Hand in hand with President Javier Milei’s alignment with Washington, Argentina joined – at the beginning of the month – the FBI database called Vanguard to exchange information in real time on international terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering (especially with cryptocurrencies) and other forms of organized crime..
The Vanguardia is “like a virtual tripartite command in real time that will allow the exchange of reports between the United States, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil,” a senior source from the Ministry of Security explained to Clarín. And the FBI only shares it with allied governments.
“It is not limited to the Triple Border and drug trafficking, but to all dimensions and jurisdictions,” the source said.
Bullrich signed the agreement and “it is to begin training force analysts so that in a few months it will begin to operate fully in a new facility”. In this context, On Friday he met with US Ambassador Marc Stanley to further increase cooperation in this sensitive matter of organized crime.
The Vanguard worked for Argentina, for the first time, in the case of the three terrorism suspects detained for the Maccabean games in Buenos Aires, but who Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti released last week due to lack of evidence.
These types of agreements are implemented through the International Office of Anti-Narcotics Affairs and the United States Attorney General’s Office (INL).
Last Friday during a meeting between the Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich and Ambassador Marc Stanley It was agreed to increase training for Argentine security forces especially in matters of cryptocurrency traceability, money laundering, synthetic drugs and international terrorism.
“We are proud of our collaboration with Argentina in the fight against terrorism, synthetic drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations,” Stanley wrote on Twitter.
Then, the diplomat said that “it has been a real pleasure to meet today with Minister Patricia Bullrich and her team.” to evaluate our current collaborations and brainstorm future expansions”.
The first to be trained advanced in the Ministry of Security, They will be members of elite groups known as “Joint Operational Groups.” They are made up of members of the four federal security forces. The GOC were created by Bullrich in 2017 during the presidency of Mauricio Macri.
American police cooperation had decreased profoundly during the presidencies of Cristina Kirchner and had little intensity under the management of Alberto Fernández but now it’s growing again. Especially in 2018 when former Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, at Cristina’s direction, opened the communications box with pliers of a United States military plane, to investigate whether it was carrying drugs. Then, the former president reduced the presence of the DEA in Argentina, angry with former President Obama who did not want to receive her.
Friday’s meeting between Bullrich and Stanley discussed the possibility of training, in particular, of officers of the Argentine forces at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)in the city of Roswell, New Mexico, USA.
The International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA) are international police academies administered by the US Department of State. They instruct local police in counterterrorism, narcotics interdiction, detection of fraudulent documents and border control practices. There are four regional ILEAs located in the world: one in San Salvador, one in Budapest, one in Bangkok and one in Gaborone, Botswana. The headquarters is in Roswell in New Mexico.
ILEA instructors are from the FBI; the DEA and other organizations such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which directed Eliot Ness, the police officer who managed to imprison Al Capone for tax evasion.
The first trainings They will be for the Joint Operational Groups (GOC) -which include members of the Federal Police, Gendarmerie, Prefecture and Airport Security Police- and could also reach judges and prosecutors.
These elite groups operate in the Northeast with a base based in Posadas; in the Northwest, in Salta and in the Buenos Aires town of San Nicolás focused on the Hidrovía and Rosario. The Hidrovía is the main entry route for marijuana arriving from Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay.
While planning to assemble two more GOC bases in southern and northern Patagonia. One dedicated to the maritime issue and complex crime and another to the challenges of Vaca Muerta and the border crossings with Chile, police sources explain.
During the meeting Bullrich and Stanley analyzed with concern the increase in military cooperation between Bolivia and Iran and the situation of the fight against drug trafficking in Ecuador, after the attempted coup by drug traffickers two weeks ago.
Regarding the MAS government of Luis Arce, in particular, it was analyzed Bolivia’s decision to ask Iranians for “minimum visas” that enter their territory. The Argentine Justice accuses former Iranian officials of being the intellectual authors of the attacks against the Israeli embassy (1992) and the AMIA (1994).
For its part, Bullrich supplied Stanley details of the deportation of the family of drug trafficker “Fito” Macías to Ecuador and reiterated its offer of police assistance to the government of President Daniel Novoa, who signed a broad cooperation agreement against drug trafficking with the United States. for five years.
The meeting also confirmed the trip of the Undersecretary of Hemispheric Affairs, Brian A. Nichols to Argentina next month to exchange information, especially by barrabravas, regarding security during the 2024 Copa América in the US.
Different topics were addressed such as the exchange of training and victim metrics, for which the possibility of having the collaboration of the University of Virginia would result. “Victim metrics” are statistics on crime reports to study their common parameters and try to identify their perpetrators.
Participating in Friday’s meeting between Bullrich and Stanley were the Chief of Staff, Carlos Manfroni; the Secretary of Security, Vicente Ventura Barreiro; and the national director of Criminal Intelligence, Ricardo Ferrer Picado, among other officials.
On the sidelines of the meeting with Stanley, Bullrich this week focused on the recreation of the Intelligence Service of the Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF). This intelligence group had been closed by Kirchnerism for believing that they had leaked the audios of the K prisoners in the Ezeiza prison who carried out Operation Puf against the cause of the Cuadernos de las Bribes.
The lack of internal intelligence had allowed, for example, drug traffickers to continue managing their businesses from inside the prison units.
So Bullrich ordered to asylum the most troublesome prisoners and is investigating whether some are related to the Red Command or PCC of Brazilthe most dangerous drug group in South America that is already infiltrating Paraguay and trying to do the same in Argentina.
Meanwhile, Bullrich is also “focused the transfer of prisoners in police stations of the City of CABA to federal spaces and the construction and completion of the prisons that are underway” at the request of his Buenos Aires colleague Waldo Wolff.
For his part, the governor of Santa Fe, Maximiliano Pullaro “wants keep the new prison in Coronada, Santa Febut Bullrich insists that it be managed by SPF personnel.”
The Bullrich team is on alert because he discovered that a prisoner detained “in a federal facility would be initiated into the PCC” and could be the lead to a larger organization.