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WOLA: Militares y policías

WOLA: Militares y policías

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Published by Herminia Fookong
Explica las diferencias de funciones de las instituciones castrenses y las policiacas.
Explica las diferencias de funciones de las instituciones castrenses y las policiacas.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Herminia Fookong on Nov 20, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Preach What You Practice:
The Separation of Military and Police Roles in the Americas 
 By George Withers, Lucila Santos and Adam Isacson
George Withers is the Senior Fellow or Regional Security at the Washington Ofce on Latin America (WOLA), and Lucila Santos is the WOLA Fellow orRegional Security. Adam Isacson is the WOLA Senior Associate or Regional Security.
November 2010
A U.S. Army sergeant instructs a Honduran police cadet in a “high-risk trafc stop exercise,” Honduras, 2008.
Preach What You Practice
 American citizens enjoy a legal concept that many na-tions do not. Domestically, the United States has a clearseparation between the uses of its military and theuses of its law enforcement agencies. U.S. law gener-ally restricts the military from use against its citizens.While this separation does not guide U.S. operations inbattleground environments like Iraq and Afghanistan, itremains very strong at home.In Latin America, where democracies havestruggled mightily to exert civilian control over theirarmed forces, the reality is different. Most nations lacka similar principle of clear military-police separation.The region’s circumstances hardly ever require armiesto defend citizens from foreign invaders, but leadersoften call upon them to defend some citizens – or thestate – from other citizens. Today, many governmentsare calling on militaries to enforce laws and to combatdomestic crime.Choices made in Washington can have a strongimpact on this. The U.S. government is by far the largestprovider of military and police aid to Latin Americaand the Caribbean. Arms and equipment transfers,training, exercises, presence at bases, and military-to-military engagement programs send strong messagesabout military and police roles. So do diplomatic inter-actions with the region.Instead of exporting the principle to which theUnited States adheres, though, these efforts often do just the opposite: encourage Latin American govern-ments to use their militaries against their own people.This is a longstanding tendency in U.S. policy towardLatin America, though it rarely gets framed in terms of the United States’ much different domestic model.That is what this report will do. The followingpages highlight U.S. practices that encourage Latin America’s armed forces to take on internal securityroles that the U.S. military cannot legally play at home.They go on to point the way toward policy changes toend these practices.Section I reviews the U.S. experience with PosseComitatus, an 1878 law that became a cornerstone of U.S. democratic stability by making U.S. citizens’ inter-actions with on-duty soldiers very rare, and causingthe institutional character of the country’s defense andlaw-enforcement forces to diverge dramatically. Sec-tion II looks at Latin America’s far different history of civil-military relations, with a focus on the military’s useagainst citizens internally, in a climate of few externalsecurity threats. Section III lays out the United States’persistent, century-long tendency to help the region’smilitaries take on internal security roles; this tendency,it argues, continues with today’s “wars” on drugs, ter-rorism, and organized crime.Finally, Section IV offers recommendations forLatin American governments seeking to protect theirpopulations while at the same time consolidating theirdemocracies; for the executive and legislative-brancharchitects of U.S. policy toward Latin America; and forthe United States at home, as it seeks to secure its citi-zens and borders against 21st century threats.These recommendations can be summarizedsimply.
Militaries should not be used for internalsecurity and law-enforcement roles, and the UnitedStates should not encourage such use, either athome or abroad.
While exceptions may exist underextraordinary circumstances – and then, only with sev-eral safeguards and institutional reforms in place – thePosse Comitatus model works, and should guide futureU.S. security interaction with Latin America.
The History of the Posse Comitatus Act 
“Civilian rule is basic to our system o government. The use o military orces to seize civilians can expose civilian government to the threat o military rule and the suspension o constitution-al liberties.”—Bissonette v. Haig, 8th Circuit, 1985
