NATIONAL COORDINATOR AGAINST POLICE AND INSTITUTIONAL REPRESSION
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
What is CORREPI?
CORREPI (Coordinate Against Police and Institucional Repression) is a Human Rights organization, with the specific aim of fighting against police repression, which we understand a part of institutional violence. Most of the founding members were former human rights activists, who had become aware of the seriousness of this problem without finding a proper tool to fight against it in other organizations. Therefore we started to work together in 1991, focusing on police repression.
Is police repression a state policy?
The police violence issue is one of the most important human rights problems in Latin American countries, since not only brutality, but widespread torture, dissappearences and murders are every day news. Police repression is -at least in this part of the world- not just a problem related to inefficient police training, individual mistakes or accidents; it is not a collection of isolated episodes or deeds of a few psychopats wrongly recruted. Police repression is inherent to our "restricted democracies", and an efficient way of social control needed by the system. It is a method of imposing a social-economic unfair system in countries such as Argentina.
What do we do?
At CORREPI we develop our task in different areas. We give great importance to the Courts battle, and many police officers have been condemned thanks to the work of our lawyers, representing the families of the victims. But we make our greatest effort in publicly denouncing specific cases in order to prove the existence of this repressive state policy. We publish a magazine, and lots of material directed to inform people about their constitutional and legal rights. Our members use to visit schools, universities and humble neighbourhoods, talking to youngsters about their rights. We have a good rapport with media and we usually take part in debates and conferences.
In 1996 we participated in over 60 public acts or demonstrations, and organized several massive events. In April 1996, for instance, we organized a rock festival in a public park on the 5th anniversary of 17-year-old-Walter Bulacio's death. The boy was illegally arrested and battered to death when attending a rock concert, and he became an icon in this struggle. Over 40.000 youngsters gathered in the park to demonstrate against police repression.
We have managed to create a sort of emergency network that allows us to be informed of almost any case or situation where we might be needed, and our response reflexes have proved quite efficient. Repression is increasing in Argentina, along with a growing resistence from the people.
Is there a National Movement against repression?
We keep in permanent touch with brotherly organizations throughout the country, as well as in Uruguay and Chile. In the last couple of years people started forming new organizations in all Argentineprovinces to fight against police repression. Since March 1995 we've organized three National Meetings against Police Repression. More than 650 activists representing 20 different provinces were present in the Third National Anti-Repressive Meeting, heldin Córdoba (August 1996).
One of the Third Meeting's decisions was to form a National Board with members of the different local groups. Since then we have been organizing joint actions, such as the First National Week Against Police Repression (april 19/26, 1997). The next congress is to be held on November 22, 1997, in Santa Fe.
Human Rights in Argentina