Salvadoran Right Hires Rudolf Giuliani as Public Security Consultant

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El Salvador’s powerful National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) has announced the hiring of former New York City mayor Rudolf Giuliani as a public security consultant, and the decision is meeting increasing resistance in El Salvador.

Giuliani’s hallmark “zero tolerance” policies include harsh sentences for minor offenses and persecution of the homeless. This policing model, based on the so-called “broken windows theory,” has faced sharp criticism for effectively criminalizing poor communities and people of color, a charge particularly resonant today as protesters across the United States call for an end to the violent and discriminatory police tactics that flourished in Giuliani’s New York.

The proposal to hire Giuliani arose as an initiative of the private sector sub-committee in the National Citizen's Security Council, which is facilitated by the United Nation’s Development Program and brings together representatives of the government, churches, private sector and non-governmental organizations to generate security proposals. ANEP, which represents the country’s wealthiest businesses and is closely allied with the local political right, is covering the costs of the multi-million dollar consultation. But Public Security Minister Benito Lara has voiced skepticism, saying that “Giuliani Partners LLC” offers a “repressive methodology”, while “the current Salvadoran government policies have a more comprehensive approach.” Lara suggested that ANEP’s money would be better spent funding local violence prevention programs.

In a recent conference with the Central American Integration System (SICA), Céline Monnier of the International Center for the Prevention of Crime also warned against Giuliani’s methods: “Of course situational prevention is important, but we think the social part is more important, and zero tolerance is not always in that same line”.

The former New York mayor’s firm has been hired for similar consultations by the right-wing governments of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. He is scheduled to arrive in the country in January.

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