Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Squeezing and threats to prisoners and their families by drug lords

Their own relatives or those of their cellmates became a determining link for many of the drug bosses detained in federal penitentiaries to continue deploying their power in the territory. The growth of organized crime from the prison units that depend on the Federal Penitentiary Service (SPF), adds another worrying seasoning for the judicial authorities: extortions and threats to relatives of other detainees.

The bars are not an impediment for the heads of organizations dedicated to drug trafficking to see the continuity of the business impeded. Neither are the convictions handed down by different federal judges. Four months ago, the Narcocriminality Prosecutor’s Office (PROCUNAR) by the prosecutor Diego Iglesias, made a crude report in which he exposed the problem and recommended urgent measures to coagulate it. Up to now, the work was ignored by the Government.

“It was noted that the organizations use contacts from abroad, which in most cases make up a criminal network, which implement the actions ordered by the leaders who are detained (convicted in almost all cases) and, despite this , continue to intervene in complex drug crime maneuvers,” says the official document.

In order for these tasks to be carried out, PROCUNAR indicated, “they fundamentally use cell phone devices that keep them in contact with those who are in charge of executing the actions.”

The situation exposed something evident: it does not matter that they, as leaders of the organizations, are detained, they have in the territory “people who continue to operate and respond to your orders”judicial sources indicated to Clarion.

The imprisoned drug traffickers developed another method that was investigated and observed by the Attorney General’s Office, and it has to do with the relatives of the detainees. In the first place, those who voluntarily agree to carry out certain actions “causing crimes to continue to be committed within the prison units” that ultimately have a single purpose: to give continuity to the drug trafficking business.

Some examples: Marco Antonio Estada Gonzalez “He continued to lead the organization dedicated to the distribution and sale of drugs and the collection of firearms, from the Federal Penitentiary Complex II, where he was detained.” It was proven – the report maintains – “that this person, through relatives, kept an active chain of command to transmit directives and continue with the criminal activities of the illicit structure of the organization.”

It was not the only case. Detained in the Ezeiza Federal Penitentiary Complex, mario segovia, known as “the king of ephedrine”“continued to issue directives to the other members of the organization and provide the necessary resources to perpetuate illicit trafficking activities and maintain the structure he led.”

These orders were transmitted “in person during the visits he received, or through telephone communications through cell phones irregularly brought into his detention unit and also through handwritten letters with a coding system, delivered to relatives or subordinates through postal means or delivered personally during visits in the unit”.

But according to the investigators, it was not enough for the drug leaders to use the visits they received and make use of their own relatives, and they went a step further: through “threats and extortion of relatives of other prisoners who are serving sentences for other crimes, sought to have tasks carried out outside the prison,” sources in the case pointed out.

This point that worries prosecutors specializing in drug trafficking was also addressed in the report that was sent on October 18 of last year to the Federal Penitentiary Service comptroller, Maria Laura Garrigós de Rebori.

“The presence of people outside the prisons was noted, who were part of or contributed to illegal activities, by complying with the directives issued by the upper echelons of the organization, who were deprived of their liberty,” says the document that the Attorney General of the Nation elevated the Ministry of Justice.

Delving into these mechanisms, judicial sources explained that the orders also “included relatives of other prisoners under the threat of putting the integrity of those who are in prison at risk.”

There were also other types of threats. Carlos Bareiro He led a complex illicit association – made up of more than 50 people – dedicated to the drug trade, aggravated by the participation of minors and the intervention of public officials.

PROCUNAR stated that from their place of detention “several witnesses, who were given protection through confidentiality of identity, stated that they had been threatened by the organization not to testify during the trial against Bareiro.”

The mechanisms under investigation and notified to the SPF authorities to implement greater controls do not exempt prison staff. “There are those who also receive threats and under that coercion are taken to commit crimes,” judicial authorities indicated.

To the complex situation, another aspect pointed out by PROCUNAR must be added “in some cases, it cannot be assumed a possible collusion on the part of the agents of the penitentiary service, both to facilitate and to allow the entry of cell phone devices into prisons. In this regard, in one of the cases analyzed, the formation of an organization made up of prison staff that would have provided cell phones to inmates was investigated.

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