Aníbal Fernández answered questions in the Chamber of Deputies l Photo: HCDN

Hannibal Fernandez He was in the Chamber of Deputies this Thursday to answer questions. He was on the Internal Security Commission, chaired by Ramiro Gutiérrez of the Frente de Todos. The Minister of Security began with a PowerPoint presentation to show the results of his management during 2022. Generic numbers, programs with all kinds of presumptuous names. After a while, the noise and obfuscation of the legislators present began, who tried to ask questions about what is happening in Rosario with drug trafficking.

The representatives of Juntos por el Cambio wanted a leading role more than listening to the report and the data that Aníbal Fernández brought. They then insisted on starting the round of questions. After a few small crosses, the minister relented.

The questions from the right-wing opposition focused on debating on the field the agenda of the minister and President Alberto Fernández: the number of federal forces, the budget allocated to security, homicide rates, the vacant positions of judges, if the government The previous one had better figures than this one.

Lopez Murphy (JxC) complained about the measure of sending the Army, but because “they go unarmed”. President Alberto Fernández announced that the participation of the Army will be for “urbanization tasks.”

On the opposite sidewalk, the deputy on the left Nicholas del Caño, questioned the announcement from the experience of other countries and ours. He recalled that when the Army intervened in Mexico and militarized the country to supposedly fight the drug traffickers, the result was worse: 350,000 murders and 72,000 disappeared. “What is the basis for saying that the Army is not going to be corrupted by drug trafficking?” he asked Aníbal Fernández about cases of gendarmes detained for being linked to organized crime. He added: “Why would now be different if it is the 8th time since 2014 that federal forces have been sent and crime has not dropped?”.

The minister chose not to respond to these failures and experiences raised by the left. It was the way to coincide with what Juntos por el Cambio was asking for: focus the debate almost exclusively on reinforcing with more police presence and federal forces. Almost like an electoral slogan that is repeated on both sides of the rift, from Patricia Bullrich to Daniel Scioli. And this even though it is the security forces themselves who have ended up involved in the drug business. There are commissioners and gendarmes in prison.

Christian Ritondo (JxC) asked him “What can we do to collaborate in Congress?”. Aníbal Fernández took the opportunity to ask for the money laundering prevention and control law. The same one that Sergio Massa had requested to comply with the recommendations of international organizations and the request of the IMF itself. Debating its update had begun at the end of 2022, but negotiations between the ruling party and the opposition were blocked due to the judicial dispute that worsened and some differences over the Financial Information Unit.

Although it is from several years ago, there is already a law to control money laundering, but it does not seem that it is being used much to combat drug trafficking. Aníbal Fernández acknowledged in several of his responses that “cocaine is paid in dollar bills”as well as the need to search “the route of money”. A sentence that was left empty when she had to answer about proper names.

Was Nicolás del Caño, from the Left Front, who put names on the table. “In September 2022, 1,300 kg of cocaine were found in Terminal Puerto Rosario, where Vicentin is one of the owners. What happened to that? What are they going to do with the 200 private ports in that area?”. In the same sense he denounced: “Why are the ports still private and not nationalized? Because these companies are the ones that have the power to allow anything to enter and leave the country”.

The Minister of Security took the question to say a generality: “Specialists are analyzing it, our researchers maintain that it is the path of the drug. We want to get much more involved”.

It is curious that they have spent so many years to draw such an elementary conclusion. Del Caño also pointed out against the “real estate, construction, banks, financial, agro”; the legal businesses through which drug money circulates.

The Santa Fe deputy Enrique Estevez (socialism), he did mention the 800 km of waterway and the national routes that connect with bordering countries, but he focused above all on the changes in the judicial system of the province. This Wednesday the agreements between the Frente de Todos, Juntos por el Cambio and the Federal Interbloc advanced to rule on a project that lays the foundations for Santa Fe to advance in the implementation of the accusatory system that would expedite cases by separating the tasks of investigation (prosecutors) and sentencing (judges). It may be the subject for a forthcoming “consensus” session in the Lower House.

Aníbal Fernández was forced to answer about the disappearance of Julio Lopez and the murder of Maximiliano Kosteki and Darío Santillan, after the intervention of Myriam Bregman. The PTS-FITU deputy stated: “We continue to demand justice for Maxi and Dario and because 16 years ago he told us that Julio Lopez could be at his aunt’s house or under a bridge. And not. He is still missing, minister ”. Romina del Plá, also a FITU deputy, also reminded him of his role as an official, when the Police liberated the area for a mob to act, killing Mariano Ferreyra.

Regarding Kosteki and Santillán, the minister distanced himself, affirming “I was out of the country” y “I only read a part that someone else wrote”. He repeated the same about Mariano Ferreyra. When it was his turn to answer about Julio Lopez, he looked at Del Caño and said “because of what his companion said”, in reference to Myriam Bregman who had left the room with notice. The murmur did not take long, Del Caño yelled at him that he was talking about Julio López’s lawyer, and the minister had to apologize and correct himself: “His partner”. But she avoided talking about the unfortunate sayings of him back then. He only excused himself, stating that they investigated as usual.

Myriam Bregman also pointed to the intelligence services: “The minister spoke a lot about intelligence, and there is an intelligence body, the information body of the Federal Police. Known as The Feathers. They are not known to have discovered any drug trafficker, but they do have a lot of political espionage.”. He recalled that next Tuesday the oral trial begins for a spy from that body, Americo Balbuena.

Aníbal Fernández’s response was curious: “There is no such thing as Los plumas. That espionage thing is from the 16th century, we only have criminal intelligence ”. The voice of Nicolás del Caño was heard, reminding him of “Project X”, the spying of the gendarmerie on the social protest and social and union organizations. A security force remembered for the “carancho gendarme”. The same that now many insist again that it would be the solution to the problem of drug trafficking in Rosario.


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