Table of Contents:
Introduction I. Latin America Context in Brief
A. B. C. D. E. Leaving behind Authoritarianism Crime, Violence and Insecurity (since the 1990´s) From Police Autonomy to Police Reform Processes Emergence of the Concept of “Citizen Security” International Initiatives: Research, Assistance and Cooperation


Argentina: Domestic Security and Democracy
A. B. C. D. E. F. Transitional Issues The Problem of Crime and Violence The Terrorist Bombings Domestic Security Structure and Legislation Other Related Legislation Recent Policy Responses to Security Problems

Other Suggested Readings About the Author

Note: The opinions expressed by the author in this document do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the institutions mentioned or the members thereof, nor does it represent the official position of the Government of Argentina.


It has been recognized that the Latin American region has a history of violence. Although during the last century interstate conflicts have not characterized the region, and because of that it has been considered a peaceful area, intrastate violence affected societies in a variety of ways. Without attempting to propose any classification of violence, it can be distinguished among: State sponsored violence –mainly present during military regimes-; revolutionary violence; structural violence -encompassing the effects of social injustice, poverty and inequality-; and, individual violence –related to crime and disorder as well as to interpersonal behavior-.1 In essence, the categories of violence proposed in an early study, recently updated, –including: political violence, institutional violence, economic violence, economic/social violence, and social violence-2, also illustrate the scope of the problem. Nowadays, and since the early 1990´s, urban violence and insecurity has become one top concern of the population, although it must be stated that the incidence of crime and violence vary widely across countries and sub-regions. In fact, in year 2000, 77,2 % of the South America, and 68,2% of the Central America population lived in urban areas.3

See, DE OLMO, Rosa: “Ciudades Duras y Violencia Urbana”, Nueva Sociedad, N° 167, Caracas, Venezuela, may-june 2000, p 75-78; see also, NARICH, Richard. “Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Issues in Latin America: Evolution and Recent Developments”, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) Occasional Paper Series, No. 42, Switzerland, January 2003, p. 7. Available from: See, MOSER, Caroline and E. SHRADER. “A Conceptual Framework for Violence Reduction”, LCR Sustainable Development Working Paper N° 2 Urban Peace Program Series, The World Bank, August 1999. According to the authors, this framework can assist “ .. in explaining why interventions to reduce one type of violence may not yield results for other types of violence. Reductions in one sphere of violence can be accompanied by increases in another.”, p. 5; more recently: MOSER, Caroline O. N. “Urban Violence and Insecurity: An Introductory Roadmap”, Editorial, Environment & Urbanization, Vol. 16, No. 2, October 2004. According to the author, the roadmap of categories “...As an analytical tool, it may also provide a useful starting point for categorizing the types of violence in a specific city.” See, UN-HABITAT. State of the World’s Cities 2004/2005 - Globalization and Urban Culture, United Nations Human Settlements Programme Nairobi, 2004. According to this report, in 2000,
3 2



To address the problem of violence, during democratic transition the authorities promoted several executive and legislative initiatives, including: democratization of armed forces and civil-military relations; peace building programs, citizen security programs; police reforms; penal reforms; civilian oversight; regional and sub-regional arrangements; international assistance programs, among others. In the words of a French analyst, “…the so-called ‘non-traditional’ threats, relatively new to us, are to a certain extent old ones in Latin America, which has always had a negative record in human security issues and in transnational organized crime.” 4 The field of domestic security, once a neglected issue for civilian democratic authorities, is now a main concern in terms of public policy.5 The main argument set forth in this presentation is that domestic security in Latin America, and particularly in Argentina, is more likely to confront problems related to safety and quality of life of inhabitants -liberty, freedom, life and propriety, their rights and guarantees as well as the full enforcement of the constitutional system-, to democratic governance, and at the same time to be affected by certain transnational criminal activities. It is not driven by external or traditional threats. Although the domestic security institutions, mainly police agencies and criminal intelligence services, are at the core-front, they have to be considered as elements of a wider inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary effort.

population living in urban areas of Latin America (including the Caribbean) was about 400 million people, 75.4 per cent of the total population.
4 5

NARICH, supra note p. 7.

For a previous paper by this author, see: ESTEVEZ, Eduardo E. “Public and Citizen Security in South America: Trends, Controversies and Proposals”, chapter in: Security in the Americas: New Challenges in the South-North Dialog, John Bailey, ed., Center for Latin American Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC, 2002; available from:



Latin America Context in Brief
A. Leaving behind Authoritarianism

State violence and human rights violations under military dictatorships were main characteristics of the sociopolitical environment of almost every Latin American country during the 1970’s and the 1980’s. Distinction between the roles of the armed forces and the police was almost totally blurred. Military intervention in domestic security affairs and policing was the rule along those decades. Base on the so called ‘national security doctrine` , a concept developed in the context of the Cold War, Latin American military governments turned their focus of attention inside societies, looking for adversaries and enemies, aiming to preserve the regime (state security). Analyzing the shift from ‘defense` to ‘security` , McSweeney stated “’National security` was an idea, a doctrine, and an institution, designed to bridge the traditional division between the interest of the state abroad and those of the state at home, and to merge the culture of everyday life with that of the defense the national interest.” 6 This set of conditions led to the militarization of police practice and the prevalence of ‘political policing` . Domestic intelligence services were also part of this repressive setting. During the late 1980´s and the 1990´s, the process of democratization in Latin America, the end of the Cold War, and claim for urban security in the wake of rising crime, encouraged a set of discussions and interventions in the field of domestic security. In the aftermath of the authoritarian period, civilian authorities of the new democracies engaged in the diagnosis of crime and insecurity, in exerting

See, MCSWEENEY, Bill. Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999, p. 20.


democratic control over the military, in distinguishing the roles of police and armed forces7, in reducing police autonomy, corruption and brutality, in developing public security policies, in searching for regional or sub-regional agreements to diminish tensions and rivalries. These topics shall be shortly discussed below.

B. Crime, Violence and Insecurity (since the 1990´s) Latin America is well known because of its high crime rates. It is worth to mention some indicators of the magnitude of the problem. For the period 2000 to 2005, the average homicide rate (the number of homicides per 100,000 population) was about 25, with the highest rates in Colombia (84,6), El Salvador (43,4), Venezuela (32,4), Brazil (31), Guatemala (23,1), Paraguay (18,4) and Ecuador (15,7).8 According to a multinational study on crime and victimization conducted by the World Bank, over the last decade the reported crime rate of several cities range between 17% and 46%.9

According to Hendrickson, “….In Europe, the separation of the security-providing functions of states took centuries to develop, involved a special combination of circumstances that will probably never be repeated, and was a conflictual and fractious process. 24 It was only with the evolution of strong counterbalances like modern bureaucracies and internal police forces that it was possible to keep the military out of politics and focused on external threats to state power. The subordination of security policy to civilian control came about because armies depended on bureaucracies to mobilise the funds needed for equipment and to fight wars. This put civilians in a position where they could bargain on an equal footing with the military.” HENDRICKSON, Dylan, “A Review of Security-Sector Reform”, Working Papers, no. 1, The Conflict, Security and Development Group, Centre for Defence Studies, King' s College, London, 1999. Figures extracted from: TUDELA, Patricio. “Naturaleza y magnitud de los problemas de violencia delictual e inseguridad en América Latina y el Caribe”, power point presentation, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Policial, CIDEPOL – Policía de Investigaciones de Chile, 2006. Available from: See, FAJNZYLBER, Pablo, Daniel LEDERMAN, and Norman LOAYZA. “Crimen y Victimización: Una Perspectiva Económica”, in Crimen y Violencia en Latinoamérica, Pablo Fajnzylber, Daniel Lederman, and Norman Loayza, eds., Banco Mundial y Alfaomega, Bogotá, 2001, p. 43. The metropolitan areas selected for this study were: Cali, Lima, México, Río de Janeiro, Sao Pablo, San Salvador and Buenos Aires.
9 8



In this decade, the estimated non-reported crime by country with figures above 50 percent include: Mexico (75% for 2004), Chile (62,1% for 2005), Argentina (61% for 2004), Perú (60,3% for 2005), Ecuador (60% for 2003) and Costa Rica (51,1% for 2004).10 Crime and violence are not homogeneous within the region. Police and judiciary agencies quality and effectiveness; demographic and socio-economic conditions, polarization between rich and poor within societies; impact of illicit drug trafficking; methods for collecting crime data; unreported crime rates; existence of terrorist/guerilla movements and paramilitary groups; are among the items to be considered when analyzing any sub-region or country in particular. Nevertheless, several factors have been described as associated with violence and crime in the region.11 These include: − Deteriorated socio-economic conditions. − Availability of small and light weapons. − Patterns of alcohol and drug consumption. Exploring the causes of recent crime wave in the region, Weyland concludes that this wave seems “…to be driven to a considerable extent by the growing problems of youth unemployment and under employment”, as well as by the drug traffic as a relatively new phenomenon.12

Figures extracted from: TUDELA, supra note, based on Inter-American Development Bank national surveys


See, RICO, José María and Laura CHINCHILLA. Seguridad Ciudadana en América Latina: hacia una Política Integral, Siglo XXI Editores, México, 2002, p. 17-19; also, LONDOÑO, Juan Luis and Rodrigo GUERRERO, “Violencia en América Latina: Epidemiología y Costos”, in Juan Luis Londoño, Alejandro Gaviria y Rodrigo Guerrero, eds. Asalto al Desarrollo: Violencia en América Latina. Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (IDB), Washington DC, 2000, p. 31-42. WEYLAND, Kurt. “Political Repercussions of Crime and Violence in Latin America”, an Essay for the Conference on Culture and Peace: Violence, Politics, and Representation in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin, Law School, March 24-25, 2003. Available from:


In short, domestic security challenges in Latin America include: − Increase in crime rates and victimization, leading to subjective and objective citizen insecurity. − Rise in the participation of juvenile and young offender in criminal activities. − Closer relationship between organized crime and common or ordinary crime and delinquency. − Regionalization of certain criminal activities, such as illicit drug trafficking and production; smuggling of illegal immigrants and car theft; and trafficking of women.13 The uprising of crime that began during the 1980’s and stabilized during the 1990’s posed a serious challenge to democratic institutions facing, at the same time, the struggle for the full recovery of the rule of law and economic development. Indeed, it is well accepted that the problem of violence and crime is not just a matter of policing, of improving the efficiency of police agencies. The editors a series of empirical studies conducted for the World Bank suggested several policy considerations. Because of their relevance for the understanding of the panorama, here is a summary: − First, crime perpetuates in time. Whenever crime rates increase, to revert the phenomenon is most difficult. Crime prevention measures are more effective under low crime environments.

