Pope denounces organized crime at Interpol meeting

Associated Press
Newly named Interpol president Mireille Balestrazzi attends the closing session of the 81st Interpol General Assembly, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. The 81st session of the general assembly of the Interpol closed with the election of its first female president, France's Mireille Ballestrazzi. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has denounced organized crime as a "gravely destabilizing threat" to society during an address to members of Interpol.

Benedict listed human trafficking and trafficking in organs as two of the more "barbarian" activities carried out by organized crime, saying victims are humiliated both physically and morally. He called for greater international cooperation to combat organized crime and terrorism.

The pope said "these crimes transgress the moral barriers which were progressively built up by civilization and they reintroduce a form of barbarism which denies man and his dignity."

Italy, which is battling organized crime groups including the Sicilian Mafia, the Calabrian 'ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra, hosted the weeklong Interpol meeting.

On Thursday, Interpol elected its first female president, France's Mireille Ballestrazzi.

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