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Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 21:05 UTC

Argentine military will be involved in domestic security issues, announces Macri

Tuesday, July 24th 2018 - 05:23 UTC
Full article 8 comments
“It's important that they can collaborate in internal security, mainly by providing logistic support in the border zones,” Macri said at a public act in a military base “It's important that they can collaborate in internal security, mainly by providing logistic support in the border zones,” Macri said at a public act in a military base

In a radical reform of Argentina's defense doctrine, President Mauricio Macri said on Monday he is removing a ban on military involvement in fighting crime, terrorist threats and other internal security issues. Macri said he will modify a 2006 decree that limited the armed forces to defense against attacks by another country.

 “It's important that they can collaborate in internal security, mainly by providing logistic support in the border zones,” he said at a public act held at a military base.

“We need armed forces that are capable of facing the challenges of the 21st century, but we have an outdated defense system, the product of years of underinvestment and the absence of a long-term policy.”

Argentina's current defense doctrine was adopted with the country's 1976-1983 military dictatorship in mind. Human rights groups estimate up to 30,000 people were kidnapped, tortured or killed during that period.

Human rights groups immediately criticized the decision, saying it could authorize military espionage, lead to repression and increase violence.

“Involving the armed forces in security issues puts at risk the civil government and human rights ... we have to reject this reform and defend the strict separation between defense and security,” said the Buenos Aires-based Center for Legal and Social Studies.

Former Defense Minister Agustin Rossi said separating national defense from internal security has been a state policy since 1983 and should remain unchanged.

“Involving the armed forces in drug trafficking issues is illegal. In countries like Colombia, Brazil and Mexico this failed, and is being carefully examined now,” said Rossi, who was minister in the administration of President Cristina Fernandez, who preceded the conservative Macri.

The current defense minister, Oscar Aguad, defended the plan, saying the change seeks only to give logistical support to security forces, including those fighting drug trafficking in the northern border region with Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.

“We're trying to help them dissuade transnational groups from drug trafficking and terrorism to come into Argentina. They must block them from entering our territory,” Aguad said.

For now, the government plans to issue the changes through a decree instead of a bill sent to Congress.

“We know that this transformation won't be easy,” Macri said. “Profound changes are never easy. But this is the first step to build the modern, professional and equipped armed forces that Argentina needs.”

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Marti Llazo

    “Argentine military will be involved in domestic security issues”

    We all know how splendidly well that worked out last time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_War

    Jul 24th, 2018 - 06:40 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    Yes, what the hell is he thinking? You can't just ignore history and pretend it never happened.

    Jul 24th, 2018 - 07:31 pm 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Of course, in Argentina no politician may imagine applying an extreme adjustment of the economy without people taking it down to the streets.

    President Macri knows well he will probably need more riot control than what the provincial and federal police forces, the border police, the airports police, the ports police can ensure. So on top of rubber and lead bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, batons and other devices, he knows he needs to have the tanks.

    Jul 26th, 2018 - 12:02 am 0
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