Chilean Police prepare to launch major initiative against microtrafficking
By Dialogo October 08, 2014
Chilean police are preparing to launch in October a major security initiative to fight microtrafficking throughout the country.
The Microtrafficking Zero Plan (MTO), a key component of the National Security Plan announced in June by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, will target streets where microtraffickers operate. Those streets were selected based on a study by the Investigative Police of Chile (PDI), which identified 2,000 areas in 100 neighborhoods where microtraffickers sell small amounts of cocaine, marijuana, and other illegal drugs. The goal is to achieve a 10 percent reduction by the end of 2014 in the number of locations where microtraffickers operate.
Microtrafficking degrades neighborhoods
Such drug sales harm the quality of life in neighborhoods, said Patricio Bustos, chief of staff of the municipality of Conchali, a community of 120,000 residents on the outskirts of Santiago.
“The neighborhoods are undergoing serious degradation processes because of microtrafficking. Young people are leaving school to enter microtrafficking as traffickers or consumers.”
Drug consumption is one of the three main causes of crime in Chile, according to the 2013 National Urban Citizen Security Survey (ENUSC 2013), conducted by the Ministry of the Interior and Public Safety.
Annually, police in Chile arrest about 85,000 people for drug-related crimes. About 74 percent of the arrests are for drug possession, another 13 percent are for microtrafficking, and 13 percent are for drug trafficking.
Hundreds of detectives to investigate microtrafficking
To crack down on the problem, the PDI will assign 400 detectives to the MTO initiative. These detectives will be part of 98 police teams throughout the country dedicated to fighting small-level drug sales. They’ll be responsible for identifying specific areas where microtraffickers operate and investigating and arresting individuals who sell drugs in neighborhoods.
“We want to make these neighborhoods safe again,” said Deputy Prefect Alfredo Espinoza, chief of staff of the General Directorate of the PDI. “Microtrafficking is connected to other major trafficking organizations and oftentimes it serves as the gateway to the commission of other crimes, such as robbery, violence, abuse and murder.”
Another aspect of the MTO involves asking civil organizations and civilian members of the community for assistance by reporting criminal activity. People can provide tips anonymously if they are concerned about repercussions from criminals.
“People are afraid to file complaints due to retaliations. As they gain trust in the work of the police, this will change,” Bustos said.
It's a good move if cartels, major drug distributors and transnational trafficking are combated on another work front because through prevention, just by fighting micro-trafficking alone, we will be working on the consequences at the end of the criminal chain. Cause vs. effect studies are needed to eliminate problems in each reality. The strategy of prosecuting micro trafficking, or rather trafficking small quantities of drugs should be addressed in a variety of ways.
Just one aspect is prosecution of the crime in question, however there are other structural factors which, if they are not addressed jointly, can lead to the failure of these initiatives.
It is known that for years we at the Public Ministry of Chile have been working under a policy of prosecution of the trafficking of small amounts in the manner of "urban trafficking", which has seriously affected our society and above all the most vulnerable sectors where the drug that causes the most damage to public health is cocaine paste. The work carried out by the entity in charge of investigation has been fruitful, however, it would seem that a response from the State as a whole is needed to address the issue in depth.
This means that the administrative bodies of the State and not just the police, should attack the phenomenon in a coordinated manner such that once a previously identified sector has been addressed, it is the State which should immediately practically take over those sectors again, which had been dominated before by those who work in that area. This means to take charge of the problems that remain after a police intervention. Minors whose parents have been arrested, abandoned homes taken over to sell drugs, etc. Well done with the news, great job Personally, I would lend my support to fighting those bad guys who day after day leave us without family members and without any desire to move forward honestly. But starting with the policy that helps to finance them, this will never end. So, save your efforts to take care of your families and give them joy since those bad guys are already in power and no one is going to get them out of there IT IS A WORTHWHILE INITIATIVE, BUT IN THE LONG RUN, IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE. AS LONG AS ATTENTION IS DIRECTED ONLY TO THE BRANCHES, THE TRUNK WILL CONTINUE TO GROW STRONG. IT'S THE STORY THAT NEVER ENDS. Very good policy but first they should go for the root and not just for the branch Very good for this measure, but the forces and the powers that are contaminated also have to be cleaned up. CHANGE THAT JUNK POST UP-TO-DATE NEWS