Last night, Fabio Aquino and three other men were arrested on National Route 118 for trafficking over 500 kilograms of marijuana. The bust was definitely big enough to catch the public eye, but what garnered the most attention is the fact that Aquino is the brother of the Deputy Mayor of Itatí, a northern city in the Corrientes province located along the Paraná River.
The arrest comes just one week after Itatí Mayor Roger Terán’s daughter and her spouse were arrested on charges of trafficking marijuana from Paraguay to seven provinces in Northern Argentina, possibly in connection with the Rosario-based drug-trafficking organization “Los Monos.”
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Aquino was driving on National Route 118, along with two other cars when he was stopped and searched by officials from the Argentine Naval Prefecture, the local equivalent to the coast guard. Among the three cars, 624 packets of marijuana were uncovered, totaling 521,731 kilograms. Aquino was arrested along with his three local passengers and the driver of a second car. The third car was left abandoned.
After this incident, law enforcement agencies have now confiscated just under 38 tons of marijuana in the Corrientes province in little over a year. Suspicion is high, as the integrity of local government officials is in question. Following the arrest of Terán’s daughter last week, the Mayor insisted that he has had little contact with his daughter, but that they are an honest family.
“We are a modest, hardworking family that, on this occasion, is going through a difficult moment,” he said.
Federal Judge Carlos Soto Dávila, from the First Federal Courthouse of Corrientes, is investigating the case. He has greater level of doubt over drug activity across the city: “The groups dedicated to trafficking marijuana navigate the river by memory. Trafficking culture in Itatí is ancestral.”