chapter  3
30 Pages

Dealing with Post-authoritarian Governance

ByCarlos Solar

This chapter explores the governance of organised crime in Chile during the first decade of the return to democracy (1990–1999). It illustrates how the country’s public security institutions inherited almost no policy directions for assessing organised crime from Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973–1990), a scenario that was reversed only once complex criminality captured the attention of the authorities. The chapter demonstrates how, with the arrival of foreign drug cartels in the country from Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico, and the presence of domestic criminal rings, hints of inter-institutional or networked governance became the new rationale to follow. It also unveils how the governance of organised crime became a matter of complex assessment. To begin with, the chapter provides some historical facts about the early governance of organised crime up to the occurrence of redemocratisation. The chapter frames how Chile’s security institutions headed towards the years of post-democratic transition in a fragmented and decentred way. Most notably, such analysis paves the way for the remainder of this book and sets the tone for the first challenge confronted by the government’s post-redemocratisation: regenerating links and commonalities among divorced institutions.