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LAW ENFORCEMENT IN

ARGENTINA

-In Argentina the most important law enforcement


organization is the Argentine
Federal Police (equivalent to the FBI in the USA)
with jurisdiction in all Argentine territory. Most
routine police work is carried out by, provincial
police forces (equivalent to state police in the
United States). An exception of the capital city of
Buenos Aires (a federal district), where the
Argentine Federal Police works with Argentine
Naval Prefecture (Coast Guard) and Metropolitan
Police of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
(Municipal police).

ARGENTINE FEDERAL
POLICE

The
Argentine
Federal
Police
(Policia Federal Argentina or PFA) is a
civil police force of the Argentine
federal government. The PFA has
detachments throughout the country,
but its main responsibility is policing
the Federal District of Buenos Aires.
Argentine Federal Police duties in
Buenos Aires have been gradually
taken over by a new force, the Policia
Metropolitana
de
Buenos
Aires
(Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police).

Brief History
On July 9, 1816, Argentina gained its independence from
Spain. Argentina's population and cultural diversity
incorporated immigrants from Europe, but mostly from Italy
and Spain. From 1860 to 1930, the countrys population
grew contributing to the largest percentage of newcomers.
Throughout the mid 20th century, Argentina's pastimes
were controlled by political conflict between Federalists and
Unitarians and between civilian and military groupings. As
World War II was over, when "Peronist populism and direct
and
indirect
military
interference
in
subsequent
governments was followed by a military junta that took
power in 1976." Finally, democracy returned to Argentina in
1983 after failing to seize the Falkland Islands. Argentina
fell into severe economic instability in 2001 and 2002. This
unfortunate instability led to aggressive protests and to
successive resignations of several presidents.

GOVERNANCE
Elections

Executive Branch
Chief of State: The President and Vice President
are the head of the government.
Cabinet: The cabinet is chosen by the President.
Elections: The President and Vice President are
chosen on the same ticket by popular vote for
four-year terms.
The last election held was on 2015. The next
election
will
be
held
in
2019.

Legislative Branch
The National Congress consists of the Senate.
The Senate seats 72 members whom are
elected by direct vote.
The Chamber of Deputies seats 257 members.

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court: The Supreme Court judges are
chosen by the President; however, the decision
must be approved by the Senate.
The Supreme Court consists of seven (7)
judges. Congress passed a bill in 2006 to reduce
the number of Supreme Court judges to five (5).

Types of Government: Argentina is a republic.


There are three levels of government, federal,
provincial, and local.

Legal System: The legal system in Argentina is


a mixture of United States and European legal
systems.

Constitution: Argentina's constitution was


created on May 1, 1853. The Constitution has
been amended several times beginning in 1860.

Voting Eligibility: The voting age is 18 and


voting is compulsory and universal.

Judicial Review
Argentina follows a diffuse model of judicial review. A
diffuse model of judicial review is when " a country's entire
judiciary has the duty of constitutional control with the
potential inconsistency of decisions being lessened through
stare decisis or a structural equivalent." In Argentina's
constitution, Section 31 states that the constitution and the
laws that are approved by Congress are "the supreme law of
the Nation" (Argentina Constitution, 1998.) Also, Section 116
grants the Supreme Court and other inferior courts
permission to observe cases related to the Constitution and
congressional laws.
In Argentina's appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court
of Justice observes two kinds of appeal. For "ordinary"
appeals the Supreme court reviews certain decisions made
by the National Chamber of Appeals. The second type of
appellate jurisdiction is "extraordinary" appeals, this supply is
Argentina's special procedures for judicial review.

COURTS AND CRIMINAL LAW

Judges
Argentina has both federal and provincial courts. The
Supreme Court in Argentina consists of seven (7) judges.
The judges have the power to declare any legislative acts
as unconstitutional and are considered the central
element of the trial process. This privilege first began in
1854. Supreme Court judges are selected by the
President of Argentina with the approval of the country's
Senate. Federal courts are categorized according to the
nature of the cause. There are civil, criminal, family, and
commercial courts. Federal judges are also chosen by
the President, with the recommendations of the
magistrates council.

Juries: No jury system.

Lawyers: Licensed lawyers in Argentina are


known as Abogados. Legal practitioners are
trained by attending law school and by
participating in a five-year law program.

Presumption of Guilt or Innocence: The trials


in Argentina are public and defendants have
the right to legal counsel and to call defense
witnesses. A panel of judges decides whether
the criminal is guiltily or innocence.

Structure of the Argentine Court System:


Federal Court System
The Supreme Court
17 Appellate Courts
The District and the Territorial Courts
In this court system the Attorney General and the Official
Defender are the lead administrators of the Public Ministry.
Provincial Court System
The Supreme Court
Appellate Courts
Lower Courts: There are three (3) types of courts. They
are civil, criminal, and labor courts.
Verdicts can be appealed to the Provincial Supreme court or
Superior Tribunal of Justice.

PUNISHMENT

Typical Punishment: In Argentina, there have not been recent


events of capital punishment (hanging, firing squad, torture, or
flogging.)

Capital Data Information: Under the penal system, the Global


Press states, "corporal punishment is unlawful as a sentence for
crime. Article 18 of the Constitution (1994) abolishes whipping and
any kind of torture."[8] On August 7, 2008 the Argentine Senate
approved a law repealing the 1951 Military Code of Justice. This
new law abolished the death penalty for all crimes committed, even
those committed in times of armed conflict on in peace resolution by
the armed forces. As many countries abolished the death penalty
and Argentina was the tenth (10th) country to do so. On September
5, 2008 the government ratified the Protocol to the American
Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty. The last
execution that took place in Argentina was in 1916.

Imprisonment Rate: Argentina's national imprisonment ranking is


71. The prison population is 54,472 and prisoners per 100,000
people is 140.[9]

Prison Conditions: The living conditions in Argentina's prisons


are inhumane and unsanitary. One prison in particular is
Mendoza. In this prison there is a lack of food and an insufficient
availability of water. There are not enough mattresses for the
prisoners, and the few existing ones are of horrible quality.
Prisoners are contained in their cells for long periods of time. In
Mendoza there is a lack of medical staff that attends to ill inmates
when needed. Doctors did not visit the prisoners nor were there
any nurses, dentists or psychiatrists who provided necessary
medical attention to the prisoners. In 2000, there were a total of
40 inmate deaths that concerned government officials. In
Argentina's Constitution it states that inmates must remain clean,
healthy and safe. The Constitution also states that prisons are
built for security not for rehabilitation purposes. Nonetheless,
many of the necessary improvements have not been made and
unfortunately inmates leave prison in worse condition then when
they originally entered.

Justification For Punishment: In Argentina


self-justification is available. Retribution
punishment allows society to move forward.
Prisons are for security purposes only but
rehabilitation is an option for detainees. One
rehabilitation option is job training. Training
provides skills and knowledge that are
necessary to re-enter the workforce and
become economically self-sufficient. Drug and
psychiatric treatments are another option for
rehabilitation. A group of caring medical
professionals have helped thousands of
inmates achieve solidarity and mental and
physically healthiness.

CRIME RATES AND PUBLIC


OPINION

Degree of Crime: In Argentina there are


several different types of crimes committed.
For example violent crimes, property crimes,
and others such as human trafficking. In 2001,
the overall rate of crime committed in Argentina
was low compared to those countries that were
industrialized. An investigation was done using
INTERPOL data.[12] Below is a chart which lists
those crimes and statistical rates.

Crimes Statistics:
Violent Crimes: 2001

Statistics (Rate)

Murder

8.24 per 100,000


population

Aggravated Assault

316.18

Robbery

135.01

Property Crimes:2001

Statistics (Rate_

Burglary

51.22

Motor Vehicle Theft

188.03

Other:2001

Statistics (Rate)

Drug Offenses

15,508 per 100,000 people

Human Trafficking

In 2005, in Latin America and the


Caribbean there were 118,000 victims
of trafficking.

TYPES OF SYSTEM
The legal system in Argentina is a mixed
system of US and French law. The sources of all
Argentine laws stem from the rules of criminal
procedures which are compiled in the Code of
Criminal Procedure. This code is used by the
national criminal courts in Buenos Aires when
prosecuting both non-federal and federal criminal
offenses. According to the Argentine Constitution,
state courts have the final say on all
interpretations of state codes of criminal
procedure.

ARGENTINE FEDERAL POLICE


RANKS
Officer Ranks
Rank

Approximate English translation

Comisario General - Jefe de


Policia

Superintendent-General / CommissionerGeneral - Chief of Police

Comisario General

Superintendent-General or
Commissioner-General

Comisario Mayor

Superintendent-Major or CommissionerMajor

Comisario Inspector

Superintendent-Inspector or
Commissioner-Inspector

Comisario

Superintendent or Commissioner

Subcomisario

Sum-commissioner

Official Principal

Principal Officer

Official Inspector

Inspector Officer (or just Inspector)

Official Subinspector

Sub-inspector Officer (or just SubInspector)

Sub-Officer Ranks

Ranks
Suboficial Mayor

Approximate English
translation
Subofficer-Major

Suboficial Auxiliar

Auxiliary Sub-Officer

Suboficial Escribiente

Clerk Sub-Officer or
Administrative Sub-Officer or Staff
Sub-Officer

Sargento Primero

First Sergeant or Sergeant First


Class

Sargento

Sergeant

Cabo Primero

First Corporal

Cabo

Corporal

Agente / Bombero

Officer / Fireman

Aspirante

Candidate or Cadet

Ranks and Insignia

PFA Patrol Vehicle

PFA Uniform