Cels executive director gastón chillierSunday, January 24, 2016
‘This alleged war on drugs will only lead to increased levels of violence’
By Luciana Bertoia
The Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) criticized President Mauricio Macri’s decree declaring the security state of emergency in the country that has focused on drug-trafficking and is one of the promoters of the joint statement issued by progressive leaders yesterday. CELS Executive Director Gastón Chillier analyzed the security policy in conversation with the Herald.
What’s your take on the security emergency?
Drug-trafficking is being used as an alibi to avoid taking serious measures and holding a profound debate regarding security policies and investigation into organized crime.
The government has vowed to make criminal statistics more transparent. Have there been any changes thus far?
No. Aníbal Fernández made a disastrous decision when he was the Justice minister to discontinue statistics. Every public policy should be made considering statistics. If you consider the grounds of the decree, you will find a list of adjectives but you won’t find figures.
You’ve also been critical of the state of emergency declared by former governor Daniel Scioli in BA province, but at least he made a reference to the situation in the penitentiaries, but there is not such a reference in the national decree. Right?
If you compare the justification made by BA Governor María Eugenia Vidal of the state of emergency, at least she has a diagnosis of the situation in the province and the disastrous state of the prisons. At a national level, they are blindly outlining a security policy. The idea of involving the Armed Forces has proven to be wrongheaded and is not even pursued by the United States.
Do you think the government would reconsider these standards?
This is an appeal to society. If this onslaught continues, the situation will be worse in four years. Violence will have increased and organized-crime will have deepened its penetration in the forces.
The government accused the security forces of having misinformed officials about the arrest of the Lanatta brothers and Víctor Schillaci in Santa Fe, but that seems to have been left behind and now they greenlight the reinstatement of retired officers. Is that part of a shift?
The security forces are part of the problem. The government appears to continue with the idea of delegating the security policy to the forces, they do not promote intelligence tasks and they send a wrong message by appointing people to the Unit of Financial Information (UIF) — in charge of probing money-laundering— who have a conflict of interests. The only thing that is left is the war-style rhetoric.
And what about the shooting down of planes as an alleged strategy to fight drug trafficking?
That is a sensationalist measure beside its illegality and unconstitutionality. They are establishing summary executions — that are prohibited by the Constitution — by decree. This is the symptom of the lack of a serious security policy. They seek to justify an unjustified war that will only lead to increased levels of violence.@LucianaBertoia