 Entrusting an unelected part of the government with the power of arms is risky in a democracy, espe-cially a young democracy. U.S. objection to militarypower over its citizens in fact dates back to colonialtimes, even though it wasn’t codified into permanentlaw until after the Civil War. In response to the Britishquartering their troops in Boston against the wishes of the local populace, the Declaration of Independenceitself includes a grievance that the King had “keptamong us, in times of peace, Standing Armies withoutthe consent of our legislatures.While the legal separation of police and militaryroles is absent from the Constitution, the issue fac-tored into the late-1700s debate over ratification. Inthe Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton assured the American people that the military would not be usedagainst them. He wrote,
I the ederal government can command the aid o themilitia in those emergencies which call or the military arm in support o the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment o a dierent kind o orce. I it cannot avail itsel o the ormer, it will beobliged to recur to the latter. To render an army un-necessary will be a more certain method o preventingits existence than a thousand prohibitions on paper.
The prohibition against the use of military troopsfor law enforcement purposes was finally enacted intolaw at the end of the Reconstruction era. In 1854, theattorney general at the time, Caleb Cushing, issuedan opinion that militias could be used to enforce theFugitive Slave Act, which called for apprehendingand safeguarding fugitive slaves. Two decades later,the “Cushing Doctrine” led to the Army’s widespreaduse to exercise police functions and essentially takegoverning control of the eleven states of the formerConfederacy.During the presidential election of 1876 Samuel J. Tilden, a Democrat, won the majority of the popular vote, but the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, won theelectoral vote. There was deep suspicion in the Souththat the military had exercised undue influence onthe election. In a compromise, Hayes was to take thepresidency in return for certain concessions, includingan agreement to withdraw the federal troops.The Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) was subsequentlyenacted in 1878, according to Lawrence (1940), to pre- vent the “excessive use of federal machinery under theFederal Election Laws [as] in the presidential electionof 1876.”
The term “posse comitatus” means the “forceof the county.” Its doctrine dates back to English com-mon law, in which a county sheriff could raise a possecomitatus to repress a civil disturbance or for otherpurposes. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 states (asamended):
Whoever, except in cases and under circumstancesexpressly authorized by the Constitution or Act o Congress, willully uses any part o the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute thelaws shall be fned under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Over the past century and a half, the wordingof the Posse Comitatus Act has remained essentiallyunchanged, but its use has become engrained inU.S. law and culture. Though there have been severalincidents when the Act has been severely tested, thisbasic concept of civilian control – absent in too manyother countries – has helped guarantee freedom frommilitary oppression.
Several factors make militaries and police different. A military is meant to fight wars, and a police force ismeant to enforce laws. There are clear reasons whyneither is good at doing the other’s job. That the police
The PoliceThe Armed ForcesSource of AuthorityandMandate
Various non-ederal police agencies through-out the United States derive authority romthe local or state political structure. In otherwords, the police work or the mayor or thegovernor,
who is answerable to a local citi- zenry 
. As such, the police in their law enorce-ment and crime prevention tasks are alsoanswerable to that citizenry. In most cases,the police are a part o the community theypatrol, and they reect the norms, customsand culture o those communities.With the exception o the National Guardin “State” or “Title 32” Duty (more on thatbelow), the military derives its authorityrom the very top o the government, thepresident as Commander-In-Chie, and assuch is
not directly answerable to the com-munities
where it may be sent to enorcelaws.
Use of Force
Police are trained to use the
minimum orcenecessary 
to enorce thecommunity’s laws.Military personnel are trained to use
over-whelming lethal orce to fght and win wars.
Investigation andProsecution
Obtaining evidence and securing its chain o custody 
is standard or police investigations.Military personnel are
not trained in the protection o vital Fourth and Fith Amend-ment rights
In act, in several instances,legal prosecutions have ailed due tomilitary actions in an operation or investi-gation, including mishandling o evidencedue to lack o training.
In ideal situations, the police are equipped,right-sized and specically trained or thetasks o enorcing laws and ensuring civilliberties. The time, eort and resources that themilitary spends on law enorcement take itaway rom its core mission: to be at a highstate o readiness in the event o war.WOLA | NOVEMBER 2010

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