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

EL SALVADOR / 3 MAY 2021

The decision by legislators aligned with El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to oust the country’s top prosecutor may spell the…

DISPLACEMENT / 3 MAR 2022

Without the bodies, the exact number of people executed in broad daylight at a funeral in Mexico's western state of…

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2022

Synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy are reshaping Latin America's drug trade.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Coverage Continues to be Highlighted

3 MAR 2023

This week, InSight Crime co-director Jeremy McDermott was the featured guest on the Americas Quarterly podcast, where he provided an expert overview of the changing dynamics…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Organized Crime Top 10 Attracts Attention

24 FEB 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published its ranking of Venezuela’s ten organized crime groups to accompany the launch of the Venezuela Organized Crime Observatory. Read…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime on El País Podcast

10 FEB 2023

This week, InSight Crime co-founder, Jeremy McDermott, was among experts featured in an El País podcast on the progress of Colombia’s nascent peace process.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Interviewed by Associated Press

3 FEB 2023

This week, InSight Crime’s Co-director Jeremy McDermott was interviewed by the Associated Press on developments in Haiti as the country continues its prolonged collapse. McDermott’s words were republished around the world,…

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…