HomeNewsThe Elevated Risks Facing Young Men in Rosario, Argentina
NEWS

The Elevated Risks Facing Young Men in Rosario, Argentina

ARGENTINA / 24 MAY 2021 BY LAURA ÁVILA EN

Young men make up a quarter of homicide victims in Rosario, according to a new report, driving home the fact that those under 21 are far more likely to join local gangs, work in drug trafficking and be at risk of criminal violence.

Of the 1,737 murders reported between 2013 and early 2021 in Argentina's central department of Rosario, 432 of them involved young men of under 21 years old, according to a report by the newspaper La Capital. And around ten percent of homicide victims were boys under 18, accounting for 166 deaths.

A separate report by the state government of Santa Fe, to which Rosario belongs, also stated that 47 percent of homicides in the department are linked to organized crime and disproportionately affect men, who are being killed for their involvement in criminal economies and groups. Meanwhile, homicides involving women – which are ten times lower – are associated with gender-based violence.

SEE ALSO: Argentina News and Profile

Rosario is one of Argentina's most violent areas and is strategically located for trafficking drugs from Bolivia and Paraguay. It has been under the criminal rule of the Los Monos gang for more than a decade but has seen the group clash with rivals contesting their dominance.

InSight Crime Analysis

Since 2004, Los Monos have taken advantage of the socio-economic vulnerability within Rosario's marginalized neighborhoods, to establish de facto authority and recruit young people known as soldaditos (little soldiers) who sell cocaine and marijuana in small quantities.

In a conversation with InSight Crime, journalist and subject matter expert Gérman de los Santos asserted that these soldiers are the lowest rank within the organization and are coordinated by local bosses in charge of extortion and drug trafficking in the surrounding neighborhoods. If the young men do not fulfill their drug sales quotas or other tasks assigned by their superiors, they are killed. "This is why there are so many murders in Rosario, those who do not comply are killed,” explained the journalist.

SEE ALSO: Los Monos Profile

While young men and boys are those most commonly affected by violence in Latin America, there has been a recent slew of reports concerning child recruitment into criminal groups.

InSight Crime recently looked at how child recruitment in Colombia had taken place, examining how families were being paid to allow their children to join, how younger siblings were being press-ganged by criminal groups if their older brothers were killed and how schools are trying to prevent their students from being recruited.

In Ecuador, a recent series of unusual assassinations has been accompanied by reports of children and adolescents being trained as hitmen.

And in Brazil, a police operation in Rio de Janeiro's Jacarezinho favela in early May, which left 28 dead, allegedly took place because drug trafficking gang, the Red Command (Comando Vermelho - CV), had been recruiting minors.

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 9 JUN 2011

The arms trafficking industry is generally thought to be a significant contributor to drug violence in Central America. But do…

HOMICIDES / 5 JUL 2016

June was the most violent month of the year in Caracas, according to a new report, but specific security trends…

BARRIO 18 / 4 SEP 2017

A new report mapping violence in Honduras' capital suggests that the country's gangs remain a root cause driving the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

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…