Insane security

Myriam Meloni

Today in Argentina, every 28 hours one person dies as a victim of trigger happy, torture or the abuse of power enforced by the very same forces that are in charge of safeguarding the citizens’ safety.

Legacy of Argentina’s military regime, hushed by major media corporations which perpetuates the culture of fear and ultimately legitimated by the people’s urging need for protection, police abuse becomes a means of social control. It finds in the youngest and poorest tier of the society the perfect scapegoat of a society profoundly seared by a deep separating class crack which is unable to grant solutions to the violence this gap produces.

Most of modern democratic societies uphold the protection of physical security in their constitutions. However, there is a constant tension between the protection of this right and the real use of force by the security bodies.

In the Republic of Argentina, where the crime rate is lower compared with that of other Latin American countries, the feeling of no safety ranks among the highest across Latin America. This constant perception of danger, heightened by the media, becomes an increasing social demand on the use of force, several times lethal to diminish the country’s crime levels.

In a political, economic and social context where the culture of fear rules, the police force legitimates the systematic use of violence perpetrated in the violation of individual rights to freedom, physical security and fair justice for the civilians.

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  • Frames of the videos which allowed to identify those policemen responsible for the murders of Dario and Maxi.

  • The box where Yiyi’s grandmother keeps Yiyi’s clothes and photos of him.”Every now and then I take his clothes out of the box. I smell them. I can still smell the oil of the garage where he used to work”

  • Angelica Van Eek.
    His son Adrián, was one of the three young men killed during the "slaughter of Floresta" by a policeman who shot the youth, enraged by the comment that one of them had made about the police behavior toward the people who were protesting against the policies taken by the government to fight the deep economic crisis the country was going through in 2001.

  • The Plans of the cells of the different prisons where Alejandro Bordón was imprisoned before being released. Drawings of Alexanders Bordón.

  • Velaztiqui Juan de Dio, former federal police, who in 2003 was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of three young people in the neighborhood of Floresta

  • Some of the bullet scars caused by the 18 shots that Fernando received during the police raid.

  • Avellaneda train station where Dario Santillán and his partner and friend Maximiliano Kosteki were murdered. Today the station is called “Dario and Maxi Station”, in remembrance of them.

  • Fernando Carrera, sentenced to 30 years life imprisonment for a case set up by the police. After spending 7 years in jail, the National Supreme Court, decided to revise the case. After acknowledging the alteration of evidence in terms of the facts, testimony manipulation on behalf of the police and the police reports along with a whole series of judicial mistakes during the process, the Court acquitted Fernando Carrera and a new trial is underway.

  • Adrián's portrait painted by his mother, Buenos Aires 2012. Buenos Aires 2012.

  • ”Every now and then I take his clothes out of the box. I smell them. I can still smell the oil of the garage where he used to work” Maria Esther.

  • Bus of linees 165, where the bus driver was killed.

  • Alejandro Bordón. He was beaten, apprehended and accused of killing a bus driver, seemingly because the driver were the alleged lover of his wife Susana. During the oral trial, it was proven that the police version of the passion crime had no backing whatsoever, and it was shown the forging of proofs and testimony on behalf of the police force. Alejandro was released after one and a half years in prison.

  • Maria Esther Herrera.
    Her grandson Yiyi , 17 years old, was found dead in a police station.
    According to the police report, the boy allegedly died due to the smoke caused by a cigarette which had sparked the fire of his cell mattress while asleep. He stifled to death. In view of the autopsy results commissioned by the relatives of the victim, Yiyi featured bruises all over the body, his temple was sunken, and most of his hands first phalanges were cut.

  • Carla Lacorte at Mar del Plata’s cliffs, five months before being shot and ending up on a wheel chair.

  • A police car during a night patrol.

  • The car of Fernando Carrera drilled by 18 gunshots. Frame from the documentary The Rati Horror Show,

  • Dolly Demontis. Her son Ezequiel was illegally arrested, beaten, insulted and tortured by several police officers and forced to jump into the river Riachuelo, where he drowned. The testimony of two boys who were arrested together with Ezequiel and who survived to the torture, as well as the marks of the blows Ezequiel's body, enabled the condemnation of five police officers.

  • Carla Lacorte, victim of a bullet fired by a police officer which doomed her to be on a wheel chair.

  • Alberto Santillan.
    His son Dario, a young argentinian activist, was killed with his partner Maximiliano Kosteki by law enforcement officers from the Buenos Aires Province Police Force during a police repression operation.The videos and photographs made by the journalists present during the raid allowed the identification of the police officers responsible for the murder of the two young guys.

  • The Chacarita Cemetery, Buenos Aires 2012.

  • The "Riachuelo's" waters, where the body of Ezequiel was found a few weeks later his disappearance.

  • Angelica Lezcano.
    His son Kiki Lezcano was murdered by the police. His body was buried as an unidentified person in the largest public cemetery in Buenos Aires in an attempt to hide the murder evidence.

  • The Pueyrredon Bridge, where Ezekiel was forced to plunge.

  • Ezekiel's mother during the interview.