HomeNewsBriefHomicides Rising in West Argentina Amid Evolution of Drug Gangs
BRIEF

Homicides Rising in West Argentina Amid Evolution of Drug Gangs

ARGENTINA / 18 JUN 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Argentina have said a 60 percent rise in murders in the city of Mendoza is linked to the drug trade, following a nationwide pattern of rising violence as transnational organized crime takes root and local criminal groups evolve.

Between January 1 and June 18 this year, 88 murders were registered in Mendoza in west Argentina, compared to just 55 in the same months in 2013, reported La Nacion. Murders for 2014 are now on track to surpass the 141 murders seen in 2012, a high of recent years. 

Mendoza Police Chief Juan Carlos Caleri said the majority of the homicides occurred among acquaintances and took place during the first three months of the year when the drug gangs were "at their peak," both factors that contribute to the idea drug disputes were partly responsible for the rise.

Two cases that stood out this year were the the murder of Cristian Gelvez, the husband of a local drug gang leader, and that of Daiana Reynoso, a young woman who was discovered with several bullet holes in her body, signs of torture, and a plastic bag over her head. Her husband had been killed in a similar manner just a month before and investigators believe the killings could be linked to drug trafficking.  

InSight Crime Analysis

As foreign organized crime has become more established in Argentina and drug transit through the country has risen, a significant domestic market for cocaine and its derivatives has developed, leading to the emergence of increasingly sophisticated and violent homegrown criminal organizations. The epicenter of this has been the northeastern city at the end of the infamous Ruta 34 "cocaine highway," Rosario, where drug gang disputes have led to an unprecedented spike in murders

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

Mendoza, on the Chilean border, is removed from the principal land route used to traffic cocaine into Argentina from Bolivia. Nonetheless, there are indications a significant local market exists, and there have been signs of a somewhat sophisticated drug gang presence. A group known as "Yaqui's Little Angels," allegedly run by a woman nicknamed "Yaqui" who was arrested earlier this year, reportedly operated with a network of teenage assassins and at one point attacked journalists who had published details of the group's structure.

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 / 28 APR 2021

Despite numerous investigations against him, an Argentine aviation tycoon was able to exploit aircraft registration loopholes in the United States…

ARGENTINA / 19 JUL 2022

Two Argentine restaurateurs residing in Spain are wanted for allegedly using yachts to send cocaine between South America and Europe.

DRUG POLICY / 20 MAY 2022

A spate of gang-related killings has caused panic in a marginalized area of Uruguay’s capital of Montevideo, raising debate about…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…