Research Methods: Undercover Tactics

Mario Daniel Montoya, Ministerio Publico de la Nacion

In order to achieve a thorough research method it is necessary to resort to undercover tactics, such as undercover agent, the infiltrate, controlled delivery, and electronic surveillance, all duly complemented by justice cooperators and an adequate witness protection program. My presentation will deal with these elements and how to control them according to national and international norms. In fact, crime investigation requires a new type of approach which must be legislated. As regards the undercover agent end the infiltrate, adequate control must be considered as well as limiting their behaviour when related to the performance of criminal acts, their instigation and their appearance in trial, so that the defense can control their statements, The legislation should conform to the constitutional rights protection freedom of speech, privacy, due process and should be in accordance with norms set by international human rights courts. In the case of controlled delivery, diverse regional institution in charge of '4 enforcing the law should set aside their pride while the various countries involved should carry out joint proceedings and centralize efforts to coordinate action against any type of crime that may threaten their security. For electronic surveillance as a research method since conversations of suspects can be eavesdropped, an activity impossible to perform without endangering the life of investigators and witnesses. Likewise, this research method is completed by justice cooperators who should have special benefits in view of possible inequalities and moral problems, and also for an adequate enforcing of justice as regards the analysis and confirmation of the proofs offered. All this should be complemented by and adequate witness protection programme which would analyse varied relationships, and would take into account an infrastructure involving the problem of family (parentchild), economic (creditors), and labour relationships, subsequent penal responsibilities, etc. All these elements are necessary when devising a research method. For this reason undercover tactics duly complemented by the above mentioned techniques are the essential device to be taken into account for the succes of an investigation.

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Updated 05/20/2006