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

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…

AUC / 18 MAR 2021

In the wake of former paramilitary leader Hernán Giraldo's deportation to Colombia, an armed group linked to him has reappeared…

AUC / 26 OCT 2021

Accused Colombian trafficker Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel,” has been on the radar of US prosecutors for more than a…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…