HomeNewsBrief‘Biggest Ever’ Argentina Anti-Drugs Op Mark of Rosario Problem
BRIEF

'Biggest Ever' Argentina Anti-Drugs Op Mark of Rosario Problem

ARGENTINA / 10 APR 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Argentina's largest ever anti-drug operation took place in Rosario this week, indicating authorities are feeling pressured to act against rising violence and crime levels in this gang-afflicted northeastern city.

On April 9, a 3,000-strong contingent of Argentina's security forces, supported by seven helicopters, conducted around 90 simultaneous raids in Rosario and detained more than 20 people, reported Spanish newspaper El Pais. The objective, said Argentine Security Minister Sergio Berni, was "to make a peaceful entry" into neighborhoods controlled by drug dealers.

According to ElDiario24, the operation was the result of several months of judicial investigations carried out by the Security Ministry, and aimed to dismantle drug groups operating from hundreds of "bunkers" -- tiny brick structures throughout Rosario where drugs are sold.

Berni said the operation sought to take down criminals operating in Rosario with a "system of terror and blood." Around 2,000 security agents will remain in the city for several months to "pacify the territory" and guarantee security, reported El Pais.

InSight Crime Analysis

As drug trafficking and violence has increased in Argentina, Rosario, the city that currently boasts the country's highest murder rate, has been particularly hard hit. Amid the presence of increasingly sophisticated gangs, growing drug production, and fighting over the local drug trade, the city has seen a sharp spike in homicides, rising 76 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

While some officials remain keen to downplay the seriousness of Argentina's drug problem, the country's defense minister recently admitted it had become both a consumer and producer nation, and the arrest of a prominent publicist's brother for an attempted cocaine trafficking operation turned the public spotlight on the problem.

The problem of growing insecurity in Argentina has also been pushed to the fore by a recent wave of lynchings at the hands of civilian mobs, with at least three occurring in Rosario recently. One of these ended in the death of a teenager who tried to steal a woman's purse.

With drug violence and insecurity hot on the agenda and a frustrated population taking justice into their own hands, authorities likely felt pressured to demonstrate control over the situation and make a show of taking action. However, the question remains of whether this operation will have any lasting impact, or if it is a showy quick fix to a deep-seated problem.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 AUG 2020

Explosive accusations by US prosecutors that three former top Mexican security officials accepted millions of dollars in bribes from the…

ARGENTINA / 21 FEB 2018

An upcoming strike of the largest union conglomerate in Argentina is shedding light on labor groups’ criminal relationships and “mafia…

HONDURAS / 22 AUG 2016

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that he is requesting congressional approval for a new military cooperation agreement with Israel,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.