HomeNewsBriefArgentina Targets 'Barras Bravas' Soccer Gangs
BRIEF

Argentina Targets 'Barras Bravas' Soccer Gangs

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities in Argentina have created a registry that reserves them the right to deny soccer fans admission into stadiums, as part of an effort to cut down on hooliganism and violence associated with the country's "barras bravas."

Argentina's Security Ministry announced the creation of the national registry on January 28, reported AFP. The ministry will work with the Argentine Football Association (Asociación del Fútbol Argentino - AFA) to obtain information about the fan bases of each team, reported Clarin

The measure is intended to reduce violence at soccer matches and debilitate the feared soccer gangs known as "barras bravas." 

"The primordial and immediate objective is to put an end to the violence in soccer and the problem of the barras bravas," the ministry said in a statement. 

This is not the first time that President Mauricio Macri has shown he is willing to take on the barras bravas. Just weeks after winning a hotly contested presidential election in November, Macri ordered his new security minister to "dismantle these mafias that are the barras" by creating an elite task force modeled after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

InSight Crime Analysis 

As former head of the popular Argentine soccer club Boca Juniors, Macri understands as well as anyone that the barras bravas must be confronted. This term, which stretches as far back as the 1970s, initially referred to fans who congregated in order to show their loyalty to their teams by waving flags and setting off fireworks.

But over the years these rabid fan groups have reportedly become increasingly involved in organized crime, and violence has become a central characteristic of their collective identity. According to non-governmental organization Salvemos al Fútbol ("Let's Save Soccer"), there were an average of five soccer-related deaths per year from 2000-2009. Between 2010 and 2014, that figure doubled.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Soccer Crime

However, the recent actions targeting the barras bravas fit into a larger security pattern that is beginning to emerge under the Macri administration, which is rule by decree.

In mid-January, Macri's office declared a nationwide security emergency that would last for one year. This state of emergency included the authorization for the armed forces to shoot down suspected drug planes, which drew swift criticism from civil society groups and political opponents concerned about executive overreach. 

"To approve by decree the shoot down of planes is an enormous institutional error that can have irreversible consequences. Much worse without debate," former presidential candidate Margarita Stolbizer wrote on Twitter at the time. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 12 AUG 2022

Uruguayan authorities have dismantled a smuggling ring moving weapons into the country from Argentina.

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

ARGENTINA / 3 FEB 2021

As workers across Latin America struggle to stay afloat amid economic strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, loan sharks offering…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…