SANTIAGO – In a somewhat surprising announcement, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera announced on Tuesday he will deploy armed forces to combat drug trafficking on Chile’s northern borders. The president emphasized the military men are deployed to support police forces.
On Tuesday, during a ceremony, President Sebastián Piñera announced he will be signing a decree to combat drug trafficking and organized crime at the Bolivian and Peruvian border using the Chilean military. The president added later that the armed forces will be present at Chile’s northern borders in a supportive role and will collaborate with the Chilean investigative police (PDI) and the police forces.
According to Piñera, the army will be sent in to provide intelligence, transport, logistics and technology to secure the Chilean borders. Chilean soldiers will also patrol along the borders, the president said.
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“Drug trafficking and organized crime are enemies who don’t respect anything or anyone and who have caused huge damage to our society and especially to our children and youth”, Piñera said to defend the decree. “I have the right, the duty and the obligation to fight drug trafficking and organized crime with all the force and all the rigor of the law, and to protect children, young people and all our compatriots from the scourge of drugs.”
During the ceremony, the president went on saying that “you can’t fight thieves by leaving the doors of your house open. Nor can we fight against drug trafficking on our northern borders without sufficient protection.”
“I want to make it very clear: drug trafficking is an enemy that must be fought without truce, using all the instruments at our disposal”, the president concluded.
Foreign Affairs Minister Teodoro Ribera declared later that information will only be shared with Chilean police forces and will not be passed on to the Peruvian or Bolivian police forces.
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Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today.