Neftalí Carabantes, former undersecretary of the Carabineros, points out in this interview that in the face of drug trafficking the only response that corresponds to a rule of law is that our police act immediately, due to the situation of flagrante delicto with respect to those who are caught committing an illegal or that was just committed in the presence of police officers.
Carabantes considers that continuing to argue about drug-trafficking houses or drug-funerals makes us lose focus on what is important, which is getting the authorities to work in a coordinated and effective manner against drug trafficking, a problem that is gaining ground on a day-to-day basis. of the Chileans. “Drug trafficking must be fought with all State institutions, the Prosecutor’s Office, Police, Municipalities, and the Government,” says Cartabantes, current general secretary of the Central University.
-The demolition of the narco-house has generated confrontation between authorities. What should be the government’s response to the issue of the narco-houses?
-I would like to see the mayors, the undersecretary of the interior and the national prosecutor, working together against drug trafficking and not making a media show for the press. It is time to bring order and work in a stealthy and coordinated manner, with fewer cameras. The narco is not defeated by the press and social networks.
It is very important that all authorities and institutions act, coordinate and work prudently and with respect for the role of the other, within their respective spheres of authority, because ultimately the State is one and must deliver the responses that the community requires.
-The war against drugs should not be carried out by the media?
-I observe that there is an irrepressible propensity to carry out criminal prosecution by the press, and against institutions that in theory are called to work together and coordinate in the fight against drug trafficking, such as the Government, the Municipalities and the Public Ministry. Here there has been a lack of skill and there has been plenty of stridency and lack of coordination. This circus of declarations is functional for the drug trafficker to continue winning this war of death and violence.
-How is it possible that after a Narco house is demolished, the first person investigated is a Prosecutor!, and that this becomes the news. The foregoing speaks of improvisation, of the absence of a formal and legal channel in the transfer of information between the Prosecutor’s Office and the acting Municipality, which undoubtedly should be investigated. In short: the world is turned upside down and the drug traffickers are celebrating.
-The other issue related to drug trafficking was the funeral in Valparaíso. Do you agree with the controversy over the suspension of classes?
-I do not share the view of the authorities who focus the analysis on whether it was good or bad to suspend the classes as a result of the passage of the narco funeral in Valparaíso. On this issue, the country once again observed during the week our authorities unnecessarily polemicizing between ministries, on the one hand, and between the Police and the Public Ministry, on the other, with statements on accessory issues, with a niche, plot-based view, which does not contributes to the coordinated, systemic and multisectoral fight against drug trafficking.
-How should be the response of the authorities?
-Security must be a State policy, all the institutions together, rowing in the same direction. In addition, this episode is a contradiction because a few weeks ago the first National Policy against organized crime and drug trafficking was launched, which is highly valued, its central axis being the inter-institutional coordination of 17 public entities against this scourge, in circumstances that what we have seen this week is precisely the opposite, decoupling and lack of coordination between public bodies.
-How to face these narco events?
-Going back to the point, our cities can never be paralyzed by a drug funeral, and the focus must be on the fact that this type of funeral must be carefully analyzed in real time with the perspective of investigation and criminal prosecution, both by the police and by the ministry. public.
In other words, if public order is disturbed during the funeral, or crimes are perpetrated within the framework of said funeral procession, the only response that corresponds to a rule of law is for our police to act immediately, by virtue of the flagrante delicto situation. with respect to those who are caught committing an illegal act or that has just been committed in the presence of police officers. Only in this way, acting firmly during the development of the funeral, and scratching the field, will we give the signal that the city does not belong to them and that we are not on our knees.
-Why did we reach this point where the drug traffickers dictate the behavior of citizens?
-It is not possible to continue tolerating and naturalizing this type of narco deployments, it is a culture that we must combat and eradicate, for this reason these funerals must be approached from the perspective of investigation and criminal prosecution, because important evidence can be extracted from said event, such as such as what type of people participate in the gang, the structure of the organization, its hierarchies, its segmentation, its soldiers, its cars, homes, the type of weapons, ammunition, etc.
– Do you agree with the demolition of houses?
-Regarding the demolition of drug houses, every measure must be evaluated, here there is no magical or unique solution. In any case, political criticism does not contribute at all, since the only opposite side is drug trafficking, which must be fought with all State institutions, the Prosecutor’s Office, Police, Municipalities, and the Government.
-What do you think of the statements of the authorities regarding the drug houses?
-I empathize with the position of the Minister of Justice, Luis Cordero and that of the President of the Chamber of Deputies Vlado Mirosevic, in the sense that we are facing an ingenious solution from Mayor Carter. “We know which are your houses, we know where they operate, we know where you store the drugs, consequently, we are going to persecute you and that is why we are going to demolish your house so that you do not continue operating”, the signal is good, but after a while they can Cracks arise if not executed properly. That is why I am in favor of the fact that, to criminal problems, what corresponds are criminal solutions, because it is the only way to safeguard due process and the principle of legality. In other words, resorting to a law that allows the demolition of illegal extensions does not stand by itself, and may have the problem of violating the principle of equality before the law, since a percentage of violators of the law is being affected. urban planning and construction law and not the rest, and even more so without a fine-tuned criminal process, with which the principle of innocence can be violated. It is true, it is a creative measure, but its viability over time is debatable if it is not accompanied by others, which are the result and come from criminal policy, from a serious investigation and within criminal prosecution that does have legal tools, intrusive measures and real sanctions, of varying intensity, to combat without quarter and dismantle the drug gangs that operate in Chile.
*Neftalí Carabantes former Undersecretary of Carabineros (Lagos) and former Undersecretary General of Government (Bachelet). Current Secretary General U. Central.