SErgio Berni and his criticisms of different aspects of the management of security policies at the national level, this time found an answer. Accustomed to unidirectional dialectical shooting, the Buenos Aires Minister of Security was the target of friendly fire. This is a political novelty in the relationship between the Casa Rosada and the Interior: for the first time, the hyperactive minister’s claims were repelled in a high tone.
There would be a certain satiety in areas of the national government due to the ways and forms that Berni chooses to mark the field and, incidentally, leave those responsible for designing national security policies led by Sabina Frederic off-side. The level of tolerance, judging by Frederic’s harsh reply to the Buenos Aires official at the meeting that took place a few days ago, where Governor Axel Kicillof was the main spectator, would have reached a limit.
That outline begins to become diffuse when analyzing what came next, with an inescapable format of speculation fed by sources close to power: the possibility of Berni’s departure from the Security Ministry.
Was the Casa Rosada by the head of the lawyer, doctor and military? Was there a direct message from the President to Kicillof asking him to release his hand? The answers provide denials that do not distance the versions. Moreover, because in some other sector of the Buenos Aires team itself, it is recognized that the high public exposure of the official and his positions are annoying, they interpret, prone to a heavy hand and to let the Police do. It is the same scrutinizing gaze given to him by influential human rights organizations related to Kirchnerism.
The other political novelty in the case has to do with the fact that Berni’s criticism of Frederic and the official’s harsh reply, this time were not innocuous. Perhaps the summit staged by Cristina Kirchner, her son Máximo and Kicillof where the atmosphere of tension would have been analyzed can be interpreted as an acknowledgment of receipt. The vice president continues to be the main political supporter of Berni, to whom he recognizes an unbearable loyalty. It was she who proposed him to take over the ministry in the Province and does not seem willing to let the anger that the official himself was tediously sowing close to President Alberto Fernández drag him.
“They do not know Axel: he will never change an official who is the subject of an operation,” they say in the Interior when ruling out Berni’s departure.
“We continue as always, with Sergio inside”, said yesterday near Kicillof to reaffirm that there is no planned exit from Berni, the controversial minister who also had to deal with the friendly fire that came from some of the Conurbano mayors who see how Insecurity rates skyrocket in their districts.
In the Interior they made two readings regarding the new crossing between Berni and Frederic. The first, if you want to be steeped in strong pragmatism, is that amid the accusations between the two officials, the Province achieved what it had been looking for since January: that the national government deploy federal forces in the hottest areas of the Conurbano. The second, if you want a little more spice, that an “operation” was mounted to go through the head of the official.
They locate, perhaps with a certain tact, some imprecise place of the national government as the powerhouse of those rumors. “They do not know Axel: an official who is the subject of an operation will never change,” they say.
They also believe that the alleged attack to remove him from office constitutes “a whim”. “We know that much improvement is needed in terms of security, but in general people see well how the minister acts,” they note.
Berni himself works on this perception with his other objective: that of strengthening his public figure with the undeniable purpose of projecting himself as a possible candidate. His name appears on the ballot box of potential candidates for national legislator in 2021, although his purpose is to replace Kicillof in 2023.
But the dimes and diretes of the case do not clear the central question: that of the advance of the crime. In recent times, robberies have been carried out by young people with no background, who go for small amounts of cash on the street and at all hours. And that add to a pre-existing situation that triggers insecurity rates.
Some mayors who crossed paths with Berni in the last hours noticed this phenomenon that places them in a complex situation in front of their neighbors. Far from the suspicions, the crossings between both governments and an eventual candidacy of the minister.