‘Narco-Wives Gang’ Trafficked Cocaine to Argentina Via Paraguay

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A group of Paraguayan women, who ran a drug trafficking ring in Buenos Aires’ largest slum, trafficked drugs from Bolivia via Paraguay into Argentina, where sales brought in up to 1,000,000 pesos ($188,555) a month, one of the women told authorities.

The federal judge in charge of the case, Sergio Torres, added that the gang processed and trafficked cocaine, and may also have trafficked large quantities of marijuana.

The operation included a team of lookout boys, who were paid in “paco” (a cheap and highly addictive form of crack cocaine) to keep an eye out for police. The women also communicated at times in the indigenous language of Guarani to try and evade detection by authorities.

Authorities began calling the group “the narco-wives gang” after discovering that two of the suspects were left in charge of the criminal enterprise after their husbands were imprisoned, reported La Nacion

One June 10, the judge ordered the pre-trial detention of four of the women in the group on charges of drug sales and trafficking. Paraguayan news outlet Amambay Noticias reported that the women, who were arrested on May 17, are Paraguayan. 

InSight Crime Analysis

This is the second recent “narco-wives” case to gain attention in Argentina. The first gang, dismantled in April 2012, involved a trafficking ring headed by the ex-wives of two major Colombian drug traffickers, Pedro Oliveiro Gerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” and Daniel “El Loco” Barrera. 

In addition to the novelty of a gang led by women, this case is notable as yet another example of Paraguay’s vital importance as a transit point for drugs moving into Argentina, South America’s second largest market for cocaine. In October 2012, police dismantled a gang they characterized as one of the largest drug trafficking rings in Buenos Aires, which smuggled cocaine and marijuana into the capital from Paraguay, using a bakery in Villa 21 as a front.

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