HomeNewsBriefArgentina Targets Landing Strips Amid Aerial Drug Trafficking Surge
BRIEF

Argentina Targets Landing Strips Amid Aerial Drug Trafficking Surge

ARGENTINA / 17 JUN 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Authorities in Argentina have detected 1,400 unauthorized landing strips and are taking steps to eliminate them, showing concern over aerial drug trafficking through the country.

On June 16, Security Minister Sergio Berni said officials had identified these landing strips near Argentina's northern border, reported EFE. The landing strips are located on private property, and while most were reportedly registered with the National Administration for Civil Aviation (ANAC) at some point, the owners have not kept the authorization up-to-date.

Police investigators said the landing strips could explain an increase in illegal flights, as some are likely used by drug traffickers.

National authorities reportedly plan to request collaboration from provincial governments in destroying unauthorized landing strips at the next Security Council meeting. 

In spite of a growing problem with air trafficking, authorities in Argentina have rejected the idea of passing a shoot down law similar to the one neighboring Bolivia passed this April, which would allow security forces to target unauthorized planes. Berni said such a measure would be unconstitutional in Argentina. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Argentina is both a transit point for drug shipments and home to South America's second-largest domestic cocaine market. Over the last year, according to the Security Ministry, authorities have detained over 4,000 suspected drug traffickers, and seized 225 tons of marijuana and almost 20 tons of cocaine.     

In addition to employing land routes, traffickers use aerial routes to bring cocaine and marijuana from Bolivia and Paraguay. Flights typically land on clandestine airstrips in the northern border region, particularly in the provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero, Tucuman and Jujuy. Between mid-2011 and the end of 2013, authorities detected 800 irregular flights in northern Argentina. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

While destroying unauthorized landing strips may deter some drug flights, as seen with authorities' struggle against aerial drug trafficking in Peru, clandestine runways pop up again. Furthermore, drug traffickers can use alternate methods of unloading their cargo, such as dropping it from the sky.

The task of combatting drug flights is further complicated by the fact that, as of November 2013, Argentina only had four radar devices monitoring the northeastern border region, which only operated part time. 

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

ARGENTINA / 16 FEB 2015

A new investigation has highlighted the growing theft of private airplanes by drug traffickers in Argentina, with authorities in the…

BRAZIL / 19 JAN 2018

Record highs, all-time lows, and a few surprises -- 2017 proved a remarkable year in terms of homicide levels for…

ARGENTINA / 22 JAN 2015

Following the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the government in Argentina has done an about-face, initially suggesting his death…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…