Existence and activities of a security company known as BRIDES or BRIDEES, including its mandate, membership and state response to its activities (2000-July 2001) [ARG37554.E]

The security company BRIDEES, whose name is allegedly an acronym which stands for "Brigadas de la ESMA" or "Brigada de la Escuela," in reference to the Navy Mechanics School (Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada, ESMA) in Buenos Aires (La Jornada 31 Aug. 2000; Clarín 30 Dec. 1999; Sanz and Caviglia 1998; Revista Noticias 2000), was founded in 1984 by Victor Hugo Dinamarca (Clarín 29 May 1997; Sanz and Caviglia 1998; Página/12 30 Dec. 1999). Dinamarca is a former Federal Penitentiary Service (Servicio Penitenciario Federal, SPF) officer accused of torturing prisoners held at the Vesubio detention centre during the period of military rule, and acting as a liaison between the SPF and counter-insurgency personnel based at the ESMA (Clarín 13 May 1997; Proyecto Desaparecidos 1999; Sanz and Caviglia 1998). The company's headquarters were located at Paraná 579, Buenos Aires as recently as February 1997 (La Nación 1 Mar. 1997). No address for the period subsequent to this date could be found among the sources by the Research Directorate.

At least two newspaper articles identify Dinamarca as the owner (proprietario) of BRIDEES (Diario Hoy 30 Dec. 1999; Clarín 5 May 1997), which was also reportedly linked to deceased businessman Alfredo Yabrán (Clarín 8 Mar. 1997; La Nación 9 May 1997; Página/12 30 Dec. 1999). According to Cristian Sanz and Franco Caviglia, authors of a 1998 book on Yabrán, the company was originally based at Córdoba 1328, Buenos Aires, in offices owned by Yabrán since October 1981. In addition to acting as security guards for Yabrán and his family (ibid.; Clarín 30 Dec. 1999; ibid. 29 May 1998; ibid. 5 May 1997), company personnel were allegedly responsible for the provision of security services to companies belonging to the Yabrán Group, particularly Villalonga Furlong, OCA and Inversiones y Servicios (Sanz and Caviglia 1998). Furthermore, the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada claimed that company employees were also tasked with the intimidation of competitors (31 Aug. 2000).

According to the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación, BRIDEES' staff included former SPF, Navy and Argentinean Federal Police (Policía Federal Argentina, PFA) officers (1 Mar. 1997). In addition to Dinamarca, these included Carlos Orlando Generoso, a former SPF non-commissioned officer who had been attached to the ESMA during the period of military rule; Juan Carlos Cociña, Roberto Naya and Miguel Angel Caridad, all former SPF non-commissioned officers who had served in the Vesubio detention centre and been identified by the National Commission on the Disappeared (Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas, CONADEP) as perpetrators of human rights abuses; and Gregorio Ríos and Luis Alberto Pistoni, both retired army sergeants who had been attached to intelligence units during the period of military rule (Sanz and Caviglia 1998). Domingo Montoya, also allegedly a perpetrator of human rights abuses, replaced Dinamarca as company director in early 1998 (Clarín 29 May 1998).

While the company had reportedly employed 80 individuals as recently as 1997, by May 1998 its staff contingent had decreased to 16 (ibid.).

Information on the state's response to BRIDEES' activities was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the company and a number of individuals linked to it were the subject of a judicial investigation in connection with the killing of journalist José Luis Cabezas on 25 January 1997 (Página/12 21 Jan. 2000; La Nación 27 Feb. 1997; ibid. 1 Mar. 1997; Revista Noticias 2000). In February 2000, Gregorio Ríos, a former BRIDEES employee and head of Yabrán's personal security detail (Página/12 20 May 1998; Revista Noticias 2000; La Nación 9 May 1997), and Gustavo Prellezo, a former police officer who had placed several calls to the security company in the months prior to Cabezas' death (El Tribuno 30 Dec. 1999; Clarín 5 May 1997; La Nación 9 May 1997), were found guilty of involvement in the killing, and sentenced to life in prison (Página/12 3 Feb. 2000).

No information on BRIDEES activities in 2000 or 2001 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

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.


Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 30 December 1999. Gerardo Young and Leonardo Torresi. "Una extraña llamada a un custodio a la hora del asesinato." http://www.clarin.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 29 May 1998. Gerardo Young and Maria Luisa Mackay. "Duhalde ordenó investigar al personal de seguridad que dependía de Yabrán." http://www.clarin.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 13 May 1997. "Investigan el funcionamiento de la seguridad de Yabrán." http://www.clarin.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 5 May 1997. "Rastrean llamadas de Prellezo a empresas ligadas a Yabrán." http://www.clarin.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 8 March 1997. "Investigan la 'conexión española' de la banda." http://www.clarin.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Diario Hoy [La Plata]. 30 December 1999. "El pez por la boca..." http://www.elplatenses.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

La Jornada [Mexico City]. 31 August 2000. "Surgen más evidencias del rol de Cavallo como torturador." http://www.jornada.unam.mx/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 9 May 1997. "Cabezas: citará el juez al jefe de custodia de Yabrán." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 1 March 1997. "Investigan seriamente a los custodios." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 27 February 1997. "Caso Cabezas: buscan a custodios cercanos a Yabrán." http://www.lanacion.com.ar [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Página/12 [Buenos Aires]. 3 February 2000. "'Todavía nos falta saber la otra mitad.'" http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 21 January 2000. "'Todo esto fue una empresa criminal.'" http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 30 December 1999. "El Excalibur le hizo daño al jefe de seguridad de Exxel." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

_____. 20 May 1998. Martín Mazzini. "Otra mala nueva para el fugitivo." http://www.pagina12.com.ar/ [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Proyecto Desaparecidos. 1999. "Victor Hugo Dinamarca." http://www.desaparecidos.org/arg/tort/peni/Dinamarca/eng.html [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Revista Noticias [Buenos Aires]. 2000. "El Diario del Juicio." http://www.noticias.uol.com.ar/documentos/juicio/DIARIO4.pdf [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Sanz, Cristian and Caviglia, Franco. 1998. La larga sombra de Yabrán. Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. http://www.seprin.com/informes/yabran.htm [Accessed 25 July 2001]

El Tribuno [Salta]. 30 December 1999. "Ex custodios de Yabrán destacaron el poder que tenía Gregorio Ríos." http://tribuno.salnet.com.ar [Accessed 25 July 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases.

Internet sites including:

Asociación Argentina de Seguridad Privada (AASPRI)

La Capital [Rosario]. 2000-2001.

Clarín [Buenos Aires]. 1997-2001.

Corrupción Policial, Judicial y Politica en la República Argentina.

Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Empresas de Seguridad Privada de Países del Mercosur (FESESUR)

Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos de la Nación

La Nación [Buenos Aires]. 1997-2001.

Páginas Doradas Guía Telefonica.