Argentina Looks to International Cooperation to Curb Drug Traffic

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Argentina will reinstate security attachés at its embassies in a number of countries, further confirming the government’s efforts to curb growing drug trafficking and to be part of a regional trend of heightened multilateral cooperation against organized crime.

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich ratified the decision which will allow for security forces personnel to resume their post in embassies abroad and reinitiate Argentina’s bilateral cooperation against drug traffickers, La Nación reported.

The news report says elements of the military police will be reassigned to embassies in South American countries, including Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Colombia, as well as in France and in China. The Federal Police, which has already resumed its training program in the United States, will reassume its responsibilities in Brazil, Mexico and Spain, while the National Coast Guard will represent the country in London and Paraguay.

The internal security attachés’ work in these countries, all positioned along various drug trafficking routes, should facilitate the sharing of relevant intelligence and allow for a better coordination of governmental efforts against transnational organized crime.

Argentina’s network of security attachés had been severely diminished since 2014, before being completely shut down last year by the previous administration.

InSight Crime Analysis

The reinstatement of the security attachés is the latest in a series of measures taken by President Mauricio Macri’s administration to strengthen its security policy against drug trafficking and organized crime. Its announcement came the same day the government proclaimed the “Secure Borders Plan,” which aims to enhance the authorities’ control of border flows with the help of Interpol, to be operational.

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Both measures also follow a regional trend of increasing international cooperation against transnational crime, as illustrated by Brazil’s growing law enforcement cooperation with neighboring countries. This trend highlights countries’ growing awareness of the necessity to coordinate their efforts to curb organized crime which operates across international boundaries.

Security attachés are at the heart of this coordination, as they enable the sharing of both relevant information and experience. As pointed out by La Nación, Argentina’s military police, which was inspired by the French ‘gendarmerie’, will be integrated in to the joint efforts by southern European and northern African security forces against drug trafficking through the attaché stationed in France. Regarding the Federal Police, its cooperation with its Brazilian counterpart has already led it to test its neighbor’s favelas policy in certain areas of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.

The renewal of the attaché network appears to be a positive step for Argentina’s fight against both domestic insecurity and transnational drug trafficking.

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