River bars arrested in the surroundings of the Lanús stadium.  It was before the match against Godoy Cruz, for the Argentine Cup.

The initiative that promoted the creation of Public Prosecutors Specialized in Violence in Sport and related crimes, is 10 years old. Eight if they are counted from the approval of the Legislative power Buenos Aires, which turned it into law. Of the six suggested judicial departments, only one put it into practice: the Avellaneda Y Lanus that already has its Fiscal Instruction Units (UFIs) specific to address football violence.

Currently the different cases related to the subject are scattered in different prosecutor’s offices, without centralized information or coordination for the administration of Justice. It is expected that the new modality will allow an agile treatment, with greater impact in the so-called “fight against violence”.

In Avellaneda, it is the UFI 4 by the prosecutor Mario Prietowhile in Lanús it is the UFI 6which has Matias Rodriguez in front. In this way, every crime perpetrated on the soccer fields Independent, Racing, Arsenal Y South Dockwill fall on the first and those of Lanus, workshops Climbing Remedies, Future Y victorian sandsin the other.

These are the first and the only ones since the “gradual implementation” of these UFIs was stipulated on November 20, 2014 “in the judicial departments of La Plata, Lomas de Zamora, Avellaneda, Lanús, Morón, Quilmes and Mar del Plata” . The Law contemplates the implementation for the remaining jurisdictions “in order of the indexes of conflict and of each Judicial Department”.

River bars arrested in the surroundings of the Lanús stadium. It was before the match against Godoy Cruz, for the Argentine Cup.

That changes?

Institutional attempts to eradicate violent people from stadiums, in addition to -to a greater extent- failing, tend to consider the brave fans as entities outside the social spectrum and their networks with sports, government and security entities. The specialized UFIs should not contemplate the uses and customs of the last decades that distinguish an official bar and others that try to take control to obtain that status.

“If anyone commits a crime on a soccer field, there are no considerations of the ‘official bar’ type or others like that. If there are informal ticket sales, it doesn’t matter if managers appear in that network. There is a paradigm shift “, they get excited in the Judiciary.

If so, the first results will be seen in the agility of Justice: the causes will be centralized regardless of the type of crime and it will be easier to combine them. They will all be in the same area and will be part of a core investigation. There will not be in one prosecutor’s office the investigation for trout entries, in another the carrying of weapons and in a third the disobedience… the links will emerge from the same line of investigation.

In concrete terms, the list of prohibition of attendance will be updated in situ: even in the same act the person will be notified that his name and surname are part of the register with which the Safe Tribune Program that keeps many members of the “barras bravas” off the pitch.

In the two districts, everything that happens in the spectrum of the court will go to the “sports” prosecutor’s office and they will be able to relate automatically, without the judicial bureaucracy intersecting. The violence of soccer, will be attended with the current rules in the matter. Or at least that’s the advertised purpose.

Secure Tribune: the agents ask for the physical or voiced DNI and check whether or not they can access the stadium.

Secure Tribune: the agents ask for the physical or voiced DNI and check whether or not they can access the stadium.

The performance

When will you start intervening? In any incident in a match played in Lanús or Avellaneda or criminal situations arising from the field of football, whether or not there is a match. The massive arrests prior to the game that Independiente faced Ceará were the starting point for ordering the operation.

UFIs 4 and 6 work under the purview of the attorney general’s office, which is in charge of the attorney general of that judicial department, Guillermo Castro. Each one has, in addition to the prosecutor in charge, seven other people to oil the operation.

At that time, the defense of some detainees who had been prohibited from attending could not be detained and did not lose their release status due to a semantic detail: the defense argued, in addition to the fact that their clients had not been notified, that they had not crossed the line municipal of the stadium and therefore, they had not entered the field.

Those details are critical and trades will follow a kind of style manual to avoid the technical shortcuts that bars favor. The first police ring that spectators encounter when approaching the stadiums, will be considered by the Justice as a prohibited area for those who cannot attend the stadiums.

In 2019, Justice raided the AFA for a cause of barrabravas.  Photo Juano Tesone (archive)

In 2019, Justice raided the AFA for a cause of barrabravas. Photo Juano Tesone (archive)

Meetings with AFA and municipalities

The new UFIs do not appear as a spontaneous generation: they have the support of the Attorney General and the Buenos Aires Ministry of Security. Attorney General Castro and prosecutors Prieto and Rodríguez held a meeting at the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) with the presidents of the eight clubs that are local to their jurisdictions.

There, on the third floor of the AFA, from the Attorney General’s Office they explained that the investigations that arise from the crimes will tend to expand the organization chart of the bars, coexistence and collusion in the clubs. If the violent are members, the clubs must respond with direct actions or they will be partners in crime.

But that was not the only meeting. In the provincial Ministry of Security there were several with a single objective: to change the paradigm of procedures. At least in Avellaneda and Lanús, there will be mutual support in the operations, they will no longer be exclusively organized by the ministry that leads Serge Bernie.

In the next few dates drones will begin to fly over and before the end of the year, the intention is to facial recognition from security cameras.

Every two months, a meeting will be held in which the Directorate of Security of the municipalities of Avellaneda and Lanús, the leaders of the clubs located in the territory, officials of the Ministry of Security and “prominent members” in the matter will be part of the “collection and systematization of data on violence in sports and the development of studies and investigations,” according to the file that the attorney general’s office sent to the Buenos Aires Attorney General.

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