Interview with 2023 Award Winner Sergio MUÑOZ YAÑEZ
Could you give us a brief summary of your winning proposal during the 2nd edition of WPS?
It is a Public Programme called "Microtráfico Cero, Plan Comunal Antidrogas (MT 0)”, an initiative created by the permanent concern of the Chilean Investigative Police (PDI) to contribute to the security of the country, which has been designed around the investigative experience in the field of drug trafficking. The programme has enabled the dismantling of large criminal organisations, focusing efforts on contributing to local security, i.e. attacking the problem of micro trafficking from the different territories and municipalities of the country. It also contributes to increasing the perception of security in the face of this neighbourhood problem.
This Model considers five basic structural components for the investigative work on micro trafficking: Legal and Operational, Information Analysis, Management, Human Resources, Control and Monitoring. Its components include specialised training and periodic retraining of detectives in police work on micro trafficking and its treatment in the country's security and justice system. It also includes the necessary equipment to improve the quality of evidence and specific coordination with the Public Prosecutor's Office.
Its objective is to "discourage and reduce micro trafficking at the local level throughout the country, thus contributing to the reduction of the sense of insecurity in neighbourhoods at the national level".
In this sense, it has contributed to the systematisation, planning and permanent retraining of police officers in the anti-narcotics and organised crime area, as well as the PDI's territorial units at the national level. The aim is to give them continuity and development in tackling specific territorial policing strategies.
Likewise, drug sales points have been systematically reduced in the different communes throughout the country, improving the perception of security of the inhabitants of the territories and better managing the information provided to the Public Prosecutor's Office for the efficient and effective prosecution of the crime of drug trafficking in small quantities.
This has directly benefited the residents of the places where points of sale are reduced or intercepted; and indirectly, all the residents of the municipalities in which the PDI has territorial jurisdiction.
Specifically, the Programme has 97 criminal investigation teams, deployed throughout the national territory. The work of MT CERO in the last 5 years has had an impact on 9,244 points of sale, arrested 21,620 offenders for illicit trafficking in small quantities and associated crimes, seized more than 3 tons of various types of drugs, seized the equivalent of USD 3.5 million (approx.) in cash and taken out of circulation 1,520 firearms, among other intangible results, such as positively impacting the perception of insecurity and police legitimacy of citizens.
Why did you participate in the WPS 2023 Awards?
The WPS 2023 Awards is a platform of high international prestige that allows us to showcase this innovative investigative policing practice that has yielded excellent results in both institutional and citizen terms. In this way, we believe that the scope of this competition allows us to provide a space to publicise the MT 0 Programme and thus replicate it in countries where the scourge of small scale trafficking requires a similar solution. In addition, by publishing the model, we can receive recommendations from other experiences to help us improve its design and deployment.
Finally, this contributes to our organisational strategy, impacting on the vision we have set for ourselves as Chilean Investigative Police "to be a regional reference in the criminal investigation of highly complex crimes and transnational organised crime".
How would you describe your experience participating in the awards?
First of all, we would like to point out that this international instance was a new experience for the Chilean Investigative Police. From that point of view, we consider that the transition through the different stages of the competition was very clear and transparent, which greatly facilitated participation.
We also believe that, beyond the achievement obtained, the necessary conditions were established to make the MT ZERO Programme known at an international level, a key factor being both the presentation methodology and the instances of exposure of the same.
Would you invite your colleagues to participate in the 2024 Awards and why?
Of course I would extend an invitation to all those who have a transformative initiative, since, as we have previously described, it is a highly prestigious international instance, which allows to give visibility to those projects that have a positive impact on organisational and citizen realities. In addition, it has a format and management that greatly facilitates the participation of the contestants.