Members of Argentina’s congress presented a new measure on Wednesday to repeal President Mauricio Macri’s decree to allow military intervention in internal security.
"By means of a simple decree (Macri) is trying to change the basis on which our national defense system, constructed from our transition to democracy," denounces the bill presented by members of the Chamber of Deputies. The measure seeks to repeal the president’s decree 683/18 by President Mauricio Macri enacted on Tuesday which would allow Argentina’s armed forces to intervene in internal security tasks.
The bill was presented by deputies Agustin Rossi, Cristina Alvarez Rodriguez, Maximo Kirchner, Nilda Garre, Jose Luis Gioja, Eduardo De Pedro, Horacio Pietragalla, Monica Macha and Lucila De Ponti, all members of the Peronist bloc - Front for Victory - Justice Party (FPV-PJ).
Rossi, who served as defense minister to Cristina Fernandez was quoted as saying that it required the “modification of three pillars of Argentina's democratic laws,” referring to the Defense bill, the Interior Security bill, and Intelligence Services bill. “Otherwise it would be illegal. As a result, this reform must go through the National Congress.”
The lawmakers said on Wednesday that the executive rule tries to legitimize military intervention against so-called "new threats", such as drug trafficking and terrorism. They denounced it as unconstitutional because the use of military force in domestic affairs would require changing the text of several laws.
When the president announced the decree on Monday, Rossi said such a change national defense policy requires the: “modification of three pillars of Argentina's democratic laws,” referring to the defense law, interior security law and intelligence services law. “Otherwise it would be illegal. As a result, this reform must go through Congress,” added Rossi on Monday.
The executive decree would repeal a 2006 order signed by former president Nestor Kirchner, which defines “external aggression” as the aggression of another state. According to Macri the threat of terrorism comes internally and the armed forces should be able to respond.
Human rights groups in Argentina have also denounced the decree saying it will enable the government to criminalize social protest, which has increased under the Macri administration.
“When they talk about 'fight against terrorism,' they (mean) repression of social protest. When they mention 'fight against drug-trafficking,' they mean repression of social protest.
"During six years, the military government justified the most horrendous crimes with the pretext of the fight against terrorism, including crimes against humanity, in order to impose an economic model protecting the interests of the oligarchy and international economic groups,” announced members of Daughters and Sons of the Genocide on Monday.
"Granting the military the power to intervene in internal security goes against the Constitution and laws. It has been a resounding failure in the few countries in America and Europe where it was applied," tweeted Rossi on Wednesday.
He added that according to studies by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in the cases of Mexico and Colombia, military intervention in domestic security "1) Did not reduce drug trafficking 2) Violence grew because of the increase in social conflict and the number of murders."
Also by Twitter, Rossi called for participation in protests on Thursday against the decree to take place in Cordoba, a city where thousands were disappeared or tortured during the dictatorship thirty years ago.
Tomorrow I will be in the city of #Cordoba marching in defense of democracy and against the new Macri decree that looks to militarize social conflict and put smoke curtains on his horrible economic results.