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Security Statistics and Transparency

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

At a recent meeting of the Midday Rotary Club, David Bossman, president of a group involved in “security matters” called an open meeting in which he said he would reveal some  official numbers that were “shocking.” During the meeting, he described the current local administration as less than said transparent in security matters and that the fines imposed by the judges on criminals do not represent justice anywhere in the world. He made it clear that there should be more pressure on the judges to keep the criminals behind bars.

Bossman  remarked that because of the fact that the criminals are set free, the Ministerio Público blames the Public Security Department and “everybody blames everybody.” “René Urrutia—the District Attorney—told us that even the Ministerio Público (District Attorney’s Office) is frustrated due to the resolutions of the judges,” commented Bossman.

Finally, he provided the attendees with some security statistics that he said he had obtained from the National System of Public Security. He finished saying that in San Miguel there are fewer than 100 police officers.

René Urrutia made it clear to Atención that he has never mentioned to that group—nor in the last meeting two months ago—frustration because of the resolutions of the

judges. He assured that the MP is working with legal tools related to penal justice. He remarked that the topic of resolutions by the judges is a general ignorance of the rules included in the penal system, where there are principles like the presumption of innocence, that allows all those alleged “criminals” to face their process out of jail; “but that does not mean that they are not punished,” he noted. “The Ministerio Público cannot be frustrated; we can disagree with the resolutions of the judges, but it does not frustrate us; it helps us to improve our work,” he said.

Urrutia de la Vega also commented that there are too many people who have been arrested several times—he did not give numbers—and have a criminal record—“and have paid for what they did”. He remarked that those were small robberies, “and for a minor robbery nobody can stay behind bars.” Urrutia repeated that the frustration is not that of the Ministerio Público, but it must be a social frustration due to the fact that penal issues must not be solved with prison.

The District Attorney said that his office does not blame others for the results because, although they do not agree with the judges’ resolutions. “We overcome it.” There could be a misinterpretation because sometimes we hand files over to the judges with enough information to put them behind bars, and they release the people. We do not blame them for that; we do our job,” he said.

Finally, Urrutia made it clear that the Region D (composed of 15 municipalities) has fewer high impact crimes and that in San Miguel there have been more criminal complaints, which does not mean that crime has increased, but reflects the confidence generated by the DA in the population to denounce crime.

Arturo Yáñez, director of the Public Security Deparment, told Atención that the number of police officers in the municipality is aconfidential topic, however made it clear that the number is superior to 100. Regarding a lack of transparence (argued by the group) of this local administration in security matters, the director remarked that “the Security Department has been transparent in the terms of law” indeed, they hold a security meeting, opened to the general public, on July 24, he said.

In addition, director Yáñez commented that the number of homicides “with intent” from January-July this year was five and not 33 as the group published on social networks. Finally he said that in 2012 there were only 27 homicides and 15 in 2013 and not 26 as it has been published.

The statistics presented by Bossman are for the January-July 2014 period.
Homicides 33
Rapes 26
Street robberies 529
House robberies 144
Car thefts 75
Robbery businesses 55

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