HomeNewsBriefArgentina's Toughened Stance on Organized Crime Stirs Debate
BRIEF

Argentina's Toughened Stance on Organized Crime Stirs Debate

ARGENTINA / 21 JAN 2016 BY QUENTON KING EN

Argentina President Mauricio Macri's announcement of a national security emergency underscores both the public’s growing concern regarding crime and the new government’s determination to stop it. But some critics are already saying the president has gone too far.

Argentina's presidential office outlined several new measures that will be implemented under the national public security emergency announced on January 19, including the creation of a law enforcement cabinet and the authorization to shoot down drug planes.

The new anti-drug office, the Cabinet of Human Security, will concentrate on attacking the growth of organized crime in urban areas, most notably Rosario, a hotspot for drug violence in Argentina. Authorities were recently forced to transfer leaders of the Los Monos drug gang from a Rosario jail to a federal prison outside the city following a shootout between criminals and security officials that is believed to have been an attempt to set the gang leaders free. The heads of Los Monos were reportedly continuing to oversee the gang's drug trafficking operations from behind bars. 

In addition to the Cabinet of Human Security and the shoot-down authorization, the government plans to install radars along the country's northern border in order to gain "efficient control" over this frontier region. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Macri’s decision to elevate the fight against transnational crime will probably win public favor due to the perceived increase in drug trafficking activity in Argentina, but some detractors have voiced concern about this new approach.

Horacio Verbitsky of the Center for Legal and Social Studies questioned what unintended consequences might come from “border control, the militarization of anti-drug efforts, the hidden introduction of the death penalty and the deployment of yet more security officers to impoverished neighbourhoods.” Political figures have also directly criticized the president, saying he overstepped his bounds by authorizing shoot-downs via an executive decree. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

Government officials have fired back, with Security Minister Patricia Bullrich defending the government’s decision to shoot down suspected drug planes on local television. She noted that authorities will first try to intercept a suspicious aircraft and order it to land and that “the goal is not to shoot [down] the plane.”

One aspect that could get lost in the discussion is whether these new security policies will actually result in less crime and drug violence. Macri appears to be following through on his campaign promise of taking a tougher stance on crime than former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Whether this will improve or worsen Argentina's security situation remains to be seen. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 4 NOV 2016

Aside from near constant talk of building "a wall" along the Mexican border and sporadic mention of Mexico's heroin distribution…

AYOTZINAPA / 6 NOV 2019

The brazen murder of several children and women from a prominent American Mormon family by cartel gunmen in northern Mexico…

BRAZIL / 9 JUN 2021

Manaus, the economic heart of Brazil’s Amazon, has come under siege from the Red Command gang after the killing of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Criminal Enterprise on the High Seas

12 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an extensive investigation into Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing that plagues the waters of nine Latin American countries. Among the stories were how…

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…