Security Minister Patricia Bullrich is a tough cookie in camouflage, sending a not-so-friendly reminder to South American narcos that the Macri administration is not taking drug trafficking lightly and intends on investing in technology to fight the scourge “with more brains than muscle.”
Speaking in Puerto Iguazu, Misiones Province, this weekend, Bullrich explained that Argentina is working with Brazil and Paraguay to stop the international smuggling of drugs through Argentine borders.
According to Perfil, right now Argentina’s resources include drones that can only fly up to 20 minutes at an altitude of 500 meters. And there are only 20 pilots in the country qualified by the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) to fly drones.
But Bullrich is keen on changing all that. “We’re going to invest in technology that’s more agile and dynamic,” she said. “We will win the fight against narco trafficking with intelligence. The radar system is good, but only a small percentage of drugs enter the country via plane; most enter via land or water.”
Bullrich declared a state of emergency over Argentina’s “War on Drugs” back in December, which was shortly thereafter followed by a decree signed by President Mauricio Macri which, among other things, allows the government to shoot down planes considered “hostile.” The measure was incredibly controversial and considered a “mistake” by some politicians. So far, no plane has been shot down, but one was kindly escorted out of Argentine territory.
According to Bullrich, Argentina’s war against drug traffickers consists of three parts: the incorporation of better infrastructure, international agreements and technological innovation. Bullrich anticipated the United States and France joining Argentina in its own War on Drugs, one in which Italy has already agreed to be a fighting force.
— Patricia Bullrich (@PatoBullrich) April 3, 2016
Of the 87 meters of the Argentina-Paraguay border, seven are critical in drug importation. Heavily-armed forces in the waterspace from Port Liberty onwards spend up to 10 days away from civilization, often coming into violent contact with narcos in the narrow waterway. But secretive backroads (or waterways) are not the only places we see police and trafficker engagement. Main highways can be just as useful to narcos as well, and in the “T” region, a tri-parted point of auto-transport control at the junction of Routes 12 and 101, cops often see (and are hit by) drug traffickers whizzing by in cars, literally on fire.
Now that Bullrich has admitted that most drugs don’t enter the country by air, though, we’ll have to sit tight and see what kind of land measures she intends on implementing.