What is Interpol?
Founded in 1923, Interpol is an international police organisation made up of 194 member countries. It is not a police force in the traditional sense – its agents are not able to arrest criminals. Instead, it is more of an informationsharing network, providing a way for national police forces to co-operate effectively and tackle international crime ranging from human trafficking and terrorism to money laundering and illegal art dealing.
The organisation, based in France, operates centralised criminal databases that contain fingerprint records, DNA samples and stolen documents: a treasure trove so valuable that police consulted it 146 times every second in 2017. Interpol’s other main function is to issue notices: alerts to member states for missing or wanted persons. The bestknown of these is the “Red Notice”, a notification that a member state would like someone arrested. States are not obliged to follow these notices, but will often treat them as a warrant for someone’s arrest and extradition. “Diffusions”, which can be issued with less bureaucracy, are another popular way of seeking arrests through Interpol.
Notices and diffusions lie at the heart of the organisation’s recent turmoil. Though Interpol’s constitution explicitly forbids any activities of a political character, activists accuse it of failing to enforce this rule.
(www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/11/22/ what-is-interpol. Adaptado)