See, RICO, José María and Laura CHINCHILLA. Seguridad Ciudadana en América Latina: hacia una Política Integral, Siglo XXI Editores, México, 2002, p. 12-17. See also, KURTENBACH, Sabine. “El Nuevo Escenario de la (In)Seguridad en América Latina: ¿Amenaza para la Democracia?”, In: Klaus Bodemer, ed., El Nuevo Escenario de la (In)Seguridad en América Latina: ¿Amenaza para la Democracia?, Red de Cooperación Eurolatinoamericana (Recal)/Instituto de Estudios Iberoamericanos (IIK)/ FLACSO Chile/ Editorial Nueva Sociedad, Caracas, 2003, p. 13-16. And also, BODEMER, Klaus, Sabine KURTENBACH and Andreas STEINHAUF. “Seguridad / Inseguridad en la Subregiones de América Latina”, in: Klaus Bodemer, ed., El Nuevo Escenario de la (In)Seguridad en América Latina: ¿Amenaza para la Democracia?, Red de Cooperación Eurolatinoamericana (Recal)/Instituto de Estudios Iberoamericanos (IIK)/ FLACSO Chile/ Editorial Nueva Sociedad, Caracas, 2003, p. 65-71.



− Second, economic development may be an effective way to confront crime. Government spending on police and social programs should be maintained in terms of recession or economic crisis. − Third, income inequality, and more generally, inequality in the economic opportunities and in police protection, may strongly promote crime. Prevention policies should address inequality and impoverishment, rather than poverty itself. − Finally, the role of education is important for crime prevention, but has to be considered in relation to the improvement in opportunities in jobs and income.14 Decision-makers were compelled to confront these problems. An inevitable step was to refocus policing to meet democratic standards.

C. From Police Autonomy to Police Reform Processes A significant challenge posed by democratic transition and consolidation has been the conversion of police agencies, under the principles of the rule of law.15 Police militarization and its condition as a source of insecurity, as perceived by politicians as well as by the public opinion, acted as a factor triggering reform processes, which encounter political legal and functional obstacles and risks.16

14 15

See, FAJNZYLBER, LEDERMAN, and LOAYZA, supra note, p 53-55.

For more on the links between police reform and the rule of law, see, MANI, Rama. “Contextualizing Police Reform: Security, the Rule of Law and Post-Conflict Peace-building” , in Holm, Tor Tanke and Epsen Bar Eide, eds., Peacebuilding and Police Reform, Frank Cass, London, 1999, p. 16-20.

For example, see AGÜERO, Felipe. “The New ‘Double Challenge’: Simultaneously Crafting Democratic Control and Efficacy Concerning Military, Police and Intelligence” (Paper prepared for the Third General Assembly of the Club of Madrid Working Group: Threat to Democracy from State Actors: The Armed Forces, the Intelligence Services and the Police, Madrid, November 12-13, 2004), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) Working Paper Series No. 161, Geneva, April 2005, p. 9-12. Available from: Related to obstacles, see, UNGAR, Mark. "La Mano Dura: Current Dilemmas in Latin American police reform.", Conference on Security and Democracy in the Americas, Janey Program in Latin American Studies, The New School for Social Research, New York, April 2, 2004.



Other factors include police corruption and impunity, politicization and high levels of police violence. A summary of analytical and practical approaches, described elsewhere17, illustrates the scope of the effort: − Militarization / demilitarization (as an indicator of the degree of police democratization) − Centralization / decentralization (linked to the level of social isolation of the police) − Effective civilian controls – internal / external – (aimed to protect inhabitants against police abuse) − Professional police model / community policing model (to confront insecurity and the critics raised over the penal system) In the region, public confidence in the police is low. According to the United Nations, victims of domestic burglary and contact crimes (murder, rape and assault) are among the most unsatisfied of the world with how they were treated by the police.18 Several countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela Bolivia, Brazil, Perú, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica, share in common the range of 60% to 80% in terms of mistrust of the police by urban residents.19 In this sense, it is needed to understand the meaning of police reform. Democratic policing includes: the institutionalization of the rule of law; accountability to the public (accountability); transparency of decision making
Available from: This paper shows the experiences of four countries: Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina.
17 18 19

See, RICO and CHINCHILLA, supra note, p. 21-28. See, FAJNZYLBER, LEDERMAN, and LOAYZA, supra note, p 239-240.

The figures are from a Latinbarómetro Survey covering 1996-1998, cited by: IABD (InterAmerican Development Bank), Development Beyond Economics: Economic and Social Progress Report, Chapter 2 “ Demography: Threat or Opportunity”, Washington DC, 2000, p. 76-77. Available from:








minimum use of force; creating an organization that facilitates the learning of human rights (responsiveness); and internal democracy of the organization.20 The emphasis on police reform approaches varies between countries and subregions. For example, while demilitarization was stressed in Central America countries, such as El Salvador and Guatemala21, the fight against corruption appears to be the driving force in Colombia and México22, and in the Southern Cone, the efforts were directed towards the betterment of police conduct in relation to human rights protection and control mechanisms.23 Recognizing that police reform is critical in supporting democracy and the rule of law, respecting of human rights, and fostering economic development and stability, that it requires political will and civilian leadership, and that crime reduction is unlikely without police reform, a recent report on a conference hosted by CSIS, brought out some recommendations which are here summarized: − There is a need of a regional mechanism to measure, analyze and extract best practices of the efforts on police reform.


See, CAN, Salih Hakan, “A Comparative Model of Democracy, Respect For Human Rights, and the Rise of Democratic Policing Reforms”, Electronic Journal of the Center for Research and Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership Issue #3 University-wide Graduate Research Exchange, April 2003, p. 82. Available from: The author based this characterization on Professor Dilip Das studies. A relevant study describing norms and 17 lessons for democratic reform is: BAYLEY, David H. Democratizing the Police Abroad: What to Do and How to Do It, Issues in International Crime, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC, June 2001.

An interesting account of these two experiences can be found in STANLEY, William. “Building New Police Forces in El Salvador and Guatemala: Learning and Counter-Learning”, in Holm, Tor Tanke and Epsen Bar Eide, eds., Peacebuilding and Police Reform, Frank Cass, London, 1999, p. 113-134. See, DAVIS Diane E. “State Implosion, Social Fragmentation, and the Dark Side of Police Reform: Lessons from Mexico”, Conference on Security and Democracy in the Americas, Janey Program in Latin American Studies, The New School for Social Research, New York, April 2, 2004. Available from: See, RICO and CHINCHILLA, supra note, p. 29-30.




− The aim of reform efforts should be improving quality, performance, accountability and public image. − Increase funding is not enough; it is needed better recruitment, training and promotion, more police presence in poor neighborhoods, decentralization and accountability, active internal affairs, improved investigative capacity. − Information –statistics– is a must for planning police reform and crime prevention. This implies improving information technology available for the police. − Citizen-police cooperation is essential. − Sustaining the reform efforts over time and coordinating all the elements involved – security and judiciary areas – are also aspects of great relevance.24 There is a need to transform the culture of policing, of law enforcement, to conceive public security as a public policy.25

D. Emergence of the Concept of “Citizen Security” In a number of Latin American countries there is a distinction between the role of the armed forces and of the police –known as well as security forces–,

See, DE SHAZO, Peter. “Policing and Security in Latin America”, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Policy Papers on the Americas, Volume XVI, Study 1, Washington D.C, May 2005. Available from:[1].pdf Another interesting analysis can bee found in O’NEILL, William G. “Police Reform in PostConflict Societies: What we know and what we still need to know”, IPA -International Peace Academy Policy Paper, New York, April 2005. Available from: I have noted elsewhere ten common elements that characterize public security reform processes: an integral, systemic approach; police reform through decentralization and specialization; improvement of criminal investigation; reform of criminal proceedings (penal reform); adherence to the principles of the United Nations and other international conventions related to police practices and respect for human rights; citizen participation; civilian management of the public security system; control of corruption and police abuse; legislative controls; approval of new legislation to support these processes.



distinction that prompted numerous paths in the wake of initiatives to demilitarize police forces and build a public security policy in transitional democracies. The concept and subject of ‘citizen security` (seguridad ciudadana, in Spanish) linked to human rights, development, and governance arose in the region during the last decade, as opposed to ‘national security’ – meaning this militarization of law enforcement or domestic security, a pattern in force during periods of dictatorship –. Moreover, born as an alternative to the concept of ‘national security’ – concerned on threats to the state or regime –, ‘citizen security’ – most concerned with threats to public, social and political order posed by rising common crime and public fear of crime – has become increasingly popular as the umbrella title for a diversity of violence reduction interventions.26 Indeed, ‘citizen security` is a concept in flux. It has been defined as an integrated approach that incorporates interventions that prevent and reduce violence through a menu of different initiatives.27 As a new field, it embraces a variety of approaches, such as: − Crime prevention –in the European model–, − Prevention of violence –e.g. juvenile violence; domestic violence–, − Public security and police reform (democratic policing), − Small arms control, − Citizen and NGOs participation, among many others,

See, NEILD, Rachel. ”From National Security to Citizen Security: Civil Society and the Evolution of Public Order Debates”, International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development, Occasional paper, Montreal, 1999. Available from: See also, MOSER, Caroline and Ailsa WINTON. “Violence in the Central American Region: Towards an Integrated Framework for Violence Reduction”, Overseas Development Institute Working Paper 171, London, June 2002. According to these authors, “…The term originally referred to the physical security of persons and goods but increasingly has become synonymous activities that also focus on violence prevention”, p. 38.


