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  • The new UNASUR building in Quito, Ecuador

    The new UNASUR building in Quito, Ecuador | Photo: AFP

Ecuador’s Attorney General explained how an international criminal court could crack down on crimes affecting the region.

An international criminal court run by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) could be key to the security and democracy of the region, Ecuadorean Attorney General Galo Chiriboga said Tuesday.

Chiriboga, a central proponent of the initiative, said that the most dangerous crimes affecting state and citizens' security this century were perpetrated by transnational criminal organizations. An international court, he argued, would allow countries to exercise judicial powers across borders.

"The idea is to have an international legal body to strongly and comprehensively tackle this type of crime," Chiriboga told journalists after putting forward his proposal to experts gathered at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences.

Read more: 10 Best Moments for Latin America in 2014

The politician explained that a UNASUR court would not be in competition with the International Criminal Court, and would deal with issues specifically affecting the region, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking.

This week, UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper urged the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela to maintain a positive working relationship between their two countries. 

Samper, who is also former president of Colombia, made the statement Tuesday in light of a sharp diplomatic disagreement between the neighboring countries, which Venezuela warned could “set back bilateral relations.”

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