Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Proposed Budget Boosts Police, Border Security
President Sebastian Piñera's 2013 budget seeks 2,000 more police officers and 200 additional investigations officers in hopes of reducing Chile's crime problem. The Carabineros police force today counts with 44,500 men and women, and they are a busy bunch: According to Carabineros' 2011 annual report, more than half a million persons were arrested that year in Chile (population 17 million). The budget also expands forensic capabilities and crime-prevention programs. The budget, which totals more than $60 billion, also devotes funds specifically for Plan Frontera Norte, an effort to control drug trafficking and illegal immigration along the Peru and Bolivia borders. Indeed, the drug trade and related crime is one of Chile's main security problems.The budget has been sent to Congress, which must pass a final bill by the end of November. Update: The budget for the Ministry of Defense will be $2.77 billion in 2013. That represents an increase of 2% over the 2012 outlay.