Latest News

Unified Response

Argentina Drug Investigation Inches Closer to Governing Party Mayor

A series of police raids in a strategically located town in Argentina seeking evidence of ties between drug traffickers and officials from the governing party shows the country’s judiciary could be growing in independence, but this new autonomy could face resistance.

Argentine Federal Police on May 8 executed search warrants on the homes and offices of top municipal officials of the city of Paraná, the capital of the northeastern province of Entre Ríos, a key corridor for drugs entering Argentina from Paraguay.

According to local media accounts, the raids were seeking evidence of drug trafficking-related corruption on the part of local officials, including Mayor Sergio Varisco, who belongs to Argentina President Mauricio Macri’s political party, known as Cambiemos.

In particular, authorities seem to be zeroing in on Varisco’s connection to Daniel “Tavi” Celis, a local businessman currently imprisoned on assault charges whom authorities accuse of involvment in large-scale drug trafficking.

A local journalist had reportedly alleged links between the local government and drug trafficking groups in 2015, when Varisco became mayor of Paraná. In 2016, after being jailed for the assault, Celis published a message on Facebook describing himself as a “political prisoner” and threatening to tell “the whole truth about how [Varisco] came to be mayor of the city.”

The investigation deepened in May 2017, when authorities intercepted a drug-laden airplane and arrested two men close to Celis, including his brother, Miguel Ángel “Titi” Celis. In a search of Miguel Ángel’s home, authorities reportedly found a piece of paper with the names of Varisco and other officials listed next to different amounts of money.

Over the next several months, secretly recorded conversations emerged suggesting Celis had supported Varisco’s 2015 bid for the mayorship and had contributed 100,000 Argentine pesos (roughly $4,400) to his campaign.

The mayor and other officials who are being investigated have denied any wrongdoing. Varisco even seemed to praise the probe into his alleged criminal ties, saying that it shows that “there is an independent judicial branch and that there is no interference from the political branch.”

You may also like

San Isidro Lima - Financial district

Billions in Laundered Money Have Passed Through Peru’s Banks

Secret documents leaked to OjoPúblico reveal that more than $2.2 billion linked to suspected criminal activity entered Peru’s financial system through clients with alleged ties to drug trafficking, illegal gold mining, tax evasion and corruption. OjoPúblico reached out to Banco de Crédito del Perú and BBVA Continental, the country’s two main banks, to learn more […]

Mexican Rehab

Mexican Rehab Centre Massacre Linked to Drug Trade Local Conflict

Mexican authorities have laid the blame for a massacre which was carried out at a centre for drug treatments at the door of the local drug trade. This is just one more example of the violence which has been fuelled by the criminal landscape in the country today. On the 26th September, the rehabilitation centre […]

Gun

Number of Murders in Medellin Increase

In the city of Medellin, Colombia, the number of killing has increased, with the blame being put on many of the hillside gangs looking to settle scores, however, changes in the underworld of the city are the reason for the increase in the number of murders. There was a total of 626 homicides in Medellin […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *