Monday, July 15, 2024

ARGENTINA | 24-06-2024 15:37

Sergio Neiffert: Argentina's new 'Señor 5' spy chief

Sergio Neiffert, the new trustee who will lead Argentina's Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) until an undefined date, is linked to presidential advisor Santiago Caputo.

The new head of Argentina's Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI) is already doing his homework. Sergio Neiffert has already met with the respective delegates from the intelligence services of the main Western countries, such as the United States, Israel, Italy and Spain, among others. 

Neiffert,  the government's former representative at ACUMAR (Autoridad de Cuenca Matanza Riachuelo), the agency in charge of controlling the cleaning of the Riachuelo river, arrives at the headquarters of domestic spies with a priority: to retrace the path taken by his predecessor, Silvestre Sívori, in the construction of links with other global intelligence agencies.

During Sivori's time in office, for example, sponsored by former Cabinet chief Nicolás Posse, strong links were forged with the CIA. There were monthly meetings with CIA director William J. Burns both in the United States and in Buenos Aires. This liaison work with the United States was also driven by Ambassador Mark Stanley, who said he regrets Posse's departure in conversation with businessmen and politicians. AFI, which is no longer under the authority of the Cabinet chief, will have to reconstruct all those links.

AFI was placed under trusteeship during the administration of former president Alberto Fernández, whose idea was to "normalise" the agency. Continuing the intervention is a way of making it transparent that the AFI is not normalised. At the same time, the government has spared itself having to deal with Congress because the director and deputy director of the agency have to be approved by the Senate. 

Neiffert will have three areas that concentrate AFI's management structure: Cyber Intelligence, Internal Intelligence and Foreign Intelligence. Over the past few weeks, the new 'Señor 5' has been working on setting up his teams,and those helping him are star advisor Santiago Caputo and his friend Rodrigo Lugones, who spent a few days in Buenos Aires and set up an office in the Casa Rosada to collaborate with the management. 

Both Caputo and Lugones worked with Jaime Durán Barba, Mauricio Macri's former guru, in the past.


More in (in spanish)