See, MOSER and WINTON, supra note, p.38.


− Systems








technologies applied to statistics and analysis; victimization surveys, crime mapping–. Countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Perú and Chile engaged in the design and implementation of public policies on citizen security.28 Intersection between citizen security, public security policies, police reform processes, justice reform and international assistance in the field of governance or human security has not yet been explored in full. At the same time it would be important to understand and describe the common grounds that characterize the ongoing processes for the consolidation of citizen security programs and policies in Latin American countries. There is a need also to clarify and discuss
29 the implications of all these questions for ‘security sector reform` .

For a detailed description of each country policy, see, MANZANO, Liliana. “Políticas Nacionales de Seguridad Ciudadana en América Latina: Análisis Comparado”, in +Comunidad + Prevención No. 5, Centro de Estudios en Seguridad Ciudadana, Santiago de Chile, May 2006. Available from: ‘Security Sector Reform’ has been broadly defined as the transformation of security institutions (including those mandate to wield the instruments of violence – military, paramilitaries and police forces; institutions with a role in managing and monitoring the security sector – civilian ministries, parliaments and NGOs; and, bodies responsible for guaranteeing the rule of law – the judiciary, the penal system, human rights ombudsmen and, where these bodies are particularly weak, the international community) so that they play an effective, legitimate and democratically accountable role in providing external and internal security for their citizens. See, CLINGENDAEL - INTERNATIONAL ALERT – SAFERWORLD. “Towards a better practice framework in security sector reform: Broadening the debate”, Occasional SSR Paper No. 1, The Hague/London, August 2002, p 1-2. Also it has been considered as an holistic approach that ensures “… (i) sustainable disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement (DDRRR) of former combatants, (ii) development of democratic, law-abiding police services and armed forces, including appropriate civilian oversight mechanisms, and (iii) necessary linkages between the judicial system, the police service and the prison service.” See, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and Chr.Michelsen Institute. “Governance in Post-Conflict Situations.” Background Paper for Working Group Discussions, Chapter VII: Justice, Security and Human Rights, Bergen Seminar Series, Bergen, 5-7 May 2004, p. 76. Available from:



Public Security in South America
(Author’s answers to four basic questions proposed at the Seminar: Security in the Americas – State and Societal Responses to New Challenges. Center for Latin American Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC, October 5, 2001)

Who or what is threatened by established or new security challenges?

− Liberty, freedom, life and propriety of the inhabitants, their rights and guarantees as
− − − well as the full enforcement of the constitutional system. Governability and political stability within the framework of region’s democratic transition and consolidation processes. Human capital, social capital, physical capital. Youth and other risk groups. What are sources of threats? − − − − − − − Significant forms of offenses, common offenses (LA is a region with high average homicide rate), organized crime, illegal drug traffic and related offenses, plus terrorism. Urban violence A factor generating violence: rupture of traditional social control institutions. A factor encouraging violence: urban conditions, lack of conflict solving mechanisms and impunity. Lack of success of the state to cope with rising crime rates. Overpassing of the police response capacity. Impunity and police behavior above the law. Transnational crimes and complex crimes. How are threats brought to bear? − − − − − LA seems to be a bundle of varied experiences and expressions of violence, with great heterogeneity and variability from country to country and even within a single country. Youth violence. Connection between growth, development, poverty, inequality and the relationship with violence. Scarce governmental financial resources for police (deficiencies in equipment, low salaries, and proclivity to police abuse of power). Diverse offences affecting at a regional level. What are governmental and civil society responses to the various types of threats? − − − − − − − Citizen security as a concept that helps to build democracy and is related to quality of life. Confront violence priorizing prevention (primary, secondary and tertiary) National strategies including citizen participation. Police reforms and transformations. Reform of the judicial system. Consensus at regional level Joint strategies -bilateral and multilateral- to cope with specific security problems at regional level. Strengthening of information and intelligence sharing.


E. International Initiatives: Research, Assistance and Cooperation To answer the question of how to deal with violence and crime in developing /transitional democracies, a variety of approaches, diagnoses, recommendation and assistance emerged during the 1990’s. Research and Assistance: A leading paper30 published by ECLAC (Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean) in 1999 considered that the critical need to find more effective solutions has led to a new more comprehensive approach based on the notion that violence is a public health problem, and that should thus be addressed from an epidemiological perspective, with the following types of measures: − Measures aimed at specific risk factors associated with violent crime; − Short-term police control measures acting on specific short-term phenomena, hopefully overlapping with police, judicial and penitentiary reform; − Preventive measures imposed by the police, such as firearms regulations and limits on substances associated with violent behavior, such as alcohol; − Secondary preventive measures aimed at at-risk male youths, aimed at changing youth behaviors. On the preventive side, the proposed measures include educational programs aimed at reducing drop-out rates and teaching peaceful conflict resolution skills; community mobilization programs aimed at promoting citizen-police collaboration; stricter controls on alcohol sales, drug trafficking and arms usage; and policies aimed at reducing poverty and income inequality.

ARRIAGADA Irma and Lorena GODOY. “Seguridad Ciudadana y Violencia en América Latina: Diagnóstico y Políticas en los Años Noventa”, Serie Políticas Sociales 32, ECLAC, United Nations, Santiago, August 1999. (United Nations Publication LC/L.1179-P)



On the control side, proposed measures include police reform, particularly professionalization programs, salary increases, creation of oversight boards, and streamlining of the various police functions; judicial reform, including greater co-ordination with the police, better professional treatment of criminals, and greater flexibility in sentencing guidelines; and penitentiary reform, including realistic budgeting, implementation of international human rights agreements, equalization of treatment for prisoners from different socioeconomic backgrounds, The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) coordinated a regional initiative, the Project ACTIVA (Multicenter Project: Attitudes and Cultural Norms toward Violence), to evaluate violence and related cultural norms and attitudes in selected cities of the region of the Americas and Spain. PAHO also engaged in the study of youths as victims31 The World Bank promoted a series of studies on crime and victimization from an economic perspective, on the connection between income inequality and violent crime, compiled in a recent book.32 UNDP (United Nations Development Program) also devoted resources to civilian police development, crime prevention and citizen security in countries such as Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. A series of research studies were conducted by the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Research Department’s Latin American Research Network,

See, PAHO. “Juvenile Violence in the Americas: Innovative Studies in Research, Diagnosis and Prevention”, Pan American Health Organization, Washington DC, 2000. FAJNZYLBER, Pablo, Daniel LEDERMAN, and Norman LOAYZA, eds. Crimen y Violencia en Latinoamérica, Banco Mundial y Alfaomega, Bogotá, 2001. This book includes chapters on Colombia, El Salvador, Perú, Mexico, and Brazil. Two pioneering studies are: Robert L. Ayres, “Crime and Violence as Development Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean” (Washington: The World Bank, 1998), and Pablo Fajnzylber, Daniel Lederman, and Norman Loayza, “Determinants of Crime Rates in Latin America and the World: An Empirical Assessment” (Washington: The World Bank, 1998)



the project on Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Magnitude and Control Policies.33 The IDB state reform strategy for the countries included an action line referred to the design and implementation of crime and violence prevention policies to help improve citizen security. Several countries have been supported by IDB loans.34 Recently, the IDB issued a set of guidelines for citizen security interventions in selected sectors, including: information systems and research; health; education; justice (judicial services and judicial reform); media; police; prisons; and situational prevention, social prevention, community- based initiatives and legislative action.35
These studies are compiled in: LONDOÑO Juan Luis, Alejandro GAVIRIA y Rodrigo GUERRERO, eds. Asalto al Desarrollo: Violencia en América Latina. Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (IDB), Washington DC, 2000. This book includes chapters on Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Perú, and Venezuela. Since 1998, the IDB has approved US$130 million for six stand-alone operations, a total investment of more than US$190 million.- projects in Uruguay (US$17.5 million loan), Colombia (US$57 million), dealing with a projects in Bogotá, Cali and Medellin; Chile (US$10 million); Honduras (US$22 million); Jamaica (US$16 million); Nicaragua (US$7 million); Guatemala (US$27 million). Projects in Guyana, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago are in different stages of preparation. At the stage of identification, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. See, IDB, “Guidelines for the Design of Violence Reduction Projects”, Sustainable Development Department -Best Practices Series, SOC-135, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C., June, 2003. Available from: The following is a summary of the lessons learned: − Keep the project focused on a limited number of risk factors directly linked to violence reduction. − Contract country-specific diagnostic research as part of project preparation. − Include low-cost and high-impact short-term interventions. − Select a well-established and respected executing agency. − Devote sufficient project resources to strengthen participating institutions and improve interinstitutional coordination. − Create project ownership. − Support institutional strengthening at the local level. − Support dialogue between civil society organizations and police forces. − Mobilize a multidisciplinary team. − Incorporate flexibility into project design. − Address information system and data problems. − Allocate sufficient resources for communication. − For regional projects, select countries at the same level of ability to address violence. − Involve influential civil society groups in project preparation that are not dependent on the governing political party. − Do not bypass creation of a log frame and a system of monitoring and evaluation.
35 34 33


