Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
Regional meeting in Antigua Guatemala for combating illicit trafficking in cultural property
  Siguiente Vista de Noticias
10 November 2016/ UNESCO Office in San José

From November 28th to December 2nd 2016, a Regional Meeting will take place in Antigua Guatemala for combating illicit trafficking of cultural property. This meeting is an essential part of the project "Strengthening national capacities on the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property and the promotion of its restitution in Central America ". The meeting is financially supported by Cooperación Española and it is implemented by the UNESCO Office in San Jose, in collaboration with UNESCO Office in Havana, and the UNESCO Office in Guatemala. The participant countries are: Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, which are also Spanish speaking members of Sistema de Integración Centroaméricana (SICA).

Illicit trafficking of cultural property is a critical problem in Central America that damages the cultural heritage of each country and precludes the potential of culture as a source of economic development. According to ICOM, the interception of illicit trafficking of cultural during the last 20 years indicates an increase on the interest of objects coming from Central America. The need to adopt a regional position in the fight against illicit trafficking was expressed in the Declaration of the Third Meeting of Ministers of Culture of the Latin America and the Caribbean Community held in Havana on September 18 and 19 of 2015.

This regional meeting in Antigua has the purpose of creating an operational regional network that can continue the efforts in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property, through international and inter-institutional cooperation, and following the national meetings held during September.

The development of human and institutional capacities is also a priority for UNESCO's action in this field, including topics such as national inventories, creating certificates, the exchange of best practices and awareness. The meeting is directed to representatives of different national agencies that should be integrated in the fight against illicit trafficking and safeguarding of cultural heritage. There will be 45 participants from different countries, including: customs officers, law enforcement officials and INTERPOL, prosecutors, representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Eduard Planche of UNESCO, Maria Schneider of UNIDROIT, Michelle Medina of World Customs Organization (WCO), Marcelo Haibe of INTERPOL, Lieutenant Aguilar Navarro of the Spanish Civil Guard, Carlos González-Barandiaran of the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Liwy Grazioso of ICOM-Guatemala are among the experts who will provide specialized training on the issue of illicit trafficking of cultural property. The intervention of such experts and the participation of entities at the regional level aims at the creation, development, and application of legal tools and practices in combating illicit trafficking at regional level. This framework also promotes the creation of mechanisms to properly implement the 1970 UNESCO Convention and other international instruments such as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.

  Related Link(s): Tangible Heritage, World Heritage, Cultural Heritage, Intangible Heritage, Museums-Illicit Trafficking, Cultural Policies, Illicit Trafficking, Underwater Cultural Heritage
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