Latin American governments meet in Colombia to strengthen cooperation against cyber-crime

Government representatives from 18 Latin American countries will gather September 3-5, 2008, in Bogotá, Colombia, to participate in a regional workshop aimed at strengthening national legislation in each country against cyber-crime.

A survey conducted by the Organization of American States (OAS) indicated that the people, businesses, and governments of OAS countries are often victims of cyber-crimes such as online identity theft, crimes involving intellectual property, and child pornography shared over the Internet. Yet, as of early 2007, only 15 of the 35 Member States had substantive cyber-crime legislation in place, while only 12 states have enacted procedural cyber-crime legislation.

The three-day workshop will cover the following issues: Substantive and procedural laws required for an effective, comprehensive national legal framework against cyber-crime; Knowledge of best practices and reforms underway in the Americas and other regions of the world regarding cyber-crime legislation; Steps countries can take toward strengthening national cyber-crime legislation; An overview of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber-crime and examples of how countries have implemented it through national law.

Tomorrow’s workshop takes place within the framework of recommendations from the OAS’s Working Group on Cyber-crime, created in March 1999 with mandates of identifying cooperation mechanisms to combat cyber-crime, and completing a diagnosis of national legislation, policies and practices on the topic, among others. The Group is currently chaired by the U.S. Government through its Department of Justice.

Participants of the Bogotá workshop, a collaboration between the OAS, the Council of Europe, the Colombian Foreign Ministry and the United States Department of Justice, include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

This workshop was preceded by a similar meeting for the Caribbean region which took place May 13-15, 2008, in Trinidad and Tobago. It will be followed by a third workshop, to be held in Central America in early 2009.

For more information about the Working Group on Cyber-crime, please visit


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