Controlling the Police in Buenos Aires: A Case Study of Horizontal and Social Accountability



The article analyses the interaction between various forms of accountability on the basis of a case study of responses to the Federal Police of Argentina's practice of framing innocent victims. The failure of classic agencies of balance to establish accountability was compensated in this case by the creation of an ad hoc agency of oversight, an investigative commission established by the Attorney General, that interacted with social agents of accountability. The analysis points to the ambivalent role of the media in both supporting and exposing illegal police practices and shows that the cooperation between the commission and social actors was crucial to its success.