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The head of the Army warned about the risks of militarizing the streets to combat crime

The head of the Army warned about the risks of militarizing the streets to combat crime

Mario Stevenazzi referred to the debate surrounding the participation of the Armed Forces in internal security, although he noted that the Army will abide by what “the legitimately elected government orders.”

The head of the Army Mario Stevenazzi referred to the possibility that the Armed forces collaborate with the Police in matters of internal security in Uruguay, in a context in which policies to combat crime and organized crime occupy a prominent place at the intersections of the electoral campaign. Although he maintained that the Army will abide by what “the legitimately elected government orders,” he warned that the soldiers are trained with “high firepower” weapons.

During the ceremony of the 213th anniversary of the National Army and with the presence of the president Luis Lacalle Pou In the front row, Stevenazzi took the opportunity to position himself regarding a proposal that, although it did not take root at the political or citizen level, was mentioned on some occasions and could gain strength as the internal elections and the need to radicalize approach. positions to win their own votes becomes stronger: the militarization of the streets as an alternative to combat unsafety.

This proposal was put on the table in August of last year by the deputies Gustavo Zubia, of the Colorado Partyand Eduardo Lust, of the hour Environmental Constitutional Party; when they pointed out the possibility of the Army collaborating with the Police in crime prevention, although with different levels of intervention: for Lust, the military only had to fulfill a patrol function, while Zubía – who presented himself as a pre-candidate in the internal Colorado but stepped aside to support Andrés Ojeda— He considered an active role pertinent to stop a “pandemic of deaths.”

Already in the context of the campaign, the senator and then pre-candidate of the Jorge Gandini National Party endorsed the proposal to “put the military on the streets” if he won the presidential elections, with the aim of having the Army assist police personnel in some specific areas of cannelloni and Montevideo considered “dangerous”. The initiative, meanwhile, not only brought disagreements at the coalition level, with the leader of Town meeting —and former head of the Army—, Guido Manini Ríos, pointing out these types of measures as demagogic and disavowing the Armed Forces; but also within the National Party itself, with the deputy Sergio Botana and the still Minister of Defense Javier Garcia questioning such statements.

For its part, Add, the nationalist platform that promotes the pre-candidacy of Laura Raffo, referred to “the selection of a thousand troops of the Ministry of Defence who have conditions to enter the National Police”. “If the troops leave one ministry and go to others, it is not the most important thing. The important thing is to provide a security solution for Uruguayans,” said the economist in this regard.

What did the head of the Army think?

Stevenazzi, for his part, reflected on the debate at the event for the anniversary of the National Army: “As for the willingness to participate in internal security tasks I would like to express that in fact we collaborate on current regulations. The national army is not an independent element, in a democratic and republican country it will do what the legitimately elected government dispose. Of course, we are professionals to fulfill the task of national defense. We are trained for that,” he said during his speech.

In any case, the commander in chief warned that the military knows how to use certain weapons that have “high firepower”. “In case any decision is made, this is what we know how to use. I say this fundamentally so that the effect is visualized and then there is no soldier, lieutenant who is accused,” he remarked.

Manini Ríos had previously expressed himself along similar lines: “A soldier patrolling the streets with a highly lethal rifle, a rifle that, if fired, can generate Collateral damage very serious… it is not the solution,” he said.

Source: Ambito

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