HomeNewsBriefDominican Groups Eye Lucrative Patagonia Drug Market
BRIEF

Dominican Groups Eye Lucrative Patagonia Drug Market

ARGENTINA / 22 MAR 2019 BY JOSEFINA SALOMÓN EN

A series of arrests of Dominican nationals in southern Argentina over recent months have highlighted a highly lucrative drug market in the area, where they can be sold for higher prices than in Buenos Aires.

Authorities in the city of Las Heras, in the southern province of Santa Cruz, arrested three Dominican men on March 16 accused of leading a micro-trafficking organization, reported La Vanguardia Noticias.

A day earlier, three men from the Dominican Republic and one Argentine national were detained in the city of Comodoro Rivadavia, in the province of Chubut, also accused of transporting drugs with intent to distribute.

In September 2018, as a result of a nine-month-long investigation, federal police dismantled a group known as “Banda del Caribe” (Caribbean Gang). Four Dominicans and one Colombian were arrested while cash, mobile phones and ammunition were seized. They were accused of periodically transporting cocaine from Buenos Aires to various cities in the province of Santa Cruz.

InSight Crime Analysis

Dominican micro-trafficking crime groups might have found themselves a lucrative, and seemingly easy to tap into, market in the scenic cities of Argentina's Patagonia.

According to an expert who spoke to InfoBae, a kilo of cocaine worth $10,000 in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, can be sold for $15,000 in any of the provinces in Patagonia.

A gram of cocaine in Ushuaia or Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego can sell for between 800 to 1,000 pesos (between around $20 and 25). In Buenos Aires, the price drops to between 300 to 500 pesos (around $7 and $12).

The high markups are related to the costs involved in transporting products to these remote cities and a particularly growing market.

Speaking at a press conference in the city of Trelew, Chubut, Argentina’s Security Secretary, Eugenio Burzaco said that consumption of drugs per capita in the six provinces that make up Argentina’s Patagonia (La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz y Tierra del Fuego) is “higher than the national average” and growing.

SEE MORE: Argentina News and Profile

Experts claim the groups in charge of transporting the drugs in small quantities from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, mostly by bus, are becoming more sophisticated.

While Dominican nationals are not the only ones involved in Argentina's growing microtrafficking problem, the string of arrests reported in recent months might suggest the groups they control are developing in size and reach, which has caused some confrontations between them. This has forced authorities to zoom into their activities.

“They are not large organizations, but mainly family clans: parents, children and cousins. Lately, we have also started noticing confrontations between groups of Dominicans caused by money that was not paid back or favors that were not returned,” a judicial source told Infobae.

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

BRAZIL / 28 FEB 2020

A social media post claiming falsely that cocaine can cure COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, has been shared thousands…

ARGENTINA / 15 JUL 2013

A former JP Morgan executive testified on how he helped wealthy Argentine clients evade billions of dollars worth of taxes,…

ARGENTINA / 25 FEB 2015

Pope Francis' recent comparison of Argentina's drug violence to Mexico's made some unhappy in Mexico. But it's not an entirely…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…