More recently, the IDB issued a report overviewing the Bank’s activities in the field of violence prevention conducted in the following areas: (i) institutional strengthening, including information systems; (ii) preventive policing; (iii) work with women, youth and communities; (iv) communications and social awareness; and (v) monitoring and evaluation.36 The challenges identified in this report for the region are listed below: − Collecting more reliable and comparable statistics on crime and violence, giving emphasis to making visible “hidden” or under-reported forms of violence, such as violence against women, children and the elderly. − Identifying, documenting and evaluating cost-effective interventions to prevent and reduce violence, placing emphasis those targeting youth. − Expanding the range of cost-effective situational violence prevention interventions in Bank projects and, more generally, developing a second generation of less complex, higher impact Bank project addressing citizen security. Seeking to complement these projects with parallel investments in social prevention, social protection and employment generation/public work programs. − Promoting the professionalism and reforming the police forces, and keep working on defining the appropriate roles for government, citizens and development organizations, including development banks in supporting this reform process. − Lastly, designing and including in all efforts components to measure the cost effectiveness of interventions and their impact on violent behavior. This is especially important since the promotion of citizen security is a new field, which means that most interventions have no performance record in the region.37

See, BUVINIC, Mayra, Erik ALDA & Jorge LAMAS. “Emphasizing Prevention in Citizen Security- The Inter-American Development Bank’s Contribution to Reducing Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean” Sustainable Development Department -Best Practices Series, SOC-141, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C., August, 2005. Available from: BUVINIC, ALDA & LAMAS, supra note, p. 24



Developments at the Inter-American level: Taken into account the Treaty on Democratic Security agreed by the countries of Central America, the OAS (Organization of American States) adopted in 1996 a resolution entitled “Improvement of Public Safety and Security” (in Spanish known as “Fortalecimiento de la Seguridad Ciudadana”), recognizing “that public safety and security bear on matters that are crucial for the development of society; and that certain problems, such as crime, impunity, and the failings of the judicial and police systems, affect the normal course of life of societies, pose a threat to the consolidation or strengthening of democracies, undermine the standard of living of the population, and thwart the full and effective exercise of the rights and guarantees of individuals; and that these problems, which plague a number of countries of the Hemisphere, call for a comprehensive approach”38 The Plan of Action adopted by the presidents at the 2001 Summit of the Americas (Québec, April 2001) clearly differentiated for the first time in the region, violence and crime prevention from those matters concerned with international security.39
38 39

see, AG/RES. 1380 (XXVI-O/96) Here is the transcription of Chapter 3 - Prevention of Violence: Recognizing that violence and crime are serious obstacles to social harmony and the democratic and socioeconomic development of the Hemisphere, and as well noting the urgent need for an integral approach toward the prevention of violence: Encourage national institutions to work together and coordinate with all appropriate multilateral organizations and MDBs in order to implement integrated programs that include initiatives for conflict resolution, where appropriate, for sustained prevention, permanent attention, public education and treatment relevant to cases of violence against persons, families and communities, strengthening national institutional capacities in these areas; Consider developing cooperation with the media and entertainment industry with a view to avoiding the promotion and dissemination of a culture of violence, thus contributing to a culture of peace; Encourage greater use of community-based policing, to develop increased dialogue and interaction of law enforcement authorities with civil society and local communities; Promote cooperation to modernize criminal law, using information and communications technologies as appropriate, with a focus on human rights training and prevention of acts of violence, particularly violence perpetrated by law enforcement officials, in order to reduce violence against civilians and foster values necessary in our societies to retain social harmony; Promote the exchange of national experiences and best practices on the use of police profiling with a view to preventing biased detentions, which tend to affect mostly minorities and the poor;

− −

− − −


In 2003, the OAS adopted the “Declaration of Security in the Americas”. Relevant to this presentation is the following excerpt: “…The security of states of the Hemisphere is affected, in different ways, by traditional threats and the following new threats, concerns, and other challenges of a diverse nature: − • terrorism, transnational organized crime, the global drug problem, corruption, asset laundering, illicit trafficking in weapons, and the connections among them; − • extreme poverty and social exclusion of broad sectors of the population, which also affect stability and democracy. Extreme poverty erodes social cohesion and undermines the security of states; − • natural and man-made disasters, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, other health risks, and environmental degradation; − • trafficking in persons; − • attacks to cyber security; − • the potential for damage to arise in the event of an accident or incident during the maritime transport of potentially hazardous materials, including petroleum and radioactive materials and toxic waste; and

− − −

Expand opportunities to share experiences, techniques and best practices among government and civil society agencies involved in combating psychological, sexual or physical violence in the domestic setting and on the job, recognizing that such violence is overwhelmingly directed against women and children; Seek to adopt necessary measures to prevent, impede and punish violence, the segregation and exploitation of women, minors, the elderly, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, and seek to ensure that national legislation addresses acts of violence against them and that these laws are enforced, recognizing that where victims of violence require legal assistance to obtain redress, every effort should be made to guarantee that they receive such assistance; Request multilateral and other organizations that participate in the Inter-American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence to intensify their support and technical assistance to those countries that so request, in the elaboration of national strategies and actions regarding this topic; Promote concrete measures to prevent hostile actions against minorities in the Hemisphere, as well as the violent activities of local, regional and international movements that support and foster racist ideologies and terrorist practices to reach their goals; Increase regional cooperation with a view to preventing the criminal use of firearms and ammunition, and examine additional measures and laws at the national level if required; Implement, as soon as possible, the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials, and apply the CICAD Model Regulations, as appropriate;


− • the possibility of access, possession, and use of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by terrorists.”40

In June 1999 by Resolution No. 1650/99 of the General Assembly of the OAS, it was established the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE Comité Interamericano Contra el Terrorismo), for the cooperation and exchange of information in the framework of articles 17 and 18 of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. CICTE is comprised of national authorities of OAS member States and its main purpose is to develop cooperation to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorist acts and activities. Its functions are, inter alia, to establish a technical cooperation framework, develop, coordinate and evaluate the recommendations of government experts; encourage member States to ensure that their domestic legislation address and prevent the threat of terrorism; and coordinate and assist member States in the exchange of information on activities of persons, groups, organizations and movements linked to terrorist acts and their possible sources of financing, including any possible early warnings. In the area of MERCOSUR (Southern Cone Common Market, i.e., Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), special mechanisms have been set up to improve cooperation in the operational sphere, through an understanding concerning cooperation and mutual assistance for regional security in MERCOSUR, plus Bolivia and Chile (Buenos Aires, 23 July 1998). Since 18 May 1996, the Tri-Border Tripartite Command is operating, originally composed of permanent members of the domestic security forces of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Its primary purpose is to strengthen border cooperation in matters of domestic security, and especially to combat international terrorism, drug trafficking, money-laundering, smuggling of weapons, munitions and explosives and other offences of organized transnational crime. Improvements


See, OEA/Ser.K/XXXVIII CES/DEC. 1/03 rev.1, 28 October 2003.


have been accomplished in the exchange of information and joint and combined action in a context of systematic cooperation between forces. In 2001 the Ministers of the Interior of the MERCOSUR countries, plus those of Chile and Bolivia, approved the Citizen Security Declaration of Asunción which included measures to strengthen citizen security and to promote social capital formation, also establishing a special working committee to oversee the implementation of the measures. After the bombing of September 11, 2001, several steps were taken to revamp the sub-regional counter-terrorism system, improve domestic and international cooperation: within MERCOSUR –plus Bolivia and Chile, it was established the Specialized Working Group on Terrorism (GTE), a subgroup of the Permanent Working Group (GTO) of the meeting of Ministers of the Interior, for the coordination of activities against international terrorism.



Argentina: Domestic Security and Democracy


Transitional Issues

For more than fifty years of the 20th Century, Argentina suffered the experience of military interventions in politics (1930 to 1983). Since the 1960’s and until 1983, during periods of military rule, the so called ‘national security doctrine`– already mentioned above- was the ideological framework justifying the military regimes and its targeting of internal enemies in the context of the Cold War. These developments led in the 1970’s to severe human rights violations during the ´dirty war´ which has been widely known due to the ´disappearances”. Argentina' s return to democracy in 1983 brought a general consensus about the need to overcome the so-called “military problem”, redefining the role of the armed forces. Several measures were adopted in the judicial, political and legislative spheres, such as: − The military Junta members and guerrilla leaders were arrested, put into trial and sentenced on human rights violations - ‘disappearances’, killings, and torture - committed during the dirty war; − Policymakers decided to exert explicit civilian control over the armed forces, appointing a civilian Ministry of Defense; − National Commission of the Disappeared established by then-President Raúl Alfonsín (UCR), chaired by well-known writer Ernesto Sábato and issuing the Nunca Más final report, showing data of 9,000 disappearances during the military regime 1976-1983; − Congressional approval of the National Defense Law (1988), stating the distinction between national defense (external security) and internal security (law enforcement; public security), and prohibiting military intelligence agencies to conduct activities related to domestic political affairs; also the approval of the Internal Security Law (1992) hat


established civil management functions and bodies to exert control over police and security forces; − The controversial Full-Stop and Due Obedience laws, which limited the indictments of the military, accused of human rights violations. Later, then-President Carlos Menem (PJ) granted presidential pardons to all those convicted or under trial. − Offenses related to missing children -kidnappings- during the dirty war are still under judicial investigation. Another related problem was the militarization of the police41 and the law enforcement function. From an historical perspective, it has been said, “… the form of policing and police organization varied as a function of the place of the military in Argentina’s history of contentious politics. … the 1930 coup increased the repressiveness of the regime and spurred military intervention in policing. That is reflected in the recruitment pattern of the chiefs of police and ideological definitions of the enemy. From 1880, when the capital police was created, until September 1955, when Perón was ousted, 30 of 47 chiefs of police had been military men, most of them in active service. (Most civilian chiefs of police had been nominated by Radical presidents.)”42 On June 27, 2000 –through Resolution P.G.N. 35/00- the Investigative Commission on Forged Police Procedures (Comisión Investigadora de Procedimientos Policiales Fraguados de la Procuración General de la Nación). Was created under the General Attorney' s Office. The main task of this Commission was to follow up those already identified forged cases, deepen the ongoing investigations and detect new forged procedures. By May 2001, the Commission had detected 55 cases forged by Argentine Federal Police officials. The two-year-work of the General Attorney' s Office concluded that forged procedures by Federal Police officials contributed to human rights flagrant
For a panorama on policing, see, “Argentina” a chapter in: World Police Encyclopedia, Dilip K Das, ed., Routledge, London, 2006, p. 28–37.
42 41

KALMANOWIECKI, Laura. “Origins and Applications of Political Policing in Argentina.” Latin American Perspectives 27, 36-56, March 2000, p. 48.


violations, coinciding with serious penal offenses and victimizing vulnerable social sectors usually stigmatized as “criminals”. In this sense, the crimes committed have a discriminatory connotation. Thus, it is clear that the creation of procedures and cases against innocent people requires either to commit the crime or, for the subsequent abetment, the connivance or at least lack of interest of those who should investigate crimes. Forged cases constitute a clear evidence of the corruption within police forces because they reveal the possession of stolen drugs, vehicles and weapons of unjustifiable origin and also because the crimes are followed by institutional abetment. In December 2002 in the wake of the social and economic crises, the People' s Defender issued a report about the country' s security, stating that police brutality and violence have increased. In particular, the report concluded that: − Law enforcement as a branch of the State entrusted with preventing crimes has changed into an agency that cannot fulfill properly those tasks entrusted to it. In connection with improper performance of duties, cases of illegal pressure used by police officers to obtain a confession from prisoners, torture and willful hiding of these acts were detected. These are not isolated cases or unusual behavior of certain individuals but common habits of the "Force". It should be noted that international bodies have mentioned these facts. − Although fragmented nowadays, there is a budding crime network that takes advantage of the above situation and improves its organization and methods continuously. This is a complex organization as evidenced in the well-known "Echarri case" in which the father of a famous Argentine actor was kidnapped and released after a ransom had been paid by his relatives. − In neighborhoods there are spaces or territories known as "freed areas". In these territories there is no law and no policeman dares enter these areas, except when military or warlike operations are conducted by the police. The "bosses" of these areas exercise their power through force and fear. Citizens living in those areas are oppressed by criminal gangs.


Helpless people are at the mercy of these gangs and there is a whole honest and law abiding population unprotected by the State." − Political authorities are losing control. Violence exercised by criminals cannot be stopped and the police force aggressive nature is not kept under control. Police forces are under an increasing pressure as the result of the social situation. Police human rights are breached, policemen no longer have a good image and there is an alarming lack of updated law enforcement resources. The police cannot convince its members that their aim is not killing or injuring criminals preventing crimes. So therefore the police force runs the risk of becoming the commander of an army dangerously upset." − Taking into account the current state of affairs and those citizens’ liberties must never be forgotten; freedom of the press is being strengthened as well as the idea that this is an essential liberty for the democratic system. Mass media reflect what happens every day. Sometimes events are distorted because journalists are imperfect as the society they belong to. However, there is negative side of good journalism known as “yellow” press or, in other words, the power exercised by the mediocre. In certain cases, several conflicting interests are involved and therefore information sometimes gets a dramatic, “tabloid” nature to conceal the true origin of the problem of insecurity and lack of respect for human life. Two academics enrolled in the logics of security governance concept, may illustrate the scope of the problem. They conclude “…It is therefore the culture of policing - rather than simply the culture of the police - that ought to be our focus if we are to think innovatively about reform. As it currently stands, the culture of military-style policing – and the threats to human rights that comes with it – remains hegemonic in the country of Argentina. However, strategies for contesting this hegemony must not only take place within the police but outside of them, within and across nodes that shape the operations of the police. As we have argued, human rights and other nodes within civil society have served to produce a broader cultural transformation in the form of


exposing policing practices – along with the factors that enable and perpetuate them - and requiring the police, as well as the judiciary, to account for misconduct and to redress this conduct publicly. “43


The Problem of Crime and Violence 44 Trends in Crime:

Violent crimes in urban areas have been affecting this country for more than a decade For example, according to official statistics of the Ministry of Justice, between 1990 and 2001 the rate of supposedly criminal events increased from 1722 to 3160 per 100,000 inhabitants, by 83%. It should be noted that during the last decade the rate of crimes against people was higher than the rate of crimes against property and even the total crime rates. Between 1991 and 2000, the rate of crimes against property increased by 104% and the rate of crimes against people was increased by 114%. The following figures show the evolution of criminality in the country from 1992 to 2005 (total crimes rates per year; homicide rates per year; percentage of condemnatory sentences with respect to total recorder crime – Source: SNIC – Sistema Nacional de Información Criminal -, Ministry of Justice, Argentina).


WOOD, Jennifer and Enrique FONT. “Building Peace and Reforming Policing in Argentina: Opportunities and Challenges for Shantytowns” [Paper presented at “In Search of Security: An International Conference on Policing & Security”, February 2003, Montréal, Québec.]

This section is based partially on the following report “Background Document for the International Conference to be held in Buenos Aires, April 9-11, 2003”, Educational Project SSI / LSOP – NCIPS - AFH -Optimization of the Capacities of the Police in Public Security and Human Rights, Buenos Aires, April 1st, 2003. This report was prepared in the framework of a technical cooperation initiative between the Governments of Argentina and the Netherlands. the Dutch agencies involved were LSOP (Police Education and Knowledge Center, the Netherlands), NCIPS (Netherlands Center for International Police Cooperation) and AFH (Ana Frank’s House). During the drafting of this report by the SSI (Domestic Security Secretariat), consultations were held with NGO’s, including APDH (Permanent Assembly for Human Rights), CELS (Center for Legal and Social Studies) and PERIODISTAS (Journalists association)




The Economic Crises and Domestic Security: An economic crisis has prevailed in Argentina since late 1990´s and it became worse in 2001. Social demonstrations of disapproval and violent expressions were increased and a peak was reached in December 2001; looting broke out in urban and suburban areas of the Great Buenos Aires City and other cities of the country resulting in 23 civilian deaths during a stage of siege. In a report by the Head of the Ministers’ Cabinet titled Perspectives for a Democratic Government in Argentina (January, 2003), the prevailing situation was described as follows: "A global crisis affecting all levels of society has struck Argentina. There are no similar crises recorded in Argentine history, save for certain events which happened during the first years of the national organization process, back in colonial times. This is a serious crisis that influences social and economic conditions of citizens who are increasingly


degraded and who find no prospects for improving social conditions in the short term. The crisis depth has affected political behavior and cultural habits and identity has been lost as well as the sense of belonging both individually and collectively." Domestic security policies were consequently adapted to the situation. A set of concepts were adopted in a report prepared by the Domestic Security Secretariat in 2002, to be presented at the Legislative Assembly (State of the Nation' s report, March 1, 2003)45: − During the emergency situation, the Government decided not to criminalize social demonstrations and protect the safety of those taking part in those demonstrations, ensuring their right to free expression, to have different opinions and to express their demands. The safety of those who may be affected by those demonstrations was also ensured. − Taking into account distinctions between different types of

demonstrations, the Government was able to adopt a policy to deal with social protest, which was followed, by police and security forces with efficiency and self-sacrifice. − During these demonstrations, life protection and physical safety of participants and others affected by these demonstrations was a priority. − Social protest, in spite of its size and degree of violence, was expressed with freedom. Repression excesses were an exception when analyzing police actions, which were according to law and respected individual guarantees. Crimes committed by police or security force members were immediately brought to Justice with neither excuses nor protection. When this type of events happened, the Federal Police was the first agency to take disciplinary or preventive measures and to bring suspects to Justice. − The increasing violence of crimes cannot be denied. The system also responded strongly to protect life, freedom and citizens' property. In spite

See, “Memoria del estado de la Nación”, Jefatura de Gabinete de Ministros, 1ª de Marzo de 2003, Buenos Aires.


of shortcomings and difficulties to face major police technical procedure modifications and working problems, progress has been made to coordinate efforts between the federal administration and the provinces. Support is given to local administrations in case of dangerous situations as the result of the above-mentioned crisis. The principle of non-criminalization of social protests and demonstrations is still in force.


