Colombian ambassador to Austria Freddy Padilla told the United Nations (U.N.) that Colombia should be seen as a “model” in the worldwide fight against organized crime.
Padilla, who under Alvaro Uribe´s presidency was commander of the Colombian armed forces, is also the country’s ambassador to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In an interview with EFE, Padilla explained that Colombia’s success in the last decade, with a 60% reduction in coca leaf production, the seizure of 1,400 tons of cocaine and a reduction in kidnappings, meant that the Andean nation has much experience to share with the rest of the world.
Padilla and the Colombian delegation to the UNODC said that more cooperation between nations was needed to combat international organized crime.
“If there is no harmony in this sense, the phenomenon becomes impossible to control. But what is certain is that when there is political will of states, drug trafficking and terrorism are able to be defeated,” Padilla said.
“Everything should be done within the spirit of democracy, upheld by the constitution and the law of each nation,” added the ambassador.
The UNODC is this week reviewing the application of the “Palermo Convention,” which for ten years has been the world’s highest legal authority in the fight against organized crime.
Padilla security gains made by the Colombian government over the last decade, through in fighting guerrilla groups such as the FARC, left the new administration of Juan Manuel Santos with a “manageable situation from the point of view of crime.”
“Today we have reached security levels that have allowed Colombia to become a nation of opportunity,” said Padilla.
The convention of parties to the U.N. Convention on Against Transnational Organized Crime is currently taking place in Vienna. Deputy Justice Minister Pablo Robledo on Wednesday told the convention that Colombia is at the forefront of the world fight against money laundering.