Op-Ed

Patt Morrison Asks: 1st prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo

We did a survey and 10% of the country said they learned to resolve conflict through this program, so for me it was educational -- how to use TV to educate people in the law and resolution of conflict. The law is not for prosecutors or judges. The law is for people, and that was my point in this TV show. The cases were very small, two neighbors debating over a wall, but for them it was important. But our plan is we should include these issues in the schools. That's a more permanent education.

How do you explain Americans' evident reluctance to work with international political organizations?

I lived in this country many years. The root of this country distrusts power. You trust your Congress but no one else. So it's difficult for you to trust other countries when you feel, "We have a pretty good system, and the others [don't]." For that reason you don't trust in the law outside your borders.

But in some ways, from "Perry Mason" to "Law & Order," your TV teaches the world about the law, and people like [it]. The Libya rebellion started [with people] looking for justice. People love this idea of respect and dignity. It's basic. Now you're confronted with [its] success. You exported the idea of justice.

You've said it may be an advantage sometimes that the U.S. is not a signatory to the ICC's functions.

The court should be universal. But it will take some time. In the meantime, what I can show is that this is the first institution created without the big powers. Basically the countries that suffer the problems [have created] a new system. The U.S. always complains about the lack of efficiency of multilateral organizations -- the ICC is a highly efficient organization that the U.S. is not paying [for]. My point is the U.S. learned they cannot manage all the countries in the world. This institution is helping.

You've warned that if global criminal organizations aren't stopped, they could run 60% of the world.

I was in Mexico and [a] minister told me, "In the '80s we were saying, poor Colombia, look at the problems they have. Mexico is different because we're just a place they go through. They bribe a little; we did not take it seriously. Now a little bribing became a big problem."

Mexico was furious because Forbes put as one of the 100 most important persons a [Sinaloa drug cartel] guy. Mexicans say this is crazy. They have to control crime, and promoting a [cartel] leader as one of the most impressive guys in the world is really bad.

What did you mean when you said no one is in charge on issues like climate change?

We have global problems with no global government. [So] I think [international] organizations became more important. These are Facebook times. At Facebook, we are a global community, with the same goal -- no more atrocities.

patt.morrison@latimes.com.

This interview was edited and excerpted from a longer taped transcript. Interview archive: latimes.com/pattasks.
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