HomeNewsBriefArgentina Drug Bust Underscores Paraguay’s Role in Narcotics Trade
BRIEF

Argentina Drug Bust Underscores Paraguay's Role in Narcotics Trade

ARGENTINA / 8 OCT 2012 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

The dismantling of an Argentine-Paraguayan drug trafficking network that smuggled marijuana and cocaine for the Buenos Aires market highlights Paraguay's importance as a transit point and producer in the regional drug trade.

Federal police agents arrested 12 people, both Argentines and Paraguayans, seizing 50 kilos of cocaine and 380 of marijuana on September 11, according to a Security Ministry press release.

The operation was the result of a three-year investigation into the gang, which operated in Villa 21-24, the largest slum on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Investigators found that the group smuggled marijuana from Paraguay in burlap flour sacks and then stored them in a bakery that was used as a front, La Nacion newspaper reported.  

Authorities also seized 1,500 small packages of “paco,” a cheap form of crack-cocaine popular in Argentina, along with weapons and $150,000.

The government heralded the operation as having dealt a significant blow to one of the largest groups selling narcotics in the country’s capital.

InSight Crime Analysis

The bust highlights Paraguay's importance in the regional drug trade. It is South America's largest producer of marijuana, accounting for some 15 percent of world supply, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Paraguay's anti-narcotics agency the SENAD estimated in their 2011 report that a kilo of marijuana can be sold for $1,000 in Argentina.

It is not clear whether the seized cocaine also came from Paraguay. This would not be surprising, though, with Paraguay a vital transit point for the drug, favored by traffickers thanks to its strategic location, loose rule of law, and high levels of corruption.

Argentina is Latin America’s second largest domestic market for cocaine after Brazil, accounting for 25 percent of the region's users, based on UNODC figures. The population of drug users in Buenos Aires alone is estimated to have doubled from around 27,000 in 2007.

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

ARGENTINA / 27 JUL 2018

In our July 26 Facebook Live session, InSight Crime’s Spanish Editor Ronna Rísquez and Managing Editor Josefina Salomón discussed recent…

BRAZIL / 14 JAN 2021

The reported leader of the PCC in Paraguay, known as “Bonitão,” has been extradited back to Brazil after a tumultuous…

ARGENTINA / 13 MAY 2013

Teenagers are working as assassins in Argentina's Mendoza province, according to media reports, the latest example of child recruitment…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.