Types of unmarked vehicles used by the Mendoza and federal police forces; whether such vehicles have polarized or tinted windows and operate without license plates (1999-February 2001) [ARG36413.E]

No information on the types of unmarked vehicles used by the Mendoza Police (Policía de Mendoza) or the Argentinean Federal Police (Policía Federal Argentina, PFA) could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Furthermore, only two references to the types of unmarked vehicles used by police forces anywhere in Argentina could be found among the sources consulted. In the first case, the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarín described an incident in which two officers of the Entre Ríos police force, driving an unmarked Ford Taunus without license plates, exchanged fire with a third officer walking near his home, who was off-duty and not in uniform at the time (11 Feb. 2000). In the second case, four Santiago del Estero police officers assigned to guard the governor of the province were reported to be operating an unmarked white Renault 19 without license plates (Voz del Interior 21 July 2000).

During the period of military rule, Ford Falcons, often green in colour and almost always without license plates, were frequently used by state agents for kidnapping and other special operations (ibid.; Diario Noticias 31 Jan. 2000; ibid. 9 Feb. 2000; El Mundo 20 Sept. 2000). According to Rubén Oscar Boisserene, a motor vehicle enthusiast based in Buenos Aires, the Ford Falcon was built in Argentina between 1962 and 1991, and for many years was used as a patrol vehicle by the PFA and various provincial police forces (9 Oct. 1998). In November 2000, the PFA arranged for the scrapping of almost 300 Ford Falcons which were no longer in use, to be replaced by 120 Peugeots 206, 54 Peugeots 405 and 26 Ford Ranger pick-up trucks (La Nación 28 Oct. 2000; Interlink Headline News 6 Nov. 2000).

No information on whether Peugeots 504 are commonly used by Argentinean police forces could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to Clarín, while it is technically illegal to operate a motor vehicle with polarized or heavily tinted windows in the Federal Capital, as many as 10 to 15 per cent of automobiles have such windows, including many "official" vehicles (24 Mar. 2000).

Numerous reports published in 1999 and 2000 refer to incidents in which vehicles with polarized windows or lacking license plates were used by individuals seeking to threaten, intimidate or attack others; examples follow.

On 24 March 1999, during the trial of an ex-municipal politician in Morón, Buenos Aires for misuse of public funds, a police officer guarding the court house was threatened by unidentified individuals driving a car with polarized windows and without license plates (La Nación 26 Mar. 1999). On the same day that this threat was made, unidentified men fired shots at Andrés de los Santos, a prosecutor involved in the case (ibid.).

On 10 February 2000, a chartered bus carrying 25 workers was fired upon while driving on the Pan-American Highway near El Talar de Pacheco, Buenos Aires. One passenger was killed in the attack, which was perpetrated by four men armed with automatic weapons who were driving a Ford Galaxy with polarized windows and lacking license plates (ibid. 11 Feb. 2000). According to La Nación, citing police sources, the attack may have been linked to competition among bus charter companies (ibid.).

In March 2000, the wife of a police officer in Vicente López, Buenos Aires, who had earlier accused his superiors of engaging in corrupt practices, was allegedly accosted by two men driving a Ford Taunus with polarized windows (ibid. 29 Mar. 2000). According to the victim, the men placed a nylon sack over her head, beat her, cut her arms with a knife and threatened her with death (ibid.).

On 11 May 2000, a judge in La Plata, Buenos Aires lodged a complaint stating that the son of his chief bodyguard had been intimidated and followed over the course of three days by unidentified men driving a red Ford Falcon without license plates (ibid. 12 May 2000).

In July 2000, an individual employed by the distributor of the Córdoba-based newspaper La Voz del Interior was threatened by unknown individuals driving a vehicle without license plates (ibid. 5 July 2000). Approximately one month later, in August 2000, a journalist working for La Voz del Interior was also threatened by individuals driving a car without license plates (ibid. 2 Aug. 2000). The threats were believed to be linked to critical reports published by the newspaper regarding the Santiago del Estero provincial government (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Boisserene, Rubén Oscar. 9 October 1998. "Un 23 de setiembre de 1991 de la planta de Autolatina..." http://www.boisserene.com.ar/falcon.htm [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 24 March 2000. "Andar con los vidrios polarizados, una falta que pocos conocen." http://www.clarin.com.ar [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

_____. 11 February 2000. Oscar Londero. "Extraño y violento tiroteo entre tres policías: un agente muerto." http://www.clarin.com.ar [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

Diario Noticias [Asuncion]. 9 February 2000. A más de dos décadas del secuestro." http://www.diarionoticias.com.py/ [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

_____. 31 January 2000. "Secuestrado en Argentina." http://www.diarionoticias.com.py/ [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

Interlink Headline News. 6 November 2000. "Mandaron a desguace casi 300 Ford Falcon en desuso." http://www.ilhn.com/ediciones/2107.html [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

El Mundo [Madrid]. 20 September 2000. Patricia Gutierrez. "«¡Me llamo Susana Burgos y me quieran secuestrar!»." http://www.el-mundo.es [Accessed 21 Feb. 2001]

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 28 October 2000. "Incorporó la Policía Federal 200 nuevos patrulleros." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____. 2 August 2000. "Recibió nuevas amenazas el diario La Voz del Interior." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____. 5 July 2000. "Investigan las amenazas a La Voz del Interior." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____. 12 May 2000. Pablo Morosi "Intimidan a un juez penal bonaerense." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____. 29 March 2000. "Amenazan a la mujer de un testigo contra la policía." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____.11 February 2000. "En la Panamericana balean un chárter y matan a un pasajero." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

_____. 26 March 1999. Gustavo César Ríos "El juez del caso Rousselot dijo que fue amenazado." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 22 Feb. 2001]

La Voz del Interior [Córdoba]. 21 July 2000. "En Santiago manda la inseguridad." http://www.intervoz.com.ar/99/10/25/pl_n11.htm [Accessed 10 Mar. 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases.

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International.

Canal 9 Televida [Mendoza]. Sintesis de noticias. Aug. 2000-Feb. 2001.

Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 1997-2001.

Corrupción Policial, Judicial y Politica en la República Argentina.

Coordinadora contra la Represión Policial y Institucional.

Cuyo Noticias [Mendoza]. Aug. 2000-Feb. 2001

Diario Los Andes [Mendoza]. Feb.-May; Sept. 2000-Feb. 2001.

Human Rights Watch.

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 1997-2001.