Now former Buenos Aires Province Police Chief, Pablo Bressi, resigned from his post yesterday at the request of Provincial Governor María Eugenia Vidal. He will be replaced by Fabian Perroni, the force’s second in command until yesterday.
Officially, Bressi left his post for “strictly personal and professional reasons.” However, his tenure was mired in controversy for months, as a result of multiple accusations against him.
In August last year, investigative journalism magazine Noticias published a cover assuring that Bressi had set up a bribe collection scheme, and that part of the money he unlawfully got came from drug-trafficking.
The outlet also published an interview with his ex wife, Viviana Figueroa, who accused him of gender-based violence. “He blew up my eardrums by punching me,” she told Noticias. “He grabbed her, the threw her around, threw her on the bed and slapped her,” said Figueroa’s son, Federico, about the event. This and other statements prompted Governor Vidal to request the alleged events be investigated, but Bressi was never separated from his post.
Around that time, National Deputy and co-founder of the Cambiemos Coalition, Elisa Carrió, also handed Vidal a 20-page-long report in which she accused Bressi of the same things. “Either Bressi is a brilliant master mind or he’s an idiot who can’t even lead the people he knows, and much less the fight against organized crime,” wrote Carrió in the report.
Back then, Vidal stood by her Police chief, saying that he would remain in his post as long he wasn’t formally accused of anything. It seems like that’s no longer the case.
Bressi, however, said that Carrió’s accusations didn’t have anything to do with his departure: “It’s not because what someone says or stops saying. Everything has an expiration date. I’ve been working for 38 years and started to implement the change that the Governor and the [Provincial] Security Minister [Cristian Ritondo] wanted. I’m leaving for personal and professional reasons,” he argued.
Regardless of the reasons, Bressi is leaving his post at a turbulent time for police chiefs. Earlier this month, the City of Buenos Aires’ Police Chief, José Pedro Potocar, was arrested after being accused of having committed crimes similar to the ones Bressi allegedly committed. Potocar was indicted today. Moreover, another high ranking official of the Province’s police was also arrested yesterday — briefly before Bressi left his post — with AR $200,000 in a bag.