National workshop in Panama for the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property and promoting of its restitution in Central America
In the framework of the project to strengthen national capacities in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and promoting of its restitution in Central America, the workshops are addressed to national actors with a significant role in the implementation of the Convention 1970. These meetings will be a forum to discuss and identify the needs and strengths of each country. The situation diagnosis will be presented at the Regional Meeting for Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property, which will be held in Antigua, Guatemala in late November.
The illicit trafficking of cultural property generates a lucrative unlawful trade, with a great percentage of stolen artefacts never being recovered and harmful consequences for the cultural heritage of the source countries. Central America is especially affected by this problem: the lack of legal and practical measures and regulations at regional and national levels as well as of appropriate training and expertise for the protection of cultural property pose a serious risk to the safeguarding of their identity for future generations and hinders the potential of culture as a primary vector for economic development.
The urgent need for Latin American and Caribbean countries to adopt a regional position towards the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property is explicitly mentioned in the Final Declaration of the Third Meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which took place in La Habana on 18th and 19th of September 2015. The Declaration also encourages the creation of mechanisms to achieve an appropriate implementation of the UNESCO 1970 Convention and other international instruments – such as the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention-, as well as to acknowledge the crucial role of Latin American and Caribbean countries in the preparation and adoption of the Operational Guidelines of the 1970 Convention.
In the framework of the project to strengthen national capacities in the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property and promoting its Restitution in Central America, the national workshops are designed to strengthen the capacities of national actors with a significant role in the implementation of the Convention of 1970. During two days we will work with a group of 20 people: customs agents, police officers, Interpol, lawyers, prosecutors, museum workers, representatives of the ministry of culture, the ministry of foreign affairs, etc. to share the different experiences in each field and see how the country is organized in preventing and combating illicit trafficking.