State Department Cable Says Argentina ‘Ripe’ for Organized Crime

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A U.S. Embassy cable sent from Buenos Aires last year claims that Argentina is being flooded with drug money due to the country’s weak stance on fighting organized crime.

According to an Associated Press report, the Dec. 1, 2009 dispatch placed some of the blame for the problem on President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who “stands to lose” by cracking down on money laundering. This is not the first leaked diplomatic cable to describe the Argentine president negatively. In a cable sent Dec. 31, 2009, the Embassy was told to investigate Fernandez’s mental health, and another from September of that year reported rumors that the chief of her Cabinet had ties to drug trafficking organizations. 

Although the Argentine government has yet to respond to these allegations directly, Justice Minister Julio Alak said Thursday that the country “has launched, with all of its weapons and along with the other countries in the region, a battle without quarter against traffickers of drugs, weapons and people.” The State department cable, however, paints a very different picture. According to the Embassy, “the near complete absence of enforcement coupled with a culture of impunity and corruption make Argentina ripe for exploitation by narcotraffickers and terrorist cells.”

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