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G20 Preparation: Arrival of American Soldiers to Train Argentine Policemen Raises Controversy

By | [email protected] | July 12, 2018 5:00pm

ArmyTImesThe arrival of American Soldiers will cost the Pentagon more than US $1 million.
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On Thursday, a special aircraft arrived to Buenos Aires from the United States, on the military side of El Palomar airport. It was an American Hercules C-130 Air Force plane, one that is not typically seen in Argentina, carrying with it at least eight US army agents.

Requested by the Argentine government, these soldiers will teach and exchange with the Argentine gendarmes, policemen, and armed forces to prepare them to receive the heads of state from the most powerful countries in the world during the G20 summit taking place at the end of November in the city of Buenos Aires.

Official sources told El Cronista that the “joint training” was requested specifically by Patricia Bullrich’s Security Ministry. The objective is focused specifically on the G20, where global leaders from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin, along with Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Xi Jinping, will come together for extremely high-profile meetings.

The American soldiers might already be familiar with Buenos Aires, as they are expert in the region. They form part of the Southcom, the United States Special Operations Command branch which plans the division of troops, operations, and cooperation in the Caribbean and South America. Training will be given to 40 GEOF (Special Federal Operations Group) officers who form part of Argentina’s Federal Police force.

Last year’s G20 was in Germany, hosted by Angela Merkel (Photo via La Tribune Afrique)

 

According to the American embassy, the troops will stay until August 3rd, in a cooperation initiative which should cost US $1.5 million. The Pentagon will absorb most of the costs, from transportation to accommodation and living expenses of the special forces, while the Argentine government will only provide the internal transportation needed.

This initiative does not come at the best moment for the Argentine army, which is experimenting tension due to the different treatment received by the federal forces. Salary issues are the biggest point of contention, with the recent conflict regarding wage increases, which have led to disparities among the army, the naval prefecture, the gendarmes (border guard), and the police.

Moreover, the notification of the foreign forces entering Argentina territory without the authorization of the Senate has raised suspicions in the army. According to the law, the entry of the American soldiers in this manner is not technically legal. The executive branch cannot allow foreign forces to enter the territory without the authorization of Congress, except under some special circumstances, which aren’t met here.