Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was the only foreign President to attend the Pope’s mass in Paraguay, marking the sixth time she has met the Pope and sixth time she has squeezed out the brownie points that seem to emit from ensuing photo ops. However Cristina was not the only one using the pope to reach her goals.
In the spirit of “peace on earth, good will towards men,” three men were caught smuggling tremendous amounts of guns and cocaine into Argentina under the guise of religious pilgrims coming to see the Pope.
In the first case drug dogs sniffed out the drugs after a car crossed from Puerto de Ita Enramada (Paraguay) into Clorinda, Argentina. Customs personnel and the Federal Public Revenue Administration stripped the car and found in the side 12.75 kilograms of a cocaine pasta base that was split up into 41 individual bricks, as well as two semi automatic weapons.
This is the car, no joke:
In two separate other instances, a Paraguayan man and an Argentine man were arrested trying to bring more semi- automatic weapons into the country.
This is the latest in an increase of drug flow into Argentina, exacerbated by increasingly advanced smuggling techniques. According to a report entitled “Rain of Drugs”, by La Corniche TV program, low flying aircrafts have been chucking thousands of packages of cocaine and marijuana into fields in the north of the country. Federal judge Paul Reynoso said that “The amount of seizures and signs in northern Argentina, and particularly in Salta, show that our country was chosen by drug traffickers.” What an honor.
The report said that traffickers have been using bumpers, seats, shoes, clothing and even food to smuggle. They specifically mentioned that a particular favorite sausages covered chemicals that can avoid detection by drug dogs. Particularly committed drug mules use their own stomach and can swallow up to 100 capsules each containing 10 grams of cocaine. Route 34 is the most common drug highway and by the time the drugs hit Buenos Aires or Cordoba the value is around $3,000 a kilo, tripling in value from Salta.
So if you’re unemployed, have an iron stomach and are willing to risk life in prison, sounds like a good gig for you.