HomeNewsBrief'Argentine Officials Complicit in Cocaine Lab Ring'
BRIEF

'Argentine Officials Complicit in Cocaine Lab Ring'

ARGENTINA / 23 JUN 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A former government advisor has asserted that corrupt officials have allowed a Peruvian-run criminal group to flourish in Buenos Aires and produce millions of dollars worth of cocaine. 

The criminal group has roughly 300 members and controls 15 blocks in Buenos Aires, from which it produces and distributes drugs, Jorge Rodriguez, former advisor to Argentina's Security Ministry, said in an interview with local newspaper El Tribuno

Although it began with small-scale cocaine smuggling, the group now operates 12 labs in Buenos Aires, which produce powdered cocaine and a form of crack cocaine know locally as "paco." Supplied by coca paste from Bolivia, the labs can produce a combined total of up to $2 million worth of drugs per day, Rodriguez said. 

"This is a complex production that could not be done without Peruvian know-how and the support of elements within the government," Rodriguez told the newspaper. The former advisor went on to claim that the criminal group was paying a high-ranking Argentine security official upwards of $2 million for protection.

Rodriguez was responsible for investigating Buenos Aires' drug trafficking groups and their connections with the police between 2011 and 2013. He has previously said that he produced hundreds of reports about the city's drug trade and police corruption, and that "no one did absolutely anything with my work." He now works for an Argentine non-governmental organization, which published a report earlier this year describing the operations of the alleged Peruvian criminal group and its cocaine labs. 

According to Rodriguez, 30 to 50 percent of the criminal group's drug production goes to foreign markets, contributing to Argentina's rank as the world's third-largest exporter of narcotics. Shipments are largely handled by Mexican and Italian groups, who move planes loaded with cocaine into North Africa, and then smuggle the drugs into Europe, he said. 

InSight Crime Analysis

While Rodriguez' claims must be weighed against any possible grudge he may have with his previous employers, many of the former advisor's assertions coincide with documented changes in Argentina's drug trade. 

InSight Crime has previously noted the increased importance of Argentina and Brazil as export points for Bolivian and Peruvian cocaine moving to Europe through North Africa. 

SEE ALSO: Bolivia the Drug Hub

At the same time, both of these export nations have seen their domestic drug consumption increase. This growing market has created a lucrative trade in Argentina, which foreign criminal groups are reported to be violently competing over.

Particularly concerning is Rodriguez' claim that drug traffickers are operating under the protection of corrupt security officials. Investigating and punishing corrupt officials is key if Argentina hopes to address its growing involvement in the drug trade, which has been linked to a steady rise in homicides over the last five years.  

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

Alto Paraná is home to some of Paraguay’s most dynamic criminal economies. Contraband goods continue to flood Brazil and Argentina…

BAGDAD / 3 NOV 2021

Two attacks in recent days against gang members in Panama City have raised alarm bells that acts of shocking violence…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 12 OCT 2021

Six years after investigators in Peru took down a massive timber trafficking operation that shipped millions of dollars’ worth of…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…