The 82nd annual meeting of Interpol, the intergovernmental organization for international police cooperation, started on Monday in the northern Colombian city of Cartagena.
The event is being attended by around 1,500 delegates from 190 countries to discuss global security challenges including issues such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking, terrorism, and border security. There will also be discussions of new forms of crime, such as illegal trade of stolen cell phones. President Juan Manuel Santos is also said to be planning to attend.
According to Interpol, the purpose of the General Assembly is to cover “the major decisions affecting general policy” and “to shape the twenty-first century law enforcement solutions for changing criminal threats.” Its website says that the election of the organization’s executive committee also takes place at the gathering.
As part of the massive safety effort to secure the conference Colombian police launched an extensive security operation which includes the deployment of seven helicopters, four drones, sniffer dogs and a contingent of 2,500 police officers. Police spokesperson Rene Salamanca said the police presence will “show the world the ability of the policemen of the Police of Colombia in the fight against crime and organized crime.”
Interpol, full name International Criminal Police Organization, is based in France and was formed in 1923 after several botched attempts to to formalize international police cooperation.