACP and demonstrates the reach of the association.
AMERIPOL is a relatively new organization dedicated to regional police cooperation among Latin American and Caribbean countries. Its current president is the director general of the Caribineros de Chile, General Eduardo G. Gordon Valcarel. The Executive Secretariat for AMERIPOL has its permanent headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, operated by the executive secretary who is the director general of the Colombian National Police, General Oscar Adolfo Naranjo. According to the AMERIPOL conference organizer, Federal Police Delegado Ricardo Botelho, the event was a landmark meeting in that it had the full support of the Brazilian Federal Government.
President Laine was there to present the IACP resolution that recognizes the value and the mission of AMERIPOL. In his speech, he emphasized the need to work cooperatively between nations and organizations like the IACP. Such a meeting with so many national-level director generals of police provided President Laine with a great opportunity to advance the IACP’s mission.
A proposal to bestow official observer status for the IACP was placed before the member states, and upon a floor vote, the IACP was granted official observer status to AMERIPOL. A highlight of the meeting was when all the delegates were taken to meet the president of the Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The host of the meeting, Luiz Fernando Correa, introduced President Laine to President Lula, and the ministers of External Relations and Justice.
Brazilian Federal Police Director Luiz Fernando Correa, who is also the IACP’s World Regional Chair for South America, was elected as the incoming president of AMERIPOL, a two-year term, which begins in November of this year.
As a lead up to the AMERIPOL meeting, President Laine had a one-hour discussion with the National Secretary of Public Safety, Ricardo Balestreri. They discussed current achievements and the development of future police officers, not only upon accession but in “in-service training” to greatly increase the professionalism of police throughout Brazil. The national secretary was preparing for a national-level conference (CONSEG) that is the first national-level public safety conference, which has the main goal to discuss and approve principles and directives that will guide the future national public safety policies and plans. Secretary Balestreri appreciated having had this timely discussion with President Laine just prior to the CONSEG. All facets of society were represented at the CONSEG, so it was truly a multifaceted and democratic approach.
President Laine also took the opportunity to visit with the National Director of the Federal Highway Patrol, Helio Derenne. Director Derenne had been a long-time member, active participant, and supporter of the IACP, lending the resources of his large agency in the furtherance of the IACP mission in the region. Finally, President Laine met with the IACP’s World Regional Chair, Luiz Fernando Correa who is also the Director General of the Federal Police of Brazil. A one-hour discussion of IACP future plans for the region took center stage as well as ways to identify and maximize opportunities between the IACP and AMERIPOL in order to strengthen this budding relationship.
Accompanying President Laine was the Secretary of the IACP’s International Policing Division, Colonel Nelson Werlang Garcia, and the IACP’s Director of the International Policing Division, Paul E. Santiago.■