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Posse Comitatus For Export? Some Considerations on Transforming the Role of Latin American Militaries in the 21 st Century

Posse Comitatus For Export? Some Considerations on Transforming the Role of Latin American Militaries in the 21 st Century

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Published in Armed Forces and Society: New Challenges and Environments, Santiago, Chile: International Political Science Association Research Committee 24/Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Militares (July 2009).
Published in Armed Forces and Society: New Challenges and Environments, Santiago, Chile: International Political Science Association Research Committee 24/Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Militares (July 2009).

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Published by: Martin Edwin Andersen on Jun 22, 2012
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Posse Comitatus For Export? Some Considerations on Transforming the Roleof Latin American Militaries in the 2
st
 Centur!
 "! Martin Ed#in Andersen$Armed Forces and Societ!%&e# Challenges and En'ironments( 2))* Armed Forces and Societ! Triennal ConferenceSantiago+ ,une 2-.2*+ 2))*
The opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the National Defense University or the U.S.  Department of Defense.
 
 Posse Comitatus For Export?
Some Considerations on Transforming the Roleof Latin American Militaries in the 2
st
 Centur!
 "! Martin Ed#in Andersen
Today the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (18 U.S.C. Section 1385) is hailed by many Ameicans as !ell as obse"es o"eseas as ha"in# been fo 13$ yeas an im%otant safe#uad fo limitin# militay in"ol"ement in ci"ilian la! enfocement in the United States. Those !ho e"aluate it  %ositi"ely say the Act has &e%t the amed se"ices at the ma#in of %olitics (e"en !hile constainin# the militay's ability to %o"ide su%%ot to ci"il authoities). At the same time it also has allo!ed fo the sustained %ofessional de"elo%ment of nonmilitay %olice foces and has hel%ed %ese"e states autonomy "is*"is the fedeal #o"enment+ maintainin# la! enfocement as mostly+ thou#h cetainly not e,clusi"ely+ a state and local es%onsibility. -o!e"e+ le#al schola Ste%hen oun# has noted that !hile /at fist #lance0 the Posse Comitatus Act a%%eas to embody the idea of militay se%aation fom ci"ilian la! enfocement+ /a %inci%le that has been an essential com%onent of An#loAmeican le#al histoy since the a#na Cata 2 !hen needed Con#ess has been uic& to ceate statutoy e,ce%tions as %emitted by the Act.0 This /has theefoe succeeded in %uttin# foth an ideal+ but has fallen shot of ceatin# a %actical+ le#al im%ediment to the use of the militay fo ci"il la! enfocement.0
1
 And+ !hate"e its #ood effects+ eal o ideali4ed+ the Act itself !as bon of bad cicumstances+
 !ith its oi#ins in !hite Southen effots to o"etun fedeal attem%ts at ceatin# a democatic+ biacial society in the states of the fome Confedeacy. Undestandin# the e"olution of the Posse Comitatus Act is essential fo hel%in# undestand both its %omise+ but also its limitations+ fo othe counties considein# its e,am%le in see&in# to establish moe healthy ci"ilmilitay elations and to %ofessionali4e thei  %olice foces in the 1
st
 Centuy. The %inci%les associated !ith
 posse comitatus
+ and the Act itself+ ha"e !ithout a doubt been im%otant consideations in numeous 6atin Ameican counties. n the 18$s A#entine le#al schola9ose anuel U#ate !as one of the con#essional staff authos of that county's s!ee%in# intenal secuity and defense efoms+ !hich he says !ee sha%ed and infomed in %at
1
 oun#+
 Posse Comitatus Act of !"!# A Documentary History,
(:uffalo+ ;e! o&< =illiam S. -ein > Co.+ nc.+ $$3)+ %. ,i,.? A ciminal statute+ thee has ne"e been a successful %osecution of any alle#ed "iolation of the Posse Comitatus Act+ its "alue a%%eain# moe as a challen#e to %o%osed militay actions+ challen#es of cout  @uisdictions+ and fo othe %u%oses.
 t is inteestin# to obse"e that the Posse Comitatus Act is not the only bul!a& of ci"il libeties that eme#ed fom  %u%oses othe than the %otection of indi"idual i#hts. As 9ames P. Tey has noted+ the /efomation0 of the !it of habeas co%us /to one in !hich feedom fom incaceation !as the focus can be taced to the 1
th
 centuy !hen+ as an as%ect of the ;oman conuest+ the Bench de"elo%ed a centali4ed @udicial fame!o& o"e e,istin# local couts. uin# this %eiod+ %isones be#an to initiate habeas co%us %oceedin#s to challen#e the le#ality of thei detention. The fist such use !as by membes of the %i"ile#ed class !ho aised habeas co%us claims to su%eio cental couts to challen#e thei con"ictions in the local infeio couts. The cental couts !ould often #ant such !its to asset  %imacy of thei @uisdiction. Thus+ the ationale behind the #ant of these !its moe often focused on the  @uisdiction of the %aticula cout than concens o"e the libety of the %etitiones+0 in Tey+ /-abeas Co%us and the etention of Dnemy Combatants in the =a on Teo+0
 $oint %orce &uarterly,
ssue 8+ 1
st
 Euate+ $$8.
 
