Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Argentina
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||19 July 2017|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 - Argentina, 19 July 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5981e45613.html [accessed 16 January 2018]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Overview: In 2016 Argentina focused its counterterrorism strategy on its northern and northeastern borders, which include the Tri-Border Area where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet, and where terrorist financing networks operate. The Government of Argentina systematically issued statements condemning violent acts perpetrated by ISIS and other global terrorist organizations.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In 2016, the Government of Argentina announced a plan to reform its counterterrorism legal framework. The proposed legislation would include penal system reforms, a new approach to countering terrorist financing, and a modernization of security and intelligence capabilities. Multiple security agencies maintained specialized law enforcement units that have substantial capabilities to respond to terrorist incidents.
The criminal investigations into and prosecutions of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people remained in the news. Former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner testified before an investigative court about her role in the congressional commission tasked with the investigation into the bombing. The former president was a member of the commission from 1996 until 2001 during her tenure as a federal senator. In late December of 2015, following the election of Mauricio Macri as president, the new administration chose not to appeal a federal court ruling invalidating a Memorandum of Understanding between Argentina and Iran concerning the investigation into the bombing. The Memorandum had been negotiated and signed by the Fernandez de Kirchner administration, who maintained that the agreement with Iran would clarify Iran's alleged role in the bombing. Several former Iranian officials have been indicted for planning and executing the bombing, and are subject to INTERPOL Red Notices.
There was a substantial increase in U.S.-Argentina law enforcement and security cooperation in 2016. In early March, the Department of State approved funding to support the development of a Fusion Center for Argentine security forces, based on the U.S. model, to expand capabilities and improve communications and information sharing between Argentine federal ministries. U.S. agencies have hosted Argentine counterparts and organized training courses in counterterrorism and fusion center strategic planning.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Argentina is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America, a FATF-style regional body. Its financial intelligence unit, Unidad de Informacion Financiera (UIF), is a member of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. In February, President Macri's administration announced its plan to counter money laundering and terrorist financing and expanded UIF's authority as the lead agency on all financial intelligence matters. Argentina also passed legislation in mid-2016 which allows the UIF to share information with relevant law enforcement and security agencies; previously, the UIF could only share information with the prosecutor's office. This new authority should improve Argentina's ability to use financial intelligence to identity and disrupt the activities of illicit actors. The UIF did not identify any cases involving terrorist financing in 2016. Two cases identified in 2014 – as possibly involving terrorist financing – remained under investigation at the end of 2016.
While Argentina has established the legal authorities and mechanisms necessary to identify and counter the financing of terrorism, results in the form of targets identified, assets seized, and cases prosecuted have been minimal. Following the September 2016 visits of the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, the United States and Argentina renewed bilateral cooperation against terrorist financing.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume II, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Countering Violent Extremism: The Government of Argentina consistently issued statements of condemnation against major acts of international terrorism in 2016. Argentina participated in the UN Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism and pledged its support to the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
International and Regional Cooperation: Argentina participates in the Organization of American States Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism and the Southern Common Market Special Forum on Terrorism. Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay coordinated law enforcement efforts in the Tri-Border Area via their Trilateral Tri-Border Area Command. In 2016, Argentina resumed its participation in the International Law Enforcement Academy in San Salvador, El Salvador.