HomeNewsBriefHalf of Argentina's Federal Drug Crimes are for Personal Use
BRIEF

Half of Argentina's Federal Drug Crimes are for Personal Use

ARGENTINA / 20 OCT 2016 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

A rare report tallying drug-related judicial cases in Argentina provides an insight into how drug crimes vary by region, and draws attention to the importance of tackling domestic consumption as part of the country's security policy.

Argentina's Attorney General's Office for Drug-Related Crimes (Procuraduría de Narcocriminalidad - PROCUNAR) has published a report (pdf) documenting the cases opened by the federal justice system -- which is divided into regional jurisdictions often spanning several provinces -- for major and minor drug-related crimes in 2015.

Over the course of the year, 44 percent of all new federal criminal cases were for drug-related crimes. Of those drug cases, 46 percent of the total involved illegal trafficking, while 50 percent were for personal possession or consumption.

Of Argentina's six judicial regions, Buenos Aires registered more than one third of the country's drug-related cases, while Mendoza and Santa Fe saw the second and third largest shares, with 11 and 9 percent of all cases, respectively.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Drug Policy

The Buenos Aires region -- which includes the Buenos Aires province but not the autonomous capital city area -- had the highest proportion of illegal trafficking cases compared to simple possession or personal use, at nearly 90 percent.

In Santa Fe district, 68 percent of all narcotics crimes involved trafficking -- significantly higher than the national average. The province is home to the city of Rosario, an international drug transhipment hub that has been plagued by organized criminal activity.

On the other hand, in Mendoza district 62 percent of cases were for possession or personal consumption. Mendoza province, a traditional smuggling route into neighboring Chile, has recently seen a growth in its consumer market.

InSight Crime Analysis

Publications such as these help to evaluate the scope and nature of Argentina's drug problem, but they are only rarely made available. The last Attorney General's Office report of this kind covered the year 2012 (pdf).

Certain media reports have taken the Attorney General's data as evidence that a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that made personal drug possession punishable by up to two years in prison has failed to significantly deter a rise in illicit drug consumption.

President Mauricio Macri, who took office in 2015, has taken a more militarized, strong-armed approach to drugs and crime. This approach may provide some short-term benefits by dismantling criminal organizations, but it will do little to address the underlying problem of increased drug consumption.

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

COCA / 16 JUN 2017

The US government has continued issuing mixed messages following controversial statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that implied the…

ARGENTINA / 18 MAY 2021

A judge in Argentina has been charged with running a corruption network that included lawyers and a slain customs official,…

ARGENTINA / 10 APR 2014

Argentina's largest ever anti-drug operation took place in Rosario this week, indicating authorities are feeling pressured to act against rising…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.