Buenos Aires Times

argentina SECURITY

Bullrich defends expanded gun freedoms for federal agents

The resolution comes as a high-profile criminal case against police officer Luis Chocobar moves through the courts. 

Tuesday 4 December, 2018
Security Minister Patricia Bullirch during a press conference during the G20.
Security Minister Patricia Bullirch during a press conference during the G20. Foto:Screenshot

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich has defended a resolution granting federal security officers greater freedoms to use their weapons.

Federal Police, Border Patrol, Prefecture and Airport Security Police officers can now shoot without warning, according to a Security Ministry decree signed Monday.

"The measure will allow a much improved defence of society than what they (security officers) were previously permitted", Bullrich told the Telenoche television news programme.

"Until now, a weapon has represented danger instead of an element of defence of society. If it was used, then he (the officer) had to give explanations about why he used it, in what conditions, why he shot. And it was always the agent never the criminal (who did the explaining)", she explained.

"By doing this we are creating a clear, strict regulation. Of course, a weapon is a last resort; this is the regulation in place today. But today all federal officers can use their weapon when their lives or others' lives are at risk", she insisted.

The resolution comes as a high-profile criminal case against police officer Luis Chocobar moves through the courts. 

Luis "Chocobar will be freed, he will be acquitted", Bullrich said in reference to the police officer who on December 8, 2017 shot dead a young man who had stabbed a US tourist in the La Boca neighbourhood.

'COMMITMENT'

Later on Monday, Bullrich told the Odisea Argentina programme that Argentina had come "from an old story, the dictatorship, which has gone about taking from the police their ability to act".

"Since we arrived, we have started to change that philosophy. We are achieving it. We wanted the forces to comply with their responsibilities", she said.

"I would say that this is our commitment to our electorate: the fight against drug-trafficking, the fight for greater security, and the fight to have the victim be the central figure and not the perpetrator", she concluded.

See also: Government’s support of police officer triggers concern

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