Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mixing Military and Police Functions in Chile

The Chilean army is at the northern border to fight drug trafficking. They will "track and identify criminals."

El Comando Conjunto Norte, dependiente del Estado Mayor Conjunto de Chile dirige la coordinación de las distintas capacidades de las Fuerzas Armadas con las fuerzas policiales. Los militares prestan el apoyo logístico y tecnológico para rastrear e identificar a los criminales, mientras los elementos de las fuerzas policiales son responsables de aprehenderlos.
Augusto Varas, who was at the forefront of publishing on Chilean civil-military relations in the 1980s, published an interesting article at the Fundación EQUITAS site on the military and internal order under Sebastián Piñera. This isn't just about drugs--it's about concern over what the military mission should be. In July he decreed the military would become part of the fight against drugs at the border, even in May he had said this wasn't a it was trained for.

Varas notes how expanding the military's mission beyond its profession has been a hallmark of Piñera's two terms, and goes hand-in-hand with a market orientation that sees the military budget as something to be used for whatever the government wants rather than strategically constructing the military's proper mission and leaving other pressing problems--climate change, fires, earthquakes, drugs, etc.--to other state agencies.

Further, and more troubling, it gives the military an internal orientation and the mission to keep internal order, which is consistently a source of violence.
Así, el Decreto 265 es una mala idea y debe ser abandonada. Con malos y peligrosos resultados en otros países, tiende a consolidar un espacio en el que se diluyen las fronteras entre lo militar y lo civil, lo nacional y lo extranjero, lo castrense y lo político, lo republicano y lo autocrático.
The same goes in the United States, where the military should not be involved in patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.


Alfredo 9:11 PM  

Chile is burning...

Alfredo 10:54 AM  

Chile is still burning...get rid of Pinoche's legacy once and for all...

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