 by the e,am%le of the Posse Comitatus Act. U#ate taced the %endula %atten of altenatin# ci"ilian and militay ule common in 6atin Ameica duin# the $
th
 centuy to the lac& of an adeuate+ aticulated se%aation of intenal secuity and national defense oles. Thus+ the militay de"elo%ed into %aetoian #uads thou#h the ille#itimate use of the tools of a %olice state. U#ate noted that moden democacies as in the United States and =esten Duo%e+ includin# S%ain+ taly and BanceFthee counties that+ li&e those of 6atin Ameica+ follo!ed the ;a%oleonic code of @usticeFae maintained by clea distinctions bet!een militay and %olice functions.
3
 n 1 Gussell =. Gamsey found that+ at the end of the Cold =a+ in /the !old's oldest and most homo#enous bloc& of constitutional and inde%endent nationstates 2 ilitay  %aetoianism unde all bannes is 2 in dise%ute+ and the %osse comitatus %inci%le is no! the la! thou#hout 6atin Ameica e,ce%t in -aiti and Cuba.0
 -o!e"e+ only a elati"ely fe! 6atin Ameican counties hadF!ith "ayin# de#ees of successF&e%t the amed foces e,%essly out of intenal secuity. Costa Gica+ the e#ion's oldest democacy+ abolished its militay in 18? its elite %olice units ae hea"ily amed and in some !ays indistin#uishable fom militay uban combat o#ani4ations. Panama also abolished its amed foces afte the U.S. in"asion of 18. Bollo!in# bitte debate thou#hout the 18$s+ A#entinaF!ith its lon# histoy of militay cou%s Fclealy defined la! enfocement as a ci"ilian %olice mission. And the 1 %eace accods in Dl Sal"ado foced the militay to cicumscibe its mission to national defense+ !hile %o"idin# fo the ceation of a ;ational Ci"ilian Police? the %osci%tion on militay in"ol"ement+ has been obse"ed in the beech+ %aticulaly as #an#elated "iolence soaed. n ecent yeas the ci"ilian leadeshi% of a numbe of counties ha"e found they ha"e been foced+ by necessity o con"enience+ to in"ol"e o eintoduce the militay moe in intenal secuity. n ach $$8+ the :oli"ian #o"enment enacted a decee #i"in# the militay a &ey ole+ includin# aest %o!es+ in customs enfocement and confiscatin# contaband at the bodes+ des%ite #o!in# fiction !ith the %olice.
5
 And in :a4il+ /the #o!in# militai4ation of those o%eations meant to #uaantee %ublic safety+0 !hee /the functions of national defense ha"e me#ed dan#eously !ith the maintenance of intenal ode+0 has led to a seies of %ublic safety scandals embaassin# to the :a4ilian amy.
H
 n e,ico+ the amy has been thust onto the fi#ht a#ainst outofcontol du# mafias+ la#ely because local and state la! enfocement is %emeated !ith nacocou%tion and lac&s the stuctue and ca%abilities to do moe. ebate o"e the %o%e conduct of the du# /!a0 in 6atin Ameica has also fueled citation of the U.S. %osse comitatus statute. Unde the Posse Comitatus Act+ !ote ciminolo#ist Du#ene D. :ouley+ 9.+ /the United
3
 U#ate+
Se'uridad (nterior
(:uenos Aies< Bundacion Atuo llia+ 1$)? the autho has had se"eal con"esations about the im%otance of the Posse Comitatus Act !ith U#ate datin# to 188 in !hich the A#entine has e%eatedly stessed it as landma& @uis%udence that sha%ed and infomed his o!n thin&in# on the sub@ect.
 Gamsey+ /U.S. State#y fo 6atin Ameica+0
 Parameters,
Autumn 1+ %. 7$.
5
 Andean nfomation ;et!o&+ /The :oli"ian Amed BocesI Jo!in# ission+0 9une 1+ $$8 K htt%<LLain boli"ia.o#Linde,.%h%Mo%tionNcomOcontent>tas&N"ie!>idN11>temidN3.
H
 9o#e a"eucha+ /6a militai4acion de la se#uidad %ublica en :a4il+
 Nueva Sociedad No. )*,
eneofebeo+ $$8? see also+ Jay uffy+ /9ud#e Censues :a4ilian Too%s+0
 ++C Nes,
9une 1+ $$8+ and /6ula Qindi#nant' o"e Amy offices' alle#ed ties to &illin#s+0
 DPA,
9une 17+ $$8. The ne!s e%ots chonicled the fate of 11 Amy offices in"ol"ed in anti#an# enfocement in Gio de 9aneio !ho alle#edly tuned o"e thee youths to a local du# #an# !ho late &illed them. The
 ++C 
 e%oted that in the !a&e of the &illin#s at @ud#e efeed to the amy's /inability and lac& of %e%aation0 in #uaanteein# ode in the city+ and said that< /The @ud#eIs conclusion that usin# the militay fo this &ind of o%eation "iolates the constitution seems li&ely to intensify debate o"e e,actly !hat ole+ if any+ the amy can %lay in hel%in# to deal !ith GioIs com%le, secuity %oblems.0 

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