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Verónica Gago: Argentine Time Bomb

Verónica Gago: Argentine Time Bomb

Behind the Scenes of a Narco-Scandal
March 21, 2005
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Buenos Aires-based journalist Verónica Gago files a special report for The Narco News Bulletin today on the growing narco-scandal in her native Argentina. Gago writes that the scandal, which involves suitcases full of cocaine being smuggled from Argentina to Spain with the apparent complicity of both employees of the Southern Winds airline and the Argentine air force, has been "like a ball of yarn that just keeps on unraveling, entangling soldiers and businessmen in the business of drug trafficking and airport security."

Gago writes a comprehensive summary of where the case - on which Narco News was the first to do any serious English-language reporting - is at the moment. She then looks at the complex relationship with the United States.

Gago reports:

"Despite the marginal character with which the authorities have tried to portray this meeting, one must take into account the U.S.'s insistent pressure - which was also manifested in the meeting - for the approval of three laws currently held up in the Argentine Congress: two of them regard the ratification of international conventions on the financing of terrorism (the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism signed in Bridgetown, Barbados, and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the United Nations), and the other is law that would raise penalties for money laundering. If Argentina doesn't approve these laws before June, it could end up excluded from the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). The threat had a rapid effect: Congress will decide on all three in the next few weeks."


"The test comes on March 22, when U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrives in Argentina. His mission is now well known: to speed up the installation of high-tech surveillance equipment in the country's borders. The control and militarization of the land is the U.S.'s biggest goal, which the above report cites as a decisive point, urging "the creation of a Tri-border task force in the province of Misiones." Comments have also circulated from drug Czar John Walters, speaking of "the narcos' efforts to come to Argentina," as a strategic point for traffic to Europe."

Read the whole report, at:

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder
Managing Editor, Narco News

© Scoop Media

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