Latin American Countries Form Correctional Association

MEXICO CITY — Three times is a charm! At the third gathering of countries from Central and South America, an agreement was signed with the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA) to formally establish the Latin American Chapter that will be called ICPA-LA.

With more than 300 delegates in attendance from June 22 to June 24, Mexico hosted this conference of more than a dozen countries from all of the Americas, as well as Europe. Under the leadership of Jose Patricio Patino Arias, the Sub-Secretary of the Federal Penitentiary System in Mexico and a board member of ICPA International, a highly credentialed Latin American board was convened with representatives from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico.

The Latin American chapter embraces the vision of ICPA to facilitate the exchange of information about exemplary practices and improve correctional services worldwide. In particular, ICPA-LA will engage in joint training and planning seminars amongst Latin American countries to improve the qualifications of correctional officers and the conditions of confinement. The Secretariat has been established in Mexico City with a Spanish language website for a range of training materials and articles that are Latin-centric.

The official signing ceremony was held at the architecturally renowned National Museum for Anthropology in Mexico City and attended by more than 200 persons representing many nations, the US State Department, and the United Nations. The agreement forming the chapter was signed by Tony Cameron, President of the ICPA and former CEO of the Scottish Prison System; Genaro García Luna, Secretary of the Secretary of Public Security; and Patricio Patino, President of ICPA-LA.