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

HOMICIDES / 8 MAR 2018

In our March 8 Facebook Live session, Co-Director Steven Dudley and Senior Editor Mike LaSusa discussed the factors that drive…

ARGENTINA / 31 AUG 2012

Argentine authorities have rescued more than 700 people from human trafficking networks since the start of 2012, according to a…

BRAZIL / 22 JAN 2018

Rio De Janeiro’s Police Pacification Units (UPPs), already suffering from crippling budget cuts and broken public confidence, are refusing to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…