HomeNewsBrief‘Italian Mafia Leader’ Nabbed in Argentina
BRIEF

‘Italian Mafia Leader’ Nabbed in Argentina

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Argentina have confirmed the recent arrest of an alleged high-level member of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia wanted in Italy for attempted murder, but it is unclear whether he was there for business or was just hiding out.

On September 11, the Argentine Gendarmerie announced they had arrested Pantaleone Mancuso in Argentine border city Puerto Iguazu on August 29 as he attempted to cross into Brazil with a fake identification document and around $130,000, reported Sky TG24. His identity was established through fingerprinting.

According to Clarin, Mancuso had been wanted by international police body Interpol for around a year and a half at the time of his arrest. He is reportedly a high-ranking member of Italian organized crime group the ‘Ndrangheta, and is a descendent of one of the group’s most powerful family clans, according to Italian newspaper Repubblica. He is also accused of a double attempted homicide in Italy that involved two members of his own family.

Authorities reportedly do not know when or how Mancuso entered Argentina. The alleged mafia leader will now be held for 40 days as authorities await documents from Italian officials in order to initiate extradition proceedings.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is unclear whether Mancuso was in Latin America for business, or had simply gone there to escape law enforcement pressure in his home country. Argentina has long been used by crime lords as both a hideout and a base for low profile operations. Some famous examples include Ignacio Alvarez Meyendorff, a former key collaborator of Colombia’s Norte del Valle Cartel and the Rastrojos, arrested in Buenos Aires in 2011, and Colombian drug trafficker Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias “Mi Sangre,” who was captured in Argentina in 2012. There have also been rumors the former head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — arrested this past February — lived in Argentina

However, Argentina may well be a platform for the ‘Ndrangheta’s criminal operations. Indeed, there have been previous reports that the group already maintains a presence in the country, which is a rising transit point for cocaine, as well as a major source of precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine production. Elsewhere in the region, the ‘Ndrangheta — which authorities estimate controls up to 80 percent of Italy-bound cocaine — has ties to both Mexican and Colombian groups.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of European Organized Crime

Members of the ‘Ndrangheta have also been picked up in Peru and the Dominican Republic this year, further indication of the group’s ties to Latin America. 

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.

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 22 OCT 2018

A judge’s dismissal of an arrest warrant against one of Argentina’s top union leaders on corruption charges might be forcing…

ARGENTINA / 15 MAY 2013

Politicians in Argentina have demanded that prosecutors investigate claims there is a drug trafficking "free zone" in a province near…

ARGENTINA / 18 SEP 2013

Authorities in northern Argentina have seized a vehicle transporting 25 tons of precursor chemical sodium carbonate, highlighting the links between…

Institutional Content

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …