Argentina is no longer simply a transit point for cocaine from Mexico and Colombia. The New York Times reported Argentina has become a home base, a comfortable refuge where many Colombian and Mexican traffickers lie low while keeping a hand in the industry. They live in some of the most exclusive areas of Argentina, which they consider safer than their home countries. They appoint local intermediaries to run their drug operations.
So it is that cocaine is becoming very accessible in Argentina, and local consumption is becoming a big problem. Recently, Argentine police dismantled a drug lab and seized one ton of cocaine intended for domestic consumption.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Argentina had the highest prevalence of cocaine use in South and Central America among 15- to 64-year-olds, with 25 percent of the region’s users — second only to Brazil. The number of drug users in Argentina has doubled since 2007.
In mid-July, drug-sniffing dogs in Buenos Aires uncovered a half-ton of cocaine hidden in machinery marked for shipment to Nigeria, Africa. The shipment was likely destined for Europe where it would be worth US $25 million.
In Mid-March, seven Argentines were arrested in connection with trafficking hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Argentina to Europe. The cocaine had an estimated market value of over US $18 million.