Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Buenos Aires provincial police chief accused of narco-trafficking

Felipe Solá, former Governor of Buenos Aires province 2002-2007 and currently a Congressional Deputy for the conservative-Peronist Frente Renovador, is claiming that Pablo Bressi was named as the current police chief of the province at the request of the US Embassy and the DEA.

Bressi was appointed last year by María Eugenia Vidal after she was elected Governor of Buenos Aires. She is part of Argentine President Mauricio Macri's electoral coalition Cambiemos. Elisa "Lilita" Carrió, head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, has accused Bressi of being involved in drug-trafficking. Carrió is part of Cambiemos, as well, and Solá's Frente Renovador supported Macri in last year's Presidential election. So it's not a purely opposition partisan play, whatever else is involved.

The Buenos Aires Herald reports (Pressure mounts on BA province’s police chief 07/13/2016):

Solá’s claim reflected the deepening political crisis in the BA province administration surrounding Bressi, further exacerbated when [left Peronist] Victory Front (FpV) provincial lawmaker Rodolfo Iriart claimed yesterday that Vidal’s Security Minister Cristian Ritondo was likely to investigate the accusations.

“I warned them about Bressi but I was told he had been asked for personally by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),” Solá told Radio Del Plata.

He added that ahead of Bressi’s appointment to Vidal’s provincial administration he had been asked of his opinion of the policeman’s record and stated that there were serious concerns about his background.

“Last November, Cristian Ritondo asked my opinion about the time I spent with Bressi and I told him that I remembered ... we had a great deal of suspicions of his involvement in a bribery issue,” he said.

Last week, Carrió sent an open letter to Vidal saying Bressi had demonstrable links to organized drug-trafficking — a key priority of Vidal’s government — and vowing to support her claims with “evidence.”
It's Sola's request that the United States pressed for Pablo Bressi's appointment. If only because it sounds like a typical twist in a narco-novela. It also makes you wonder just what kind of official friends the US government seeks out in Argentina!

Solá claims that he heard the claim that the US wanted Bressi in that position from the above-mentioned Cristian Ritondo. (“Lo pidieron la embajada y la DEA” Página/12 13.07.2016)

“Me asustó mucho cuando me contestó que lo pide la Embajada, la DEA”, reveló Solá sobre la conversación con Ritondo, a quien se encargó de desacreditar en combo con Vidal. “Si vos querés combatir el narcotráfico en los barrios del Gran Buenos Aires y pensás que los objetivos de un gobernador de Buenos Aires son los mismos que los de la DEA, o no entendiste nunca nada o sos un zonzo, elegí”, disparó.

“A la DEA no le importa el paco en los barrios”, siguió, porque “está enfocada en otras cosas más grandes”. Solá explicó que la DEA “se vale de infiltrarse” entre los jefes narcos, entre quienes recluta “buchones” que luego gozan de impunidad. Bressi, que se desempeñó como Superintendente de Investigaciones sobre el Tráfico de Drogas Ilícitas durante la gobernación de Daniel Scioli, siguió un curso de negociador en toma de rehenes con el Departamento de Estado.

["It bothered me a lot when he responded that the Embassy, the DEA, had requested him," he Solá revealed about the conversation with Ritondo, who he took it upon himself to discredit along with Vidal. "I you want to combat narco-trafficking in the barrios of Greater Buenos Aires and think that the objectives of a Governor of Buenos Aires are the same as those of the DEA, either you don't understand anything, or you're an idiot, you choose," he declared.

The DEA doesn't care about the pacas in the barrios," he continued, because "it's focused on other, much grander things." Solá explained that the DEA "considers it important to infiltrate themselves" among the narco bosses, among whom they recruit "stool pigeons" who later enjoy immunity. Bressi, who functcioned as Superintendent of Investigations for the Traffic in Illegal Drugs during the governorship of Daniel Scioli [Peronist Governor of Buenos Aires province 2007-2015], took a course for negotiating in {cases of} the taking of hostages with the State Department.]
No major international intrigue in evidence in this one so far. But an intriguing story nevertheless.

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