HomeNewsBriefGrowth of Foreign Groups Underlines Argentina's Rising Drug Role
BRIEF

Growth of Foreign Groups Underlines Argentina's Rising Drug Role

ARGENTINA / 25 NOV 2013 BY NATALIE SOUTHWICK EN

Transnational trafficking groups are increasingly making their presence known in northern Argentina, where unmonitored border crossings and well-established transit routes have created an ideal environment for international traffickers to expand their business.

According to an investigation by Clarin, transporters ferry small amounts of cocaine across a ravine which serves as the border between Yacuiba in Bolivia and Salvador Mazza in Argentina's northern Salta province. Once compiled into larger consignments, the cocaine is moved in hidden compartments of vehicles to the organizations' established bases in Cordoba, Santa Fe and the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, from where much of it is bound for Spain and Portugal. Some small drug flights from Bolivia and Paraguay also drop drugs in Salta. northargentina

The investigation details the discovery of two "mountains" of coca leaves at a cocaine laboratory in the northern Salta town of El Sauzal, although it notes that the leaves are usually processed in Bolivia or Peru.

As stated by Clarin, many of these operations are linked to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel or Colombian groups, such as the Rastrojos. Claudio Izaguirre of Argentina's Antidrug Association identified six cartels operating in Argentina, including Colombians in Rosario, Mexicans in northern Buenos Aires, and Bolivians along the northern route through Salta.

InSight Crime Analysis

Rising internal demand and relatively lax controls have made Argentina one of South America's most appealing destinations for transnational trafficking organizations. Argentina serves as a major transshipment point for Europe-bound cocaine, while its high consumption rates have made domestic sales a profitable business as well.

See Also: Argentina News and Profiles

The country has seen the growth of trafficking networks on both micro and macro levels. As domestic demand has grown, micro-trafficking rings, some run by families, have sprung up in many of the larger cities. At the same time, transnational organizations like the Sinaloa Cartel have continued to strengthen their presence in the country, particularly in the city of Rosario, which has become one of Argentina's drug hubs.

The discovery of a laboratory in northern Argentina appears to be a natural migration capitalizing on the access to coca leaves and precursor chemicals provided by the infamous Ruta 34, the "white road" of cocaine smuggling. Authorities have also dismantled growing numbers of drug processing labs in other parts of Argentina, suggesting trafficking groups may be moving the production sides of their operations closer to sale and export points.

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

EL AZUL / 19 JUL 2012

One of Mexico’s foremost traffickers narrowly avoided capture by federal forces earlier this month, fueling speculation that the…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 29 NOV 2012

A village in Sinaloa, Mexico was burned to the ground by armed men in an attack likely linked…

ARGENTINA / 6 MAR 2013

Latin American criminal organizations are relying on increasingly innovative ways to get the chemicals needed for drug production as a…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…