Residents of Rosario are fed up with insecurity: they have already organized two marches against drug-related violence

Rosario bleeds to death. Neighbors call for security. Violence in the streets, in the neighborhoods, increases from year to year, from month to month. The victims are no longer just members of rival gangs for territorial disputes. Children, babies, are left in the middle of the shootings. In the city of Santa Fe, crimes have become professional. The drug families that nest in the territory hire contract killers to eliminate opponents. These are criminal enterprises.

“Rosario had more than 280 murders in 2022, a rate that exceeds 20 homicides per 100,000 population. A huge amount of 2327 murders in the last ten years in the city are directly linked to drug trafficking and the violence associated with this activity,” he said. Eugenio Burzaco, former Secretary of National Security. “If we project the intentional homicides of the first two months of 2023 to the full year, we will end up with an average intentional homicide per day and Rosario ranked among the 50 most dangerous cities in the world. The fierce dispute between the gangs for territorial control of the drug business, generate 75% of homicides committed with firearms, a rate well above the national average,” added the former government official of Mauricio Macri.

For the specialist, “this criminal dynamic not only feeds a market of consumers wishing to finance their consumption which become ‘merchants or small soldiers’ criminal gangs, but also alters the incentives for promotion and social recognition, leading many young people to kill for a cell phone or a pair of sneakers, with a criminal irrationality that does not adjust the violent means to the ends to be achieved” .

Rosario’s security crisis is addressed by Burzaco and who writes this note in the new podcast that GlobeLiveMedia publishes every Tuesday, in which Burzaco, through a fluid and indifferent dialogue, and with clear words, explains the reasons why in Argentina we live in fear and danger. Today’s Podcast addresses, precisely, the crisis of insecurity that Rosario is going through and which extends to other latitudes of the country.

"It is no coincidence that Rosario is a central target for the operations of major drug traffickers
“It is no coincidence that Rosario is a central target for the operations of major drug traffickers”, reveals Eugenio Burzaco

“The situation of such marked deterioration that is devastating one of the main cities of the country is due to the advance of the drug mafias that today control the territory; to a mixture of cooptation and deterioration of security forces that they have ceded, under the passivity of their political administrators, the monopoly of the legitimate use of force in it, ”analyzed the former Secretary of National Security.

For Burzaco, “it is no coincidence that Rosario is a central target for the operations of major drug traffickers. There converge almost all the relevant routes that come from the north of the main drug-producing countries, both cocaine and marijuana. And he highlighted another of the drug routes: the waterway, which for the professional “has become a a true commercial highway from Paraguay, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguayon a viaduct for the traffic of cocaine towards Europe”.

Ex-metro police chief, now city police, reinforces this only in 2021 more than 27 tons of cocaine arrived on the Old Continent after crossing the waterway.

“Believing that this is a problem limited to producing and end-consuming countries is a serious mistake”, believes the former PRO MP and refers to the fact that international cocaine trafficking remunerates intermediaries and facilitators in kind, “i.e. leaving some of these shipments along the traffic lanes”. In his experience, “this substance must be transferred to the local market to generate profits for these groups” and he adds: “It is therefore not surprising that countries like Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina have consumption prevalences similar to those of the United States or the main European countries. In South America, according to United Nations data, some 4.7 million people, or 1.6% of the population aged 15-64, regularly use cocaine, turning South America into a mature who moves huge sums of money. We are no longer just a transit country”.

For Burzaco, the example of Rosario can be indicative of a negative direction for the whole country in terms of insecurity. The reason? “It shows how the loss of territorial control by the state is occupied by criminal gangs” and describes: “The State enters the critical zones but cannot stay there. Over time, he doesn’t even enter certain neighborhoods anymore, and the daily life of the inhabitants of these places is ruled by the criminal bosses. Fights between gangs end up generating innocent deaths as “collateral damage”. So he arrived at Virginia Ferreyraa young dancer fatally injured while walking in southern Rosario and was hit by a flurry of bullets at the bus stop with her mother Claudia Deldebbio also murdered in the same event.

