International legal cooperation

Over 22 years in the post of Judge of the Central Court of Instruction No. 5 of the High Court, Garzón gained extensive experience in international legal cooperation with numerous countries, including Latin America: Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Panama, Guatemala, The Bahamas, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

In Europe: France, Britain, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Andorra, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Monaco, Norway, Liechtenstein, Jersey, Russia, and Greece.

In Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

In Oceania: Australia; in Asia: Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, China, Laos and Indonesia.

North America: Canada and USA.

With international organizations: International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and Justice Committee of the U.S. Senate in the Pinochet case, among others.

The internationalization of criminal investigations under the jurisdiction of the High Court impose great dedication and an inertia that if not properly controlled and directed can frustrate much of the investigation started. Therefore knowledge, harmony and a good relationship with the judiciary, police and political-institutional bodies of other countries are essential.

The work of institutional and personal closeness is crucial to the success of good cooperation in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, financial crime, and crimes against humanity. Good relationships with colleagues and coordinated estates is basic as well as the development of cooperation projects or initiatives such as L ‘Appel de Geneve 1996 created by seven judges which included Garzón and European prosecutors and which marked the beginning of a groundswell of cooperation between the different European countries.

The magistrate likewise promoted numerous open rogatory commissions for joint action; simultaneous operations with up to 10 countries in the Green Ice case in 1991. Live arrests between Spain and France.; or Portugal; or Italy would not have been possible without that opening abroad. Figures of controlled deliveries, delivery of people, test transmissions, opening partnerships, overcoming reluctance, development of cooperation were possible, largely thanks to the pioneering personal contacts and the existence of the High Court itself.

Contacts with countries far removed from the Spanish legal system like Saudi Arabia and with as many difficulties as the U.S. were unblocked after the relevant views and efforts of explanation; or international terrorism investigations on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) with intense coordination and cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office.

Western Sahara

Investigation on terrorism, genocide and torture, under the Universal Principle of Justice, committed in the Western Sahara and in which different political and military leaders of Morocco were charged.


Juan Gelman

In 2000, the Argentine poet Juan Gelman provided a complete list of Uruguayan repressors to Baltasar Garzón

On Wednesday, November 8, 2000, the Argentine poet Juan Gelman and his partner, Mara La Madrid, testified before the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón. Gelman gave the judge the names of 43 Uruguayan military personnel and police who had key positions in the structure of repression during the years 1975 and 1976 and requested they be tried. It was some 35 army officers, two Navy officers and six of the police.

The Argentine relived the history of the persecution suffered by his family before Garzón who was investigating the disappearance, torture and killings of some 600 Spanish during the Argentine military regime between 1976 and 1983.

Gelman had taken thirteen years to find the remains of his son who was killed and thrown into a cement drum after being kidnapped by the Argentine military in 1976, and he reconstructed the tragedy of his daughter-in-law, who was taken to a secret prison in Montevideo (Uruguay) and then to a military hospital to give birth.

His son’s wife was killed in late December 1976, when she was only 19 years old, and the girl was “deposited” at the gates of the house of a policeman and his wife, who became her parents.

Extraditions former Yugoslavia

Garzón has acted in passive extradition as well as the European Arrest Orders of the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, procedures in which the High Court has exclusive jurisdiction