Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Argentina
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Argentina, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcc423.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
Overview: Argentina and the United States cooperated closely in analyzing possible terrorist threat information. Argentina continued to focus on the challenges of policing its remote northern and northeastern borders – including the Tri-Border Area (TBA), where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet – against such threats as illicit drug and human trafficking, contraband smuggling, and other forms of transnational crime. Training and other forms of bilateral law enforcement cooperation were curtailed, however, following the February 10 confiscation by Argentine authorities of sensitive U.S. military equipment at the international airport in Buenos Aires that was intended to support a previously approved U.S. Special Forces training exercise with the Argentine Federal Police's counterterrorism unit.
2011 Terrorist Incidents:
On November 29, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at the main police station in the Buenos Aires city suburb of Avellaneda, damaging the building and nearby businesses, but causing no injuries. Police found pamphlets from an anarchist group calling itself the "Eduardo Maria Vazquez Aguirre Anti-Prison Insurgent Cell" at the scene. Eduardo Maria Vazquez Aguirre was a Spanish anarchist who reportedly killed the Chief of the Argentine Police in a 1909 bombing. The pamphlet stated that the bombing was in retaliation for the deaths of six named individuals shot by Buenos Aires Provincial Police officers.
On December 21, an IED detonated 100 meters from the Security Ministry headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires, damaging nearby cars and buildings, but causing no injuries. A group calling itself "the Nucleus of Conspirators for the Extension of Chaos" claimed credit for the attack via a statement posted to the internet and indicated that it would soon conduct more attacks. Media reported that the design of this IED was similar to many of the bombs used in a 2010 series of bombings that targeted ATMs.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: On March 9, the Argentine Federal Police transferred control over the issuance of Argentine passports to the National Registry of Persons (RENAPER). This shift was part of an ongoing Argentine government effort to improve both the security measures governing the issuance and distribution of Argentine travel and identification documents, and the security mechanisms embedded in these documents. The Argentine passports issued via RENAPER conform to the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization. In addition, the Government of Argentina took steps to improve integration of data-bases controlled by several government ministries to ensure that Argentine travel documents were not provided to wanted persons.
The Argentine government continued its efforts to bring to justice those suspected in the July 18, 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured more than 150 people. The Argentine government appeared to shift its stance with respect to engagement with Iran over that government's alleged links to the crimes. At the September United Nations (UN) General Assembly, for example, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner indicated Argentina's willingness to enter into a dialogue with the Iranian government despite its refusal to turn over the Iranian suspects, which include Iran's current Defense Minister, wanted in connection with this bombing.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Argentina is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering in South America, a FATF-style regional body. On December 22, Argentina passed Law 26.734, which modified the penal code, broadened the definition of terrorism, and increased monetary fines and prison sentences for crimes linked to counterterrorist financing (CTF). The law, which generated controversy in some sectors for being overly broad and subject to potential misapplication, closed several loopholes in the 2007 CTF legislation. It empowered the Argentine Financial Intelligence Unit to freeze assets and criminalized the financing of terrorist organizations, individuals, and acts.
On October 17, Argentina passed Decree 1642/11, which created the National Program for Monitoring the Implementation of Policies for the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism. The program, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, includes coordination of national activities, projects, and programs to evaluate and set strategies. The program will also oversee monitoring and advancing Argentine government compliance with FATF recommendations.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Argentina participated in meetings of the Organization of American States' Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism and the Southern Common Market Special Forum on Terrorism. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, via their "Trilateral Tri-Border Area Command" coordinated law enforcement efforts in the TBA.