Argentine Gendarmerie Seizes More than 6 Tons of Marijuana
By Juan Delgado/Diálogo April 19, 2021
In early March, the Argentine National Gendarmerie (GNA, in Spanish) seized more than 6 tons of marijuana in only two operations in Misiones province. In both cases, agents were patrolling the area when they saw suspicious vehicles.
On March 10, authorities carried out one of the operations near the mouth of the Itaembé River, close to the border between Misiones and Corrientes provinces. According to a GNA press release, units saw a vessel arriving and witnessed several people unloading packages. The people involved escaped as soon as they noticed the presence of law enforcement officers.
Immediately, gendarmes combed the scene and discovered 189 bales containing 2,893 kilograms of marijuana, the GNA indicated.
On March 5, during a patrol on National Road 12 at kilometer 1,575, near the town of Delicia, Misiones, authorities saw a semi-truck with a Brazilian matriculation making suspicious moves, the Argentine Ministry of Security said in a press release. Authorities requested support to deploy a surveillance system and followed the truck for 15 km until reaching the nearest toll, where they instructed the driver to stop the truck to check his load, the statement said.
Instead of complying, the driver jumped from the truck and fled . “The truck continued without a driver for more than 100 meters, ran over toll facilities […] until it hit the guard rail, where it remained,” the Ministry of Security said.
During the vehicle’s inspection, authorities found 107 packages containing 3,258 kg of marijuana. GNA units also detained the driver, a Brazilian national, who attempted to escape.
“The operations conducted […] against illegal drug trafficking focused on the advanced stages of this crime. This has helped neutralize the circulation of thousands of kilograms of drugs, as the seizures are taking place during the transport stages for storage and [the drug’s] subsequent division and distribution,” the Ministry of Security said.
On March 1, during his speech at the opening of the 139th regular session of the National Congress, Argentine President Alberto Fernández praised the fight against narcotrafficking and organized crime.
“In drug policy, we prioritize the dismantling of criminal organizations engaged in narcotrafficking, and not the policy of persecution of consumption that was previously in place. [In 2020] we increased the seizure of kilos of marijuana by 40 percent compared to 2019,” Fernández said.