HomeNewsBriefUS Highlights Argentina Drug Problem as Local Crime Evolves
BRIEF

US Highlights Argentina Drug Problem as Local Crime Evolves

ARGENTINA / 5 MAY 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

US authorities have expressed concern over rising drug consumption in Argentina and the growth of local organized crime, drawing attention to a problem that is now seeing increasingly sophisticated criminal structures begin to migrate.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson said in a press conference that domestic drug use in Argentina had "increased very dramatically," reported La Nacion.

Her comments came shortly after the US State Department published its "Country Reports on Terrorism 2013" (pdf). The document cited both northern regions and the Triple Frontier between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay as hubs for drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime, a phenomenon facilitated by inadequate police monitoring.

In light of these comments, Argentine Security Minister Sergio Berni said the government would increase cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to "share information and organize training courses," reported Infobae.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although some Argentine authorities -- including Berni -- continue to downplay the importance of drug trafficking in the country, the State Department report adds to a growing wave of concern among domestic officials. The defense minister stated earlier this year that both consumption and production were increasingly important issues, while the governor of Buenos Aires province recently called drug trafficking the country's most serious problem.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Argentina

There are statistics to support these claims -- consumption of marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy by high school students across the country rose 200, 170 and 1,000 percent respectively between 2001 and 2011, reported Clarin. In Buenos Aires, cases of drug sale and possession with intent to supply more than doubled between 2006 and 2013.

Argentina is a significant transit point for cocaine trafficked by Colombian and Mexican criminal groups, and is South America's second-biggest cocaine consumer after Brazil. Foreign cartels have now established a permanent presence there, and domestic organized crime has grown as micro-trafficking has intensified. The effects of this have been particularly apparent in the northeastern city of Rosario, which saw record homicidess last year as drug gangs fought for power over the local market. The violent trade prompted a massive security force intervention last month.

Rosario gang "Los Monos" has shown signs of significant sophistication and, despite recent hits against it, appears to have migrated north to the city of Santa Fe. While such gangs appear to remain independent, it is likely some form of relationship with the overseas cartels present in the country will emerge in the future. 

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.

Tags

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 / 6 SEP 2019

An operation on the border between Bolivia and Argentina revealed that criminal organizations were exchanging stolen cars for narcotics, exposing…

ARGENTINA / 20 SEP 2011

More than 1,300 labor and sex trafficking victims rescued in Argentina since 2008 are foreign nationals, according to statistics released…

ARGENTINA / 11 NOV 2013

A court in Argentina has taken control of a soccer player's registration while it investigates if funds from any future…

About InSight Crime

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…