Terrorist Bombings

In the 1990´s Argentina suffered two serious terrorist bombings, the first one affecting the Embassy of Israel (March 17, 1992). The second one against the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), a Jewish community center building (July 18, 1994). To assist the judicial investigation of the AMIA bombing a special investigations unit was established for providing operational support and coordination (Decrees No. 452 of 2000 and No. 107 of 2001). This unit was composed by members of: Department of Antiterrorist Investigations Unit (DUIA) of the PFA; Intelligence Secretariat’s Department on International Terrorism and Transnational Crimes; PNA’s Antiterrorist Division; GN’s Division for Coordinating Antiterrorist Activities; Intelligence Department of the Federal Penitentiary Service; the Anti-corruption Office of the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights. The case of the Embassy of Israel (case S.143 XXIV) came before the Supreme Court of Justice, in accordance with the provision of the National Constitution, which confers jurisdiction on the Court in cases affecting diplomatic legations. The Court established a Special Secretariat to handle the investigation, but it is still trying to find those responsible. The Court has issued a number of national and international arrest warrants for those members of Islamic Jihad regarding whom there is enough information for them to be charged and prosecuted.


The AMIA bombing (case 1156, labeled “633 Pasteur Street. Offence: murder, injuries, damage”; 85 persons killed and 151 wounded) was heard by the National Court for Federal Criminal and Correctional Cases No. 9, Registry No. 17. In February 2000, part of the case was moved for trial before Federal Oral Tribunal No. 3, where hearings started on 24 September 200146. The oral proceedings determined that the investigation on the attack was wrongly performed. At present time, a newly appointed special prosecutor is revamping the investigation. In fact, six international arrest warrants have been recently issued for five former Iranian government officials and a member of Hizbollah47.


Domestic Security Structure and Legislation

Domestic security in Argentina is governed by the Internal Security Law No. 24059 of 1992, as well as by Decree No. 1273 of 1992, providing regulations for the provisions of the Internal Security Law. It is important to note that the National Defense Law No. 23554 of 1988 recognized a clear distinction between national defense and internal security, limiting the concept of national defense exclusively to the use of the armed forces, in a deterrent or an effective way, to confront external aggression, and at the same time called for a separate legislation for the internal security. Regarding intelligence, military intelligence agencies are forbidden to conduct activities related to domestic political affairs, as determined by article 15 of this law.

The cases brought to trial relate to persons who participated in the attack as accessories after the fact or as participants in a variety of offences, including murder, injury or damage aggravated under Law No. 23,592 concerning the suppression of discriminatory acts or omissions. Some of the suspects, although their cases were dismissed as regards their participation in the attack, were found guilty by Oral Tribunal No. 4 of possessing and stockpiling weapons of war. It should be noted that a reward of up to US$ 3 million has been offered for anyone providing information and that anyone cooperating with the investigation would be eligible for a reduced sentence, as stated above.


See, La Nación, “Victoria del Gobierno Nacional ante Irán por la causa AMIA”, March 16, 2007. Available at


Argentina has several domestic security agencies. Under the Ministry or Interior of the Federal Government (Decree No. 1697 of 2004)|: o Secretary for Internal Security; o Domestic Security Council; o Undersecretary for Security; o National Directorate for Planning and Control; o National Directorate for Criminal Intelligence; o National Directorate for Civil Protection; o General Directorate for Technical and Administrative Affairs; o Undersecretary for Security in Soccer Spectacles; o National Committee for Airport Security (established by Law No. 26102 of 2006) At the national or federal level, police and security forces known as the federal forces: o The Federal Police (Policía Federal Argentina, PFA); o The National Gendarmerie (Gendarmería Nacional, GN); o The Argentine Coast Guard (Prefectura Naval Argentina, PNA); o The Airport Security Police (Policía de Seguridad Aeroportuaria, PSA) 48 At provincial level: 23 provincial police forces.


After a scandal related to a case of drug trafficking, the Government transferred by Decree No. 145 of 2005 the former National Aeronautical Police (PAN) - which was under the Air Force, Ministry of Defense, and was not part of the internal security system- to the Ministry of Interior and renamed it a Airport Security Police (Policía de Seguridad Aeroportuaria, PSA). Law No. 26102 of 2006 constitutes the legal framework of this new security force.


The following figure shows the evolution of the domestic security budget at national level since 2001 (in Pesos).

Evolución del Presupuesto de Seguridad Interior del Gobierno Nacional Años 2001 a 2007 (expresado en pesos)







100 Total Función Seguridad Interior

2001 1.245.927.627

2002 1.281.909.160

2003 1.586.944.285

2004 1.861.610.101

2005 2.307.761.720

2006 2.710.415.053

2007 3.194.496.472

Base on applicable legislation, the following is a description of the main elements governing domestic security sector.

Scope and Definitions: Internal Security Law established the juridical, organic and functional basis of the system of planning, coordination, control and support of the national police effort tending to guarantee the internal security (article 1) The law defined internal security, which is ruled by provincial and national laws, as the factual situation under the rule of law in which liberty, life and property of the inhabitants, their rights and guarantees and the full validity of the institutions


of the representative, republican and federal system established by the National Constitution are protected, implying the employment of the material and human elements of all the police and security forces of the Nation” (articles 2, 3, 5)

Structures and Executive Control: The law creates the Internal Security System, responsible for determining the security policies, as well as to planning, coordinating, directing, controlling and supporting the National Police Effort (article 6). National Police Effort implies the coordinated action of the federal forces and the provincial police forces, for the purpose of maintaining internal security. The Internal Security Law gives control and co-ordination powers over the Internal Security system to the executive. The Minister of Interior by delegation of the President, exercises the political conduction of the National Police Effort, being in charge of the superior conduction of the federal Police and Security Forces and also coordinating the activity of those forces with the provincial police forces; for the fulfillment of these responsibilities, he is assisted by a Secretary for Internal Security (article 8). The powers granted by the law to the Minister of Interior include. 1) To formulate the policies related to the internal security area, and to elaborate the doctrine and plans and to take the actions tending to guarantee an adequate internal security level, with the advice of the Internal Security Council. 2) To direct and to coordinate the activity of the information and intelligence elements of the federal forces. 3) To determine the organization, doctrine, deployment, training and equipment of the PFA, GN and PNA. Article 9 of the law establishes the Internal Security Council with the mission to advice to the Minister of Interior in the formulation of the internal security


policies. It is composed by permanent members -Minister of Interior as president; Minister of Justice; secretary for Coordination and Programming for the Prevention of Drug Abuse and the Fight Against Drug Trafficking; secretary of Internal Security; the heads of PFA, GNA, PNA, PSA, and five police chiefs of the provinces, and non permanent members -Minister of Defense; Chief of the Joint Staff; Police chiefs of the provinces not appointed to compose the Council as permanent members-

Planning: According to article 15, the mission of the Planning and Control Center is to assist and to advise the Ministry of Interior and the Crisis Committee for the conduct of the police and security forces.

Criminal Intelligence: Article 16 of the Law stipulates that the National Directorate for Criminal Intelligence is the agency through which the Minister of Interior exercises the functional direction and coordination of the activities of the information and intelligence elements of the PFA, GN, PNA, PSA, and of those at provincial level according to the agreements. Decree No. 1273 outlines in its article 5.6 the extent of the Directorate’s functions including the planning, setting of priorities, preparation and formulation of requirements regarding collection of information and intelligence production. Under the original text of the law, this directorate was named as Interior Intelligence Directorate; the National Intelligence Law No. 25520 of 2001 renamed it as mentioned above. At the same time, the National Intelligence Law recognized criminal intelligence as linked to specific criminal activities that, due to their nature, magnitude, foreseeable consequences, dangerousness or mode, affect the freedom, life and property of individuals, as well as their rights


and guarantees, and the institutions of the federal, republican, and representative system established by the Constitution.49

Special Circumstances: An important feature of the Internal Security Council mentioned earlier is that under certain circumstances it can create a Crisis Committee, with the mission to exercise the political conduction and operational supervision of the federal and provincial police and security forces engaged in the reestablishment of internal security in any place of the national territory. (article 13). The Minister of Interior and the Governor of the affected province shall compose this committee, as co-presidents, the secretary of Internal Security as secretary of the Committee, and the heads of federal forces. The employment of federal security and police forces out of the federal jurisdiction shall be strictly subject to the fulfillment of the following assumptions: (a) When the life, freedom and properties of the inhabitants of a certain region are in danger; (b) When the constitutional rights and guarantees or the full enforcement of the institutions of the representative, republican and federal system are severely threatened along the country or in a certain region; (c) In situations of disaster, in accordance to civil defense regulations.(article 23) Under such assumptions and in order to cope with the situation, the governor of the affected province shall require to the Minister of Interior the cooperation of the federal forces; the Crisis Committee shall intervene according to the law. The only exception to the preceding clause is when there is a federal intervention promoted by the national government grounded on articles 6 and
A detailed description of the National Intelligence System created by the Law No. 25520 can be found in: ESTEVEZ, Eduardo E. “Argentina’s New Century Challenge: Overseeing the Intelligence System”, a chapter in: Who' s Watching the Spies? Establishing Intelligence Service Accountability, Hans Born, Loch K. Johnson y Ian Leigh, eds., Potomac Books Inc., Washington D.C., 2005, p. 160–179. A draft version is available from: For a comparative analysis, see, HANNAH Greg, Kevin O’BRIEN & Andrew RATHMELL. “Intelligence and Security Legislation for Security Sector Reform”, Technical Report 288SSDAT, RAND Europe, June 2005.


23 of the National Constitution (domestic commotion), or when federal justice orders the employment of such federal forces. (article 24 of the law) Title VI of the law is entitled “About the subsidiary employment of combat elements of the armed forces in internal security operations”. Under certain circumstances, when the Internal Security System appears insufficient to cope with a situation upon the consideration of the president and prior approval of the stage of siege, the Armed Forces may be employed for the reestablishment of the internal security within national territory. Considering the exceptionality of this kind of employment, the armed forces, shall not alter or modify their doctrine, organization, equipment and training of such forces, which shall maintain the characteristics as established by the National Defense Law. (articles 31 and 32)

Police Conduct: Through its article 21, the law established clear limits to police conduct; officers shall exercise their functions strictly in accordance to constitutional procedures, legal and statutory norms, and to a principle consisting in adjusting the means to be employ in a case-by-case basis, seeking primarily the preservation of life and physical integrity of the persons that are subject of their actions.

Parliamentary oversight: The Internal Security Law created the National Congress Joint Committee for the oversight of internal security activities and agencies (article 33). The role of the Joint Committee is specified in legislation and in the committee’s internal rules of procedures. The Committee includes sixteen legislators, eight appointed by the Chamber of Deputies and eight by the Senate. The law grants a set of formal powers to the Joint Committee. Article 35 allows this committee to oversee that the performance of the police and security forces complies with the constitutional, legal and statutory norms in force, verifying the


strict observance and respect for individual guarantees stated by the national constitution as well as the provisions of the American Human Rights Convention -known as "San José de Costa Rica Agreement", included in our legal arrangement through the law No. 23.054-. (article 35)


Other Related Legislation

Although Argentine law does not characterize terrorism or terrorist acts as a separate offence nor does it lay down penalties for such acts, criminal acts related to terrorist incidents are covered by other offences and penalties under Argentine Penal Code. Several stages can be described when analyzing the legislative history of the antiterrorist legislation in Argentina: − First stage: Alfonsín/Nosiglia Bill (March 1989); Menem/Arslanián Bill (1991 expte. PE 277/91) − Second stage: Menem/Barra Bill (1994;Mensaje 1.327/94, DAE No. 59); recommendations of the Joint Committee for the Oversight of Domestic Security an Intelligence agencies and Activities (August 1994). − Third stage: Deputy Pichetto Bill (1995; expte. D-292); Deputies Rodríguez / Gauna Bill on the informant, covert agent and substitution of identities (expediente D-5020, 14/11/1995); Report Bill of the Penal Legislation Committee UCR-1995 (base on previos projects of Deputies Rodríguez/Gauna and Deputy Pichetto); Majority Report of the Penal Legislation Committee of the Chamber o Deputies (PJ, 1996) Minority Report of Deputies Fragoso, Aramburu, Zavalía, Martínez, Caballero Martín, Garré, recommending the non-approval of the Majority Bill under consideration (1996); Minority Report of Deputy Stubrin (application of articles 26, 26 bis, 31 bis, 31 ter, 31 quater, 31 quinquies, 31 sexties y 33 bis of Law No. 23737 on drug trafficking )


− Fourth stage: Alternative bill prepared by constitutionalist Drs. Gil Lavedra and Arslanián (December 1996); Joint Special Congressional Committee in charge of monitoring the judicial investigations of the terrorist bombings against the embassy of Israel and the AMIA Majority Report Bill by Deputies Soria, Arias, Picchetto, Cruchaga (partial dissidence), Storani (partial dissidence) and Alvarez (18 de December 1996); Bill of the Joint Special Congressional Committee (22/04/97) and Minority Bill of the Joint Special Congressional Committee (April 1997) − Fifth stage: Law on Repentant Offenders; reforms to the Penal and Code of Procedures as proposed by Drs. León Arslanián, Ricardo Gil Lavedra, Pedro David, Raúl Zaffaroni and Andrés D´Alessio; adopted as report by the Joint Special Congressional Committee in charge of monitoring the judicial investigations of the terrorist bombings against the embassy of Israel and the AMIA. (O.D. 1.790, 01/07/1997), with partial dissidences Of Deputies Aramburu, Cafferatta Nores, Cruchaga Garré and Picheto within the Penal Legislation Committee (June 1997), Chamber of Deputies passed the Law on Repentant Offenders (06/08/1997); Senators Galván and Genoud (both members of the Joint Special Congressional Committee) prepared a new bill50 (expte. S-1602); Majority Report of the Senate’s Penal Legislation Committee (O. D. 263, 1998); Minority Report by Senators Yoma, Menem, Figueroa, Branda, Maya, San Millán, Tell; recommending withdraw of the bill (annex to al O. D. 263, 1998); In session of May 6, this report was approved, thus, rejecting the Law on Repentant Offenders previously passed by the Camber o Deputies. − Sixth stage: In 2000 new legislation passed to obtain information in order to prevent or suppress terrorist acts and to provide for a reduced penalty for anyone who collaborates effectively in the investigation of such acts, defined terrorist acts as “Criminal acts committed by members of
Entittled “sobre circunstancias atenuantes para la fijación de la pena por hechos sobrevinientes, excarcelación de los beneficiados por las mismas, y resguardo de la integridad personal de testigos”


unlawful associations or organizations established for the purpose of creating alarm or fear, which are carried out by means of explosive or inflammable substances, weapons or other deadly items, when used to endanger the life or physical integrity of an indeterminate number of persons” (Law No. 25241 on repentant offenders). Thus, anyone cooperating with the AMIA bombing investigation would be eligible for a reduced sentence. − Seventh stage: very recently, in January 2007, the National Government submitted to Congress a bill to characterize terrorism or terrorist acts, related financing activities and to introduce sanctions within the Penal Code.51 Meanwhile, in March 2005, National Congress adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Law No. 26,024) and the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism. (Law No. 26,023) Law No. 25246 of 2000, on the prevention of money laundering, defined criminal acts that were incorporated into the Penal Code. Article 5 of this Act establishes the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF). Article 6, which describes the Unit’s functions, states that: “The Financial Intelligence Unit shall be responsible for the analyzing, processing and transmitting of information for the purpose of preventing the laundering of assets derived, inter alia, from ‘unlawful acts committed by unlawful associations (art. 210 (d) of the Penal Code) organized for the commission of offences for political or racial purposes”.


See, Clarín, “Financiamiento al terrorismo: ley para zafar una nueva sanción externa”, January 16, 2007. Available from



Recent Policy Responses to Security Problems

The situation in Argentina during the last decade, and at the beginning of this century, can be summarized as follows 52: − Growth of crime and violence since the last decade, with a reversion of this tendency in the since 2003. − A significant sense of insecurity, with considerable coverage of crimes by the media. Since 2004, three massive demonstrations demanding executive and legislative actions against insecurity gathered in the streets of Buenos Aires city. − Isolated and interrupted attempts to reform public security systems and judicial or penal sector. − A state with a limited capacity for response. − Lack of systematic information for decision-making. − Budgetary restrictions. − Demands for citizen and Civil Society participation. − Police institutions with limited training, equipment and technology. Also, cases of Police officers engaged in corruption and abuses. − Citizen security is seen as a question to be addressed with a multisectoral, multidisciplinary approach, but still pending.

Another description can be found in Documento Base sobre Seguridad Ciudadana presentado en la Jornada de Lanzamiento de la Mesa de Diálogo sobre Seguridad Ciudadana del Diálogo Argentino, organizada por el Dialogo Argentino, conjuntamente con el Ministerio de Justicia, Seguridad y Derechos Humanos de la Nación, el PNUD (Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo) y el BID (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo), Bs. As., 9 de agosto de 2003. For an NGO’s perspective, see, CELS “ Más Derechos, Más Seguridad: Políticas Públicas en una Sociedad Democrática”, available at Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales website: 87177d8857ba1886.



− Several efforts initiated by the national government to prioritize the coordination of the domestic security system and to promote alternative methods for crime and violence prevention. New challenges emerged: the personal security of witnesses in human rights trials – as consequence of the episode in September 2006 of the mysterious disappearance of a victim of torture who had testified in the Etchecolatz case. During this century, several policies and measures have been undertaken in Argentina: − National Strategic Plan for Security and Justice proposed by the Presidency in 2003. − National Plan for Crime Prevention (Ministry of Justice) − Plan to Disarm Citizen, approved by Law several months ago. − Strengthening of the criminal intelligence activities (National Directorate on Criminal Intelligence of the Ministry of Interior). − Planning exercises organized by the Undersecretary for Security in collaboration with provincial police forces. − Increasing efforts in the field of soccer violence, a significant problem that is worsening (there is a program of assistance with the Dutch government). − Deepening of the public security reform process of Province of Buenos Aires53, which began in December 1997, was abruptly interrupted in mid 1999, and reinitiated in April 2003.54


The main document setting the basis of the reform process was prepared by Drs. León Arslanián and Alberto Binder: “Plan de Reorganización General del Sistema Integral de Seguridad e Investigación de los Delitos de la Provincia de Buenos Aires”. Such reform process, its first stage, began in December 1997, through a law which put a civilian as Chief of Police with intervention powers over the Policía Bonaerense (approx. 47.000 members). Based on the criteria of decentralization of the police structure and functions, a very important measure taken was to split the “Policía Bonaerense” into separate bodies:


In Argentina, citizen security has not yet been addressed in a systematic or interdisciplinary fashion55. While the institutional foundations of the domestic security system are recent, as shown above, it has taken some time for

the Departamental Security Police Forces organized in each of the 18 judicial departments of the Province, with a Coordinating Director within the newly created Ministry or Justice and Security; the Investigations Police, a unified organization with delegations in each of the 18 judicial departments of the Province; a transit police corps. a service for custody and transfer of detainees. Afterwards, by law was established a Ministry of Justice and Security (april 1998) in order to enhance executive and civilian control over the police -concentrating the former secretariat of Security, the secretariat of Justice including the Penitentiary Service, and all the components of the dissolved “Policía Bonaerense”-. In the meantime, several steps were taken towards a profound depuration of the police personnel. Another measure undertaken was to recreate and reform the Intelligence Directorate of the police department, setting new mission, functions and doctrine, and put in under direct control of the Ministry, out of the police organization. All these measures are being established in several laws. A public security law -ley Provincial de Seguridad Pública-, a provincial police forces organization law -ley de Organización de las Policías de la Provincia de Buenos Aires- (both passed in July 1998). In few words, the new legislation in force includes: a provincial security system creating a Security Council, a set of rules of conduct of the police officer, a set of guidelines related to detentions, the prohibition to affect citizen’s privacy, the missions and functions of each of the new police bodies, the decentralization and coordination system of the security police, a Corruption Control and Functional Abuses Office, education and training guidelines, community participation mechanisms, legislative approval for the heads of the Police bodies, as well as many other aspects.

For more details of the second stage of this reform that reinitiated in April 2004 see the website of the Ministry of Security of the Province of Buenos Aires:

For a very recent study about present situation of citizen security in Argentina, see, TUDELA, Patricio. Informe “Políticas Públicas de Seguridad Ciudadana – Argentina”. Guía para la Evaluación del Sector de Seguridad Ciudadana BID-RE1/SO1 Estudio Políticas Públicas de Seguridad Ciudadana. Los casos de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay, Responsable Beatriz López RE1/SO1, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo Santiago, 28 de 2006. Available from:



policymakers and civil society political actors to join the debate on policing and security affairs, which had until recently been restricted to police institutions.56 . Argentina has not escaped the trend toward growing crime rates that affected Latin America. Growing crime rates have a perceptible effect on the population’s quality of life, especially, although not exclusively, in urban areas. Also the country has not escaped from the cyclic processes affecting the continuity of the reform initiatives in the field of crime and violence prevention. Indeed there is a need to acknowledge in the region the difficulties to promote changes in policing and to foster the citizen security approach.57 As mentioned earlier, violence is no longer a theme analyzed primarily by social and medical science, and is increasingly linked to other themes such as crime and security. The ties between security and violence are still being explored. In order to further explore every dimensions of this relationship, more formal and interdisciplinary study is needed. It is quite important the development of new methodologies to evaluate plans and programs in process of accomplishment or which may be carried out in the future. At the same time, it is imperative to comprehend that domestic security as a sustainable public policy and under the spirit of citizen security notion, is much more than solely improving policing, passing a law, or putting into practice a bunch of disperse measures.


Of course, one cannot ignore the need for police action to address security issues: as Bayley (1997) points out, “democratic policing” is required, to make sure that police action is responsive in a downward fashion to individuals and private groups –rather than upward” to political leaders.

For a detailed description of Latin America situation, see also: PRILLAMAN. William C. “Crime, Democracy, and Development in Latin America”, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Policy Papers on the Americas, Volume XIV, Study 6, Washington D.C, June 2003. Available from:[1].pdf



Other Suggested Readings (in English) ARÉVALO DE LEÓN, Bernardo. “Good Governance in the Security Sector as Confidence-Building Measure in the Americas: Towards Pax Democratica” (Paper presented at the Seminar on "Practical Confidence-Building Measures: Does Good Governance of the Security Sector Matter?", held in New York, October 16, 2002, sponsored by the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security with the support of the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland and DCAF.), Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) Conference Paper, Geneva, 2002. Available from: ARRIAGADA, Irma and Lorena GODOY. “Prevention or repression? The false dilemma of citizen security”, CEPAL Review 70, April 2000, p. 111-156. Available from: BAILEY. John. “Public Security and Democratic Governability: Theorizing about Crime, Violence, Corruption, State and Regime”, paper prepared for delivery at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL, April 14-17, 2004. Available from: BAILEY. John and Lucía DAMMERT. Public security and police reform in the Americas, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005 BAYLEY, David H. “The Contemporary Practices of Policing: A Comparative View”, in Civilian Police and Multinational Peacekeeping: A role for democratic policing, National Institute of Justice Research Forum, Washington DC, October 6, 1997. Available from: BEATO, Claudio. "Crime and Social Policies in Latin America: Problems and Solutions", Woodrow Wilson Centre, Update on the Americas, No. 7, August 2002. BRINKS, Daniel. “Legal Tolls and the Rule of Law: The Judicial Response to Police Killings in South America.” Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana: University of Notre Dame, April 2004. Available from: CALL, Charles T. "War Transitions and the New Civilian Security in Latin America." Comparative Politics, Vol. 35, No. 1, 1-20, October 2002. CALL, Charles. “Challenges in Police Reform: Promoting Effectiveness and Accountability,” International Peace Academy (IPA) Policy Report, 2003. COLLIER, Michael W. "Rethinking Latin American and Caribbean Security: A Transtate Security Approach", LACC (Latin American and Caribbean Center at


Florida International University) Working Paper No. 10 - April 2005. Available from: DAS, Dilip K., ed. World Police Encyclopedia, Routledge, London, 2006, DI TELLA, Rafael, GALIANI, Sebastian and SCHARGRODSKY, Ernesto. "Crime Distribution & Victim Behavior During a Crime Wave", William Davidson Institute Working Paper No. 849, November 2006. Available at SSRN: DÍEZ RIPOLLÉS, José Luis. “El nuevo modelo penal de la seguridad ciudadana.” Revista Electrónica de Ciencia Penal y Criminología (en línea). 2004, núm. 06-03, p. 1-34. Available from: FERNÁNDEZ ANDERSON, Cora. “The Emergence of New Politics in Argentina: December 2001 and the Neighborhood Assemblies.” Master' s Thesis, Indiana: University of Notre Dame, August 2004. Available from: FRÜHLING, Hugo and Joseph S. TULCHIN with Heather GOLDING, eds. Crime and Violence in Latin America: Citizen Security, Democracy and the State, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. FUENTES, Claudio. “Do Transnational Advocacy Networks Matter? Protecting Citizens´ Rights in Democratic Argentina and Chile.” [Paper delivered at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. August 29September 1, 2002, Boston, Massachusetts.] Available from: HEINEMANN, Alessandra and VERNER, Dorte. "Crime and Violence in Development: A Literature Review of Latin America and the Caribbean" (October 1, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4041 Available at SSRN: HINTON, Mercedes S. ”A distant reality: Democratic policing in Argentina and Brazil”, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol.5 (1), p. 75-100, 2005. Available from: HUDSON, R. “Terrorist and organized crime groups in the tri-border area (TBA) of South America”, July/2003 (Report prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the US government) HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH. “Argentina Country Report”, January 2007.


LEMOS-NELSON, Tereza. “Police Criminality, Citizenship, and the (un)rule-oflaw” – Paper prepared for delivery at the 2001 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Washington DC, September 6-8, 2001. Available from: MOSER, Caroline, and MCILWAINE, Cathy. “Latin American Urban Violence as a Development Concern: Towards a Framework for Violence Reduction”, World Development Vol. 34, No. 1, 2006, pp. 89–112. OAS. AG/RES. 1380 (XXVI-O/96) Improvement of Public Safety and Security (Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 6, 1996) Available from: OAS Declaration on Security in the Americas (OEA/Ser.K/XXXVIII CES/DEC. 1/03 rev.1, 28 October 2003). Available from: O’NEILL, William G. “Police Reform in Post-conflict Societies: what we know and what we still need to know”, International Peace Academy Policy Paper, New York, April 2005. Available from: RAMACCIOTTI, Beatriz M. “Democracy and Multidimensional Security: The rising need for citizen security in Latin America” Seminar on "Security and Democratic Governability: Addressing Challenges in Latin America". Cosponsored by Women in International Security and the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University, Washington DC. March 15, 2005. Available from: SAAVEDRA, Boris. “Transnational Security Crime In Latin America: Building Up Cooperation In The Andean Ridge”, Conflict Studies Research Centre, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, September 2005. Available from: SETH G. Jones, Jeremy WILSON, Andrew RATHMELl, and Jack RILEY. “Establishing Law and Order after Conflict” (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2005). SERI, Guillermina S. “Police Discretion as Unwritten Law: Governing the State of Exception”. Available from: STANLEY, Ruth. “How deviant is deviance? ‘Cop culture' , Mainstream Culture, and Abuse of Police Power in Buenos Aires," Paper prepared for the Conference of the Research Group on Armed Forces and Society of the International Political Science Association, Bucharest, Romania, "7-30 June 2002.


TARACIUK, Tamara. “Prevention and Response to Urban Crime and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean”, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Latinamerican Program Special Report, August 2003. WINTON, Ailsa. “Urban violence: a guide to the literature”, Environment and Urbanization 2004 16: 165-184. Available from: WALKER, Christopher Jay. "Judicial Reform in Latin America: is Judicial Independence Enough to (Re-)Build the Rule of Law in Argentina?". Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas, September 2007. Available at SSRN:


About the Author
Mr. Eduardo E. Estévez (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Currently, is in charge of the General Directorate for Crime Prevention Policy, Ministry of Security of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Recently elected as president of the Fundación de Estudios Económicos y Políticas Públicas – FEEPP – (Foundation for Economic Studies and Public Policies). Former advisor to the Interior Security Secretariat, Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights (2002-2003), Former Coordinator of the Citizen Security Program Formulation, Provinces Secretariat; and National Director for Crime Prevention Co-ordination and Analysis, Interior Security Secretariat, Ministry of the Interior (2000-2001). He was Executive Director of the Criminal Policy and Security Institute, Buenos Aires Province (1999). Former advisor to the Joint Special Congressional Committee in charge of monitoring the judicial investigations of the terrorist bombings against the embassy of Israel and the AMIA building (1996-1999). Specialized in public security – police reforms, citizen security and violence – intelligence, as well as in defense and civil military relations. E-mail: