Argentina’s Judiciary Takes Lead in Security Reforms

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Argentina’s Supreme Court has ushered in a new political era by taking the lead in the fight against organized crime, putting pressure on whoever is selected president in November’s run-off election to take similar action.

On October 27, Argentina’s Supreme Court issued a decree creating a judicial commission focused on legal cases pertaining to drug trafficking and organized crime.

Among the commission’s functions will be the advancement of a consistent, effective, and coordinated anti-drug policy. The court has also called for the creation of a registry of drug trafficking cases, as well as an observatory “to monitor the evolution of this criminal phenomenon” in the legal sphere.

The high court said immediate action needed to be taken due to the evolution of criminal networks, which has put “the security of the population at stake.” The court also noted the judiciary branch’s “repeated calls” since 2009 to confront drug trafficking and related criminal activity.

The commission will be comprised of Argentine judges at the federal and provincial level. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The move by Argentina’s Supreme Court, which came two days after national elections, places pressure on presidential candidates Daniel Scioli and Mauricio Macri to be proactive in combating the country’s criminal networks. The two men will compete in a run-off election on November 22, with the winner inheriting a country preoccupied with the growth of drug trafficking and organized crime in recent years.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

During their respective campaigns, Scioli and Macri took a tough anti-drug stance. Both agreed on the need for a new federal agency to investigate drug crimes, as well as a more prominent role for the armed forces in either domestic security or fighting drug trafficking. The action taken by the Supreme Court now places the impetus on the candidates to follow through on their campaign promises by taking concrete steps to control the spread of drug activity. (Whether a more militarized approach would actually improve Argentina’s security situation, however, remains in doubt.)

The general public certainly appears to be in favor of a more proactive president. The decision to create a special drug commission comes amid growing frustration over perceived inaction by officials from the executive branch to confront security issues. 

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