HomeNewsBriefForeign Gangs Battling for Control of Buenos Aires Drug Trade
BRIEF

Foreign Gangs Battling for Control of Buenos Aires Drug Trade

ARGENTINA / 14 APR 2015 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

A neighborhood in Buenos Aires has been caught in the crosshairs of a battle between Peruvian, Paraguayan, and Colombian drug gangs in an illustration of the impact a growing domestic drug market and criminal migration are having on Argentina.

On April 12, four Paraguayans were killed in Buenos Aires' Bajo Flores neighborhood in an attack that authorities believe is part of an ongoing dispute for control of the local drug trade, reported El Pais.

Argentine officials suspect the attack may be linked to a battle between a Paraguayan gang and an Argentine group known as the Gauchito Gil gang, reported La Nacion. A February shootout between these two gangs resulted in the deaths of two innocent bystanders.

However, the Paraguayan publication ABC Color speculated that the deaths could also be the result of a decade-long conflict between Peruvian and Paraguayan gangs in Buenos Aires. Paraguayan groups have traditionally controlled the marijuana trade in the Bajo Flores neighborhood, while Peruvian groups have distributed cocaine and "paco" -- a form of crack cocaine -- but the criminal groups have come into conflict in recent years, ABC Color stated. Colombian gangs are also battling Peruvian groups for control of cocaine distribution in Buenos Aires, reported La Nacion.

InSight Crime Analysis

The bloodshed in Buenos Aires' Bajo Flores neighborhood appears to be the result of a combination of two different dynamics: a growing domestic drug market and criminal migration from other Latin American countries.

In recent years, Argentina has seen rising drug consumption, which has in turn spurred the development of local criminal groups dedicated to micro-trafficking often accompanied by a spike in violence in some parts of the country. 

Meanwhile, foreign criminal groups appear to be increasingly setting up shop in Argentina. While Paraguayan and Peruvian criminals have had a presence in Buenos Aires since at least the mid-1990s, and Colombian drug traffickers have long used the country as a hideout, the influx of foreign criminals appears to have intensified as Argentina's importance as a drug transit nation has increased. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Criminal Migration

An Argentine NGO recently reported that a Peruvian criminal network with ties to the Shining Path guerrilla group runs at least ten cocaine laboratories in the Bajo Flores neighborhood, claims that prompted Pope Francis to comment on the "Mexicanization" of Argentina.

As similar dynamics play out elsewhere in Latin America, other countries may start to see foreign criminals involved not only in transnational drug shipments, but also in micro-trafficking and other localized crimes. In Ecuador in 2011, for example, the leader of a Colombian criminal group known as La Cordillera was arrested for allegedly running a micro-trafficking network in Quito. In Bolivia, five "mega-gangs" made up of foreign criminals dedicated to armed robberies were identified in 2014, while eastern Paraguay has recently seen a wave of armed robberies allegedly carried out by Brazilian criminals.  

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

COCAINE / 4 MAY 2022

A shootout involving French police and suspected cocaine traffickers in the northern city port of Le Havre has dramatically underscored…

ARGENTINA / 29 MAY 2017

Argentina's national government is scaling up a pilot project that provides treatment instead of incarceration for drug addicts accused of…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 19 MAY 2022

Cocaine processing has taken root on European soil, Mexican and Dutch synthetic drug traffickers have partnered up, and a new…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…