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Column 030716 Brewer

Monday, March 7, 2016


Argentina and the USA
seeking to Revive
Cooperation versus
Crime
By Jerry Brewer
Argentineans recently
elected Mauricio Macri
[56] as their new president,
and President Macri
wasted no time in vowing
to remain true to the
principles of democracy.
He immediately assumed a
motivated and aggressive
posture against drug
trafficking and organized
crime. Transnational
organized criminals have
stealthily and increasingly
encroached into the

Argentine homeland,
engaging in violent battles
for control of lucrative
criminal turf and illicit
contraband supply chains.
On February 27, the new
Minister of National
Security, Patricia Bullrich,
accompanied by the
Secretary for Security,
Eugenio Burzaco, and the
National Director of
Regional and International
Cooperation, Gaston
Schulmeister, met with the
Administrator of the U.S.
Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA),
Chuck Rosenberg, in
Washington, D.C.
Rosenberg previously
served with the Federal
Bureau of Investigation
(FBI).
Rosenbergs aim was to
"open a door that was
closed," and to reinforce
the thought that "building a
strategic partnership will
benefit not only both
countries, but the world as
a whole."
The vicious scourge of
drug trafficking, and the
accompanying massive
death tolls and misery
within this hemisphere, are

believed by many to be
strategically driven,
facilitated, manipulated,
and/or orchestrated by
rogue state governments in
the Americas.
The decision of
Venezuelas leftist
president, the late Hugo
Chavez, to kick the DEA
out of Venezuela in 2005,
also caught on with
Bolivian President Evo
Morales. Ecuador's Rafael
Correa followed suit and
refused to renew the drug
interdiction base at Manta
for U.S. drug interdiction
efforts in the region. And
Argentina's cooperation
with interdiction efforts
also waned, resulting in an
increased prominence in
the drug trade; and earning
it the label of "the new
narco state."
What followed, during the
watch of former President
Cristina Fernandez de
Kirchners administration,
was an easy transition
from having been a transit
country for drug
trafficking to a huge
consumer country,
controlled by an ever
growing nucleus of illicit
power brokers and

growing corruption of
security forces.
Argentina is now the
second largest domestic
market for cocaine in Latin
America, after Brazil. As
well, it has become both a
major market and transit
point in the world drug
trade as international
trafficking groups have
expanded their activities,
from a destination for
synthesis to increasing
exports, as well as
consumption.
Further motivation for
Macris pledges on crime
relate to the shame of
Argentina in becoming a
source, transit, and
destination country for
men, women, and children
subjected to forced labor
and sex trafficking,
according to the U.S. State
Department.
At the DEA meeting,
Rosenberg talked of the
possibility for countries to
restore a dialogue
channel. "DEA is very
pleased that the United
States and Argentina are
able to rebuild their
relationship."

Macris selection of
Patricia Bullrich [59] to his
cabinet as Minister of
Security appears to be a
proactive and strategic
move. She previously
worked for the state
government in Buenos
Aires Province on
security matters,
developing a community
policing project that
became well-known
nationally and
internationally. Bullrich
also served in the
Department of Criminal
Policy and Penitentiary
Matters.
President Macri
campaigned strongly on
pledges to tackle crime and
fight corruption. This will
require superior criminal
intelligence and strong
counterintelligence
capabilities to recognize,
interdict and monitor any
continued acts of
corruption and crime.
Sectoring these
enforcement efforts to stop
the spread of transnational
organized crime will
require strong senior
leadership and
management for maximum

efficiency and a tough


anti-crime posture.
Taking control of each
afflicted territory must be a
well-coordinated effort,
and it will require superb
crime analyses. The
policing techniques must
be professionalized and
modern. President Macri
shrewdly wants to
strategically deploy his
operating units via the
Superintendent of
Dangerous Drugs into the
interior territories. Macris
policing efforts must be
tough and decisive against
all violent criminal acts.
Argentina now consumes
five times more cocaine
than the global average,
and has one of the highest
usage rates in the world.
Argentina has the highest
prevalence of cocaine use
among adults in South
America. This is an open
door for transnational
organized criminality.
Last year ten police
stations were raided in
Rosario, Argentina
following an order from
the Federal Justice
Department spotlighting
the city's perception as a

growing hub of organized


crime and corruption.
Argentina critically needs
proper coordination,
training, and
professionalization of
criminal justice functions;
an enhanced policing
infrastructure; and
strategically capable
counterterror and security
forces.
Areas in the provinces of
Mendoza, Santa Fe, Salta,
Jujuy and others may
require military-like
strategies to minimize
heavily armed aggressive
confrontations. Moreover,
Argentina has little control
of its borders with
Paraguay and Bolivia that
are extremely dangerous
regions and heavily
transited by criminal and
insurgent-like guerrillas.
Furthermore, much of the
rising rates of crime and
drug abuse in these regions
are due to the fact that
drug traffickers are
frequently paid in drugs
and not cash.
Monitoring and
aggressively pursuing
issues of adaptability and

flexibility of the criminal


groups (that are a scourge
throughout the
hemisphere) must be a top
and ongoing priority of
President Macri's antiorganized crime
enforcement posture.

Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of


Criminal Justice
International Associates, a
global threat mitigation firm
headquartered in northern
Virginia. His website is
located at www.cjiausa.org.
TWITTER: CJIAUSA
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