Residents of Rosario demonstrated in front of the Santa Fe Government and Flag Monument to demand greater security and policies against the drug gangs that are devastating the city (Leo Galletto)
Residents of Rosario demonstrated in front of the Santa Fe Government and Flag Monument to demand greater security and policies against the drug gangs that are devastating the city (Leo Galletto)

In Rosario, the gangs operate with increasing violence to impose their leadership. While traditional leaders are imprisoned, there is a double problem. The historical leaders, in safeguarding the prisons, must exert greater violence inside the territory to demonstrate that they continue to hold power. The youngest who want to represent and sometimes even take over from former bosses they must show greater determination to play this role and that means blood and death.

-And what happens when the drug gang, the drug family, controls the territory?I ask him GlobeLiveMedia in Burzaco

-Once the territory and logistics are mastered, the activity expands beyond drug trafficking, for which criminal gangs begin to charge criminal and extortionate “taxes” for the protection of lawful activities in the territory. They also engage in other illegal activities such as arms trafficking or gambling. Eventually, illegality and violence displace the territory and eventually from the city to legal commerce and the freedom of the people, and even drives these gangs to openly confront the state. Luciano Cantero 19 years old, fourth generation of “Los Canteros” leaders of the gang of Monkeysfrom his phone in prison, he sent to kill enemies, coordinated the drug trafficking network and used his partner Erica Bullon to extort traders and threaten competitors. This is an example of the cruelty and modus operandi of these criminal family clans which impose significant challenges on the state to combat and deactivate them.

The logic of drug trafficking, Burzaco details, is to corrupt institutions and people throughout their criminal activity in order to maximize the profits of their business, reduce the risks in the operation and displace adversaries, imposing selective state control. “For this reason, it is vital to relocate all criminal gangs when the state operates in the territory, otherwise their actions may favor one of the gangs that tries to monopolize the business,” warns the former official and describes that “Corruption is a cancer that ends up conditioning justice and the police who must be the ones to ensure that the criminal actions of these gangs do not spread. Politicians are also funded to seek protection from criminal activity.”

Eugenio Burzaco was Secretary of National Security between 2015 and 2019
Eugenio Burzaco was Secretary of National Security between 2015 and 2019

-I imagine that this city of Santa Fe is not the only one beset by the drug trade.

-Rosario is a mirror that anticipates the involution that other large urban centers affected by this same phenomenon could suffer. Several neighborhoods in Greater Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, Tucumán, Santa Fe and Concordia, as well as in the suburbs of medium and large cities, similar phenomena are observed in the previous stages. The judicial departments of the north of the province of Buenos Aires They are already showing a significant impact of what is happening in Rosario. In San Nicolás, homicides rose from 14 in 2019 to 21 in 2021, and in Zárate-Campana they rose from 19 to 31 during the same period.

-From what you have said, it is clear that the dynamics of drug-related crime are exponential.

-Yeah. This phenomenon is observed in almost all of Latin America and like a cancer that takes hold of more and more organs when it is allowed to spread without a sustained and systematic reaction over time, it ends up threatening the very subsistence of the State and the territorial integrity of the Nation. If allowed to operate, these criminal organizations end up promoting candidates for governors and presidents, conditioning police, judges and prosecutors to achieve impunity for their violent acts.

-What measures should be taken in Rosario to regain the lost peace?

-There are no magic solutions. must be created an elite corps with the best of the four federal forces permanently installed to dismantle the gangs, and the implementation of a plan to regain control of the territory on the basis of a effective deployment of the Gendarmerie in Rosario with an active presence of the armed forces at the border to prevent them from being a sieve. Finally, greater and better exploitation of criminal intelligence, the restoration of control of prisons and the recovery of the provincial police. By stopping the criminal escalation, we will send a message across the country that Argentines will not be held hostage to drug-related violence.

Continue reading:

Bloody Rosario: two people have been murdered and there have already been 52 homicides in 2023
Violence in Rosario: A young man was executed with 14 shots at a large party and there are now four homicides this weekend

Categorized in: