Argentina Country Profile


Key Statistics

Population: 42,61 million (Military Balance)

Capital: Buenos Aires

Languages: Spanich (official), Italian, English, German, French, indigenous (Mapudungun, Quechua)

Major Ethnic Groups: white (mostly Spanish and Italisn) 97%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Amerindian, other 3%

GDP per Capita (current US dollars): 8,925 (IMF 2015 World Economic Outlook)

GDP per Capita PPP (current international dollars): 19,227 (IMF 2015 World Economic Outlook)

Security Sector Stats

Active Armed Forces: 73,100 (Military Balance 2014)

Police Force: 25,000 (Dennisen, 2008)

Small Arms: estimated number of guns held by civilians (both licit and illicit) 3,600,000; number of military firearms is 430,000; number of law enforcement firearms is at least 175,000 (Gun Policy, 2015)

Military Expenditure: 0.7% of GDP (World Bank 2013)

Executive Summary 

Argentina has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Latin America's safest nations, following its transition from military dictatorship to democracy three decades ago. However, like many of its neighbours it has been seriously affected by the growth of the international drugs trade, becoming an important hub for cocaine travelling to Europe. International criminal organisations have been steadily expanding their influence and there are indications this is driving domestic crime in some areas. 

In addition to drug trafficking groups there are domestic fan-run gangs related to the country’s professional football leagues, which run extortion operations and are also thought to be involved in supplying the local drug market, one of the largest in Latin America.

The country has a long history of corruption, particularly in the judiciary and security services, which poses a challenge to effectively confronting Argentina’s security problems. President Cristina Fernández and her predecessor (and husband), Néstor Kirchner, have made steps towards tackling this, but Argentina still remains more corrupt than many of its neighbours. Political influence on the judiciary is also a major problem. 

Assisting on-going improvement of the security services and President Fernández' stated objective to "democratise" the justice system represent important opportunities for engagement. Helping clean up the judiciary and the police force could significantly help Argentina's fight against both domestic and international crime.

Security and Justice Context

Argentina has historically been one of South America's safest nations in terms of violent crime, with one of the lowest murder rates in the region. Following the country's economic crisis (1999-2002) Argentina recorded its highest homicide rate in the 1995-2010 period, reaching a peak of 9.2 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2002. This decreased to 5.9 per 100,000 in 2004 before rising again in the following years and oscillating between 7.8 and 8.9. In 2009, it dropped significantly to 5.8. In 2010, Argentina had a homicide rate of 5.5 per 100,000 (See Figure 1). Released in 2014, the UN Global Homicide Book reports that homicide rates in Argentina “are stable and lower, (...), with homicide profiles closer to those of European countries”[1] .


Fig. 1 Argentine Homicide Rate 2000-2010

Conversely, the robbery rate has been the highest in the region since 2000. From a rate of 977 robberies per 100,000 people in 2000, it peaked along with the homicide rate in 2002, rising to 1,253 per 100,000. The semi-annual crime statistics covering the first half of 2012 in Buenos Aires province reveal that criminal reports increased 8% compared to the same period for 2011. These reported crimes are generally crimes of violence such as murder, rape, kidnapping, and theft. The Federal Ministry of Justice’s website on crime has not been updated and still displays statistics from 2009. According to the Organization of American States (OAS), Argentina has the highest rate of theft in South America. In 2008, the most recent recorded figure, it had dropped to 973 robberies per 100,000. The only country coming close to this figure that year was the Dominican Republic with 818 per 100,000, with the next highest Mexico with 616 robberies per 100,000. The average on the continent is 456 per 100,000.

Violence and extortion related to professional football is a serious problem. An organised network of fan-run gangs known as “Barras Bravas” exert powerful control over football clubs, extorting proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise and other game day profits. In addition, they are involved in domestic drug dealing and it has been claimed that the barras bravas receive a percentage of player transfer fees and players’ salaries. The gangs fight with each other reflected in frequent outbreaks of violence at football games. This is usually carried out with a degree of impunity. According to Argentine journalist and specialist in football violence, Gustavo Grabia, the barras bravas have political links.

Argentina has become an important transit country for international criminal organisations moving Andean-produced cocaine to Europe, particularly Spain. As such the presence of organised crime within the country has grown in recent years. There is evidence of Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel operating in the country and claims that Mexico’s Zetas gang has also arrived. In the northern state of Santa Fe, which has reportedly become a hotspot for illegal activities, the murder rate in the city of Rosario was around three times higher than the national average in 2012, which authorities attributed to organised crime.

The capture of major Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers in Argentina in recent years suggests the country has become an increasingly popular refuge for high-profile criminals.

Domestic production and consumption of cocaine are growing problems, indicated by the increasing number of seizures of cocaine production facilities and the widespread availability of “paco,”[2] the common name for a by-product of the process used to turn coca paste into cocaine hydrochloride (HCl). Though marijuana remains the most widely-used drug, cocaine use has risen, with Argentina now the second-biggest market for the drug in Latin America, after Brazil, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

The Ministry of Security (MOS) estimated that Argentine security forces seized approximately 3.5 metric tons of cocaine from January through June 2012, exceeding the six month total of 3.2 metric tons that the MOS estimates officials seized during the first six months of 2011. Furthermore, the UNDOC, using data provided by the Government of Argentina (GOA), estimated that Argentina seized 12.7MT in 2008, and 12.6MT in 2009. However, the State Department cautions that this drop may not be representative of a diminished flow of cocaine through the country, but rather Argentine government restrictions on US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) activities for much of 2011, following a diplomatic dispute involving the US training of Argentina’s police. In October of 2012, Argentine and Colombian law enforcement officials coordinated with the DEA to successfully capture one of Colombia’s most wanted drug traffickers.

Argentina is also a major transit country for the precursor chemicals used to make cocaine and methamphetamine[3] .

The country is a key source and transit point in the regional arms trade, particularly for arms and munitions moving to neighbours Bolivia[4] and Paraguay. In Argentina itself there are estimated to be close to 4 million civilian-held firearms, up to 2 million of which are unregistered. Of the country’s homicides in 2009, over 50 percent were committed with guns. The global average for firearms use in murders is 42 percent.

Argentina has emerged as a regional hub for the trafficking of people, both as a destination, and to a lesser extent, as a source and transit nation. In the first eight months of 2012, Argentine authorities reported rescuing more than 700 people from trafficking networks, most of who had been used for sexual exploitation. Just over half of the victims were from outside the country. According to the US State Department, most foreign victims come from Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Argentines from poorer areas of the country, typically rural or northern provinces, are forced into labour or sexual exploitation in cities or central and southern provinces in the country. Around 37 percent of victims trafficked in Argentina between 2007 and 2010 were exploited for labour, according to the UNODC, though according to Argentine officials quoted by the US State Department, in 2011 three times more labour trafficking victims were identified than sex trafficking victims.

Argentina is also identified as a major money laundering nation by the US State Department, with laundering primarily relating to drug trafficking, corruption, contraband and tax evasion. The prevalent use of offshore financial centres and the widespread use of cash in the economy leave the nation vulnerable to such activities, the State Department said. A 2013 investigative report by an Argentine newspaper claimed the Financial Information Unit (Unidad de Información Financiera), the national body charged with analysing intelligence on money laundering in Argentina, was failing to do its job properly. In 2011, Argentina narrowly escaped sanctions from the Financial Action Task Force, an international inter-governmental organisation tasked with combating money laundering, for failing to comply with international standards on dealing with the crime. A substantial portion of illicit revenue comes from black market peso exchanges or informal value transfer. These occur when unregistered importers, for example, use entities that move US currency in bulk to neighbouring countries where it is deposited and wired to US accounts or to offshore destinations. The Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) third-round mutual evaluation report of Argentina found that the country is partially compliant or non-compliant with 46 of the then 49 FAFT Recommendations. The GOA developed an action plan to address the deficiencies, and has made substantial progress carrying out this action plan by passing, and at least partially, implementing several new laws[5]


Perceptions of Insecurity

According to Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), the perception of insecurity in Argentina has been decreasing since 2008 when the level stood at 57.3 points[6] . In 2010 the country had the second highest perception of insecurity in the region at 52 points though this fell significantly to a score of 38.9 in 2012 (See Figure 2.). Despite this fall, a greater percentage of Argentines (43.7 percent) see crime and violence as the most important problem facing the country when compared to the economy (36.4 percent), according to the 2012 LAPOP survey.

Fig 2. Perception of Insecurity, 2010 and 2012

Security and Justice Institutions 

Justice Institutions

Argentina's highest judicial body is the Supreme Court (Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación), comprised of a president, vice-president and five justices. Technically, the number of judges should be nine, increased from five under former President Carlos Menem (1989-1999), but impeachment proceedings instigated by President Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) in 2003 led to a group of judges who served under Menem being removed or resigning, and not all have been replaced.. On 9 November 2006, then Senator (and current President) Cristina Fernández de Kirchner presented a legislative bill to repeal Law 24774, which dictated the increase to nine justices, in order to eventually return to the original number of five. The current Supreme Court has four justices, a Vice-President and President.

The court system is divided between federal and provincial jurisdictions. Federal courts include the Supreme Court, district and territorial courts, and federal appellate courts, and hear cases involving the government, foreign peoples or companies, disputes involving more than one province, and certain constitutional rights cases. There are separate courts at the federal level for criminal, civil, commercial, penal, labour, and administrative cases. Final appellate jurisdiction ultimately resides with the Supreme Court.

A 13-member Magistracy Council (Consejo de la Magistratura), consists of three judges, three senators, three deputies, two lawyers, a representative from the executive branch and an academic.  It is responsible for the selection of candidates for federal judges, including those of the Supreme Court. Three months is given for civil society to discuss the Supreme Court nominations and raise any complaints before the president gives his/her approval and passes them to the Senate for a vote. Two thirds of the Senate must approve the candidate for them to be appointed. 

At the provincial level there are supreme courts (Tribunal Superior de Justicia[7] ), appellate courts and lower courts divided to handle criminal, civil and labour cases separately.

A right to a trial by jury was guaranteed in the 1853 Argentina constitution, but legislation creating such a system has never been passed. The country, like other Latin American nations, is in the process of transitioning from an inquisitorial to an adversarial legal system[8] , but this transition has been inconsistent and proved very slow. According to the US State Department, this has caused excessive delays between arrest and final rulings, which have damaged public confidence. What’s more, there is no apparent timeframe in which to implement the changes. Steps have been taken to incorporate oral procedures into criminal trials in both federal and provincial courts. The country's longest-serving Supreme Court justice, Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, has stated his opposition to trial by jury, saying that such a system is "expensive and slow."

An independent body, the Public Ministry (Ministerio Público), is responsible for ensuring the administration of justice. It has two branches -- the Public Prosecuting Ministry (Ministerio Público Fiscal), headed by the attorney general (Procurador(a) General de la Nación), the nation's chief prosecutor; and the Public Defence Ministry (Ministerio Público de la Defensa), headed by the chief public defender (Defensor General de la Nación), who oversees official and public defenders.

A national Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo de la Nación) is charged with defending the human rights of Argentine citizens.

Argentina's judiciary is constitutionally independent but has a long history of corruption and political influence. It is further undermined by inefficiency. When former President Néstor Kirchner took office in 2003, the Supreme Court was considered the country's most corrupt institution, according to US NGO Freedom House. Though Kirchner and current president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, have taken steps to overhaul the system and restore its reputation, the judiciary still suffers from a lack of independence, and "the tenure of scores of incompetent and corrupt judges remains a serious problem," stated Freedom House. 

In the 2012-2013 World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, Argentina placed 133rd out of 144 countries for judicial independence.

Military justice has a particular resonance in Argentina given the context of the 1976-83 "Dirty War", in which thousands of people were killed or disappeared under a military dictatorship. Amnesty laws created in 1986 and 1987 had granted immunity to members of the military, except those in position of command, but these laws were declared unconstitutional in 2005 by the Supreme Court. Human rights policies adopted by President Néstor Kirchner and his successor have seen significant progress made towards prosecuting those responsible for serious human rights abuses during the military junta. As of August 2012, the number of people accused of crimes against humanity was 1,926, up from 922 in 2007, according to Argentina's Centre for Legal and Social Studies (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales – CELS). There were 799 people facing charges for these crimes, and 262 who had been convicted and sentenced. In 2008, the Senate voted unanimously to abolish the military justice system, creating a new disciplinary process which mandates all military personnel accused of crimes during peacetime will be tried under civilian law.

Like many Latin American nations, overcrowding is a serious problem in certain prisons in Argentina. A 2011 report by the Buenos Aires province Council of General Defenders (Consejo de Defensores Generales) found that provincial jails in Buenos Aires were suffering overcapacity of  96 per cent. Poor or inadequate sanitation, nutrition and medical treatment, and violence between inmates exacerbate the problem. According to a 2012 annual report of the Buenos Aires Provincial Memory Commission’s Committee Against Torture, deficiencies in food or health care and practices such as beatings, threats, and forced isolation remained common in prisons in the province of Buenos Aires.

The national overcapacity rate is not as severe as other countries in the region, however, with estimates putting the prison population at 1 or 2 percent above official capacity. 

The federal penitentiary system is managed by the Federal Penitentiary Service (Servicio Penitenciario Federal) which is housed under the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos). Provincial jails are handled by provincial prison administrations.

Security Institutions

Like the judiciary, the police service is divided into federal and provincial bodies. The federal police (Policía Federal) have responsibility for law and order in the federal capital and federal crimes in the provinces, and answer to the Security Ministry (Ministerio de Seguridad). A National Gendarmerie (Gendarmería Nacional), which guards the country's borders and assists police and the army where required, and the Naval Prefecture (Prefectura Naval) are also housed under the Security Ministry. 

Provincial police (Policías Provinciales), and a special Buenos Aires police force (Policía Metropolitana de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires), answer to provincial—or city in the case of Buenos Aires—security ministries or secretariats. The Buenos Aires provincial police force has around 55,000 officers.

According to Jane's Information Group, the Federal Police is, by Latin American standards, relatively efficient, well-equipped and modern. However, it notes the force is persistently dogged by corruption and allegations of serious crimes including murder. Various reports cited by the US State Department have highlighted deaths caused by police using unwarranted or excessive force in recent years. According to the NGO Coordinator Against Police and Institutional Repression (Coordinadora Contra la Represión Policial e Institucional), security forces using excessive force killed 145 people from mid-November 2009 to mid-November 2010. Various national bodies have reported the use of torture. Freedom House notes police misconduct, including torture and brutality of suspects in custody, is "endemic". 

Despite efforts by Presidents Kirchner and Fernandez de Kirchner to clean up the police force, corruption is an on-going problem. Minister Nilda Garré, who heads the Security Ministry created by President Fernandez de Kirchner in December 2010 as part of these efforts to tackle corruption, has replaced the majority of commanders in the federal force, pledging to purge the force of corrupt elements. 

Public confidence in the police force is relatively low according to the 2012 LAPOP survey; Argentina registered a score of 43.3 points[9] , placing it above neighbours Paraguay and Bolivia, but below countries like Colombia, El Salvador and Brazil (See Figure 3.). 


Fig. 3 Confidence in Police 2012

The Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armardas de la República Argentina) numbers close to 75,000 personnel and is overseen by the Ministry of Defence (Ministerio de Defensa). Former President Néstor Kirchner put into effect a new Defence Law during his administration, establishing that the military's role was solely to defend the national territory against foreign threats, leaving internal security in the hands of the police force.

Corruption is also a problem in the military. A report in 2012 found that guns and munitions from military stockpiles had gone missing and were probably sold to the black market in Argentina and Brazil. In some cases, it was found that members of the military were responsible for stealing the arms and selling them.

The Intelligence Secretariat (Secretaría de Inteligencia) is the country’s primary intelligence agency. 

Argentina's 2016 National Development Plan (Argentina 2016: Política y Estrategia Nacional de Desarrollo y Ordenamiento Territorial) does not include targets for the justice and security sectors.

State of Security and Justice Sector Reform

Justice Sector Reform and Initiatives 

Argentina has been undergoing a process of judicial reform since former President Kirchner took office in 2003 and pledged to restore various discredited institutions, among them the security forces and banks, as well as the judiciary. President Kirchner instigated impeachment proceedings against a group of Supreme Court judges seen as having been co-opted by former President Carlos Menem, leading to the removal or resignation of five judges, including the court's president. He also established new procedures for Supreme Court judge selection; whether these changes decreased the influence of the presidency over this process or increased it, has been the subject of debate.

Kirchner went on to extend these procedures -- which mandate that all vacancies must be publicly advertised, candidates provide a sworn statement of their assets, and that civil society groups may comment on, or object to a judge’s candidacy -- to the appointment of judges and prosecutors in lower federal courts. Some provinces carried out their own reforms similar to those introduced by President Kirchner. Buenos Aires province in 2012 introduced reforms making the selection process of judges more rigorous. 

In 2012, President Fernández de Kirchner announced plans to "democratise the judiciary," specifically raising proposals to make judges pay income tax (Argentine judges have not paid income tax since 1996) and cap their pensions. These ideas have not yet progressed into law and remain the subject of much debate. A bill proposing to make judges pay tax was presented to the National Congress (Congreso de la Nación) in February 2013. Other proposals to establish elected judges and put a cap on the amount of time they can serve have also been mooted by the president but gone no further.

Fernandez de Kirchner’s stated desire to "democratise the judiciary,"—something she reiterated in February 2013—has been criticised by opposition media who say she has not advanced any concrete measures since first making the announcement.

In May 2012, President Fernández de Kirchner signed a decree creating a commission to work on reforming the penal code, a process which Supreme Court Justice Zafforoni says is crucial to end confusion caused by previous "partial and absolutely irresponsible reforms." It will seek to restore proportionality to sentencing, design a system of sentencing offering alternatives to incarceration, incorporate offences arising from international human rights treaties and adjust the penal code to the constitution, among other things.

Security Sector Reform and Initiatives

The Argentine security services have undergone sweeping reform in recent years. Former President Kirchner dismissed all the senior police hierarchy apart from the head of the force in 2004, 30 percent of whom had alleged criminal links, and retired dozens of senior Armed Forces personnel.

A new raft of changes began in 2010 under President Fernández de Kirchner, when a new Buenos Aires Metropolitan Police Force was inaugurated and a new Security Ministry was created. This assumed control of the Federal Police, Airport Security Police, Naval Prefecture, National Gendarmerie and Federal Council of Interior Security from the Interior Ministry.

Newly-appointed Security Minister Nilda Garré began her tenure by retiring 21 top officers in December 2010, including the chief and vice-chief of police.

In April 2011, Garré announced a new security plan for Buenos Aires, removing more than 1,000 Federal Police who had previously been responsible for ensuring security in the city's 183 public buildings, including hospitals and educational institutions. Federal police should be concentrating on crime fighting, she said, while guarding city buildings should be the remit of the Metropolitan Force. The plan caused so much controversy that Garré was forced to postpone it for a month and the Buenos Aires government brought criminal charges against Garré and the head of the Federal Police for dereliction of duty. The Buenos Aires security plan also involved the creation of citizen oversight groups to monitor policing. Later that year, an elite Neighbourhood Prevention Police (Policía de Prevención Barrial) was created to patrol vulnerable areas of the city.

In April 2011, Garré introduced a new Federal System of Biometric Identification for Security, which incorporates modern technology to create a centralised database of fingerprint and DNA information from crime scenes and suspects. Garré also moved to improve gender equality within the police force, naming new female commissaries and sub-commissaries, the first time women had been appointed to those posts.

In July 2011, the Security Ministry and the Defence Ministry jointly launched a $90 million programme to fight drug trafficking using 3-D radars and involving at least 6,000 officers from the Gendarmerie and Naval Prefecture, and 800 from Army Special Forces. At the time of writing, one radar was operational. The Armed Forces provide logistical support for the system, which has generated controversy as any involvement by the Armed Forces in crime fighting is forbidden under Argentine law. In a separate move to combat organised crime, Garré created a 60-person special intelligence unit within the Federal Police to combat drug trafficking and organised crime in October 2011.

In March 2012, Garré undertook another purging of the federal police leadership, retiring 55 commissaries and 23 commissary inspectors. Another 20 officers, many of them holding senior posts, were removed the following September for suspected bribery or illicit enrichment. In October that year, Garre retired 20 of the senior leadership of the Gendarmerie and the Naval Prefecture and dismissed the heads of both services. This followed unprecedented protests by both forces after their pay was cut between 30 and 60 per cent.

In January 2013, another 25 Federal Police commissaries were removed or retired, many due to allegations of serious flaws in their performance.

A number of provinces have introduced legislation to combat human trafficking, making brothels or other establishments selling sex illegal. The first law criminalising brothels was approved in Córdoba province in May 2012. Tucumán followed suit in August, and San Luis and Entre Rios in December. In January 2013, a similar law was presented to the Buenos Aires province legislature.

Parliamentary/Congressional Capacity for Oversight

Argentina's Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados de la Nación) and its Senate (Honorable Senado de la Nación) are democratic, independent bodies with power of oversight over the executive according to the constitution.

Though Congress is constitutionally mandated to hold the executive accountable, the incidence of corruption in Argentine politics means this may not be carried out to the fullest degree.

Security and Justice Opportunities

Corruption is a serious concern in Argentina and has hindered past efforts to strengthen the country’s security and justice institutions. In Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the country placed 106th out of 177 countries, registering a score of 35[10] . This is a slight improvement on the year before, but still indicates challenges to fruitful engagement.

Argentina has a long history of working with the United States, in recent years receiving considerable assistance for counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism initiatives. Though it has aligned itself more closely with its fellow Latin American governments, particularly of the left, since the presidency of Néstor Kirchner, it remains open to receiving help from outside actors.

The country's growing importance in the international drug trade and regional human trafficking make efforts to strengthen the judiciary and police a key priority.

Justice Sector Opportunities

Argentina has been pushing forward very slowly with its transition to an adversarial system and significant challenges remain. Among these is pushback from senior members of the judiciary as highlighted by the negative comments from Justice Zaffaroni. Efforts could be made to ensure that Argentina embarks on this reform programme in earnest, as it would go some way to improving judicial efficiency.

Justice Zaffaroni provides another example of the hurdles there are in overcoming corruption in the judiciary; the first Supreme Court judge to be appointed in former President Kirchner's judicial clean up, Zaffaroni has himself been accused of illicit activities following the discovery of apartments he owned were being used as brothels (he has denied any knowledge). However, former President Kirchner did make significant strides, and President Fernández de Kirchner has clearly stated her commitment to change the face of the Argentine justice system, albeit with doubt from the United States cast on this assertion. As yet there is seemingly more rhetoric than real progress, meaning international pressure and assistance could prove very useful.

The rewriting of the penal code is an important step in the process of judicial reform and represents another key area to focus on.

Security Sector Opportunities

The on-going major overhaul and modernisation of the security services, combined with Argentina's growing popularity as a transit point for cocaine, make this a critical time for international engagement. Security Minister Nilda Garré has demonstrated a clear commitment to improving the force and has taken significant steps toward purging it of corrupt officers. However, torture and brutality by police and prison guards remain an extremely serious issue. International pressure on Argentina to deal with this problem is vital. Assisting with the improvement of the security services in general, particularly in terms of accountability, is advised.

The rapid growth of international drugs shipments from Argentina, and the growing influence of the criminal organisations within the country, means the international community has a key strategic interest in working with Argentina on crime fighting. Argentina has proved itself open to international engagement on this issue.

The recent strides by provincial governments to make the combating of human trafficking a focus are very positive. Assisting Argentina in new anti-trafficking legislation on a national level could make for another promising engagement opportunity.

Civil Society Actors to Engage With

Argentina has an active civil society, with many NGOs working on justice and security issues. Indeed the government has created a consortium of NGOs and educational institutions to work together on improving the justice system, known as ARGENJUS[11] . Among the members include the Forum of Studies on the Administration of Justice[12] (Foro de Estudios sobre la Administración de Justicia), United for Justice[13] (Unidos por la Justicia) and the Free Foundation[14] (Fundación Libra).

Others include the Association for Civil Rights[15] (Asociación por los Derechos Civiles) and the Democratic Civil Justice Association (Asociación Civil Justicia Democratica) and the Civil Association for Equality and Justice[16] (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia).

On security, notable NGOs include the aforementioned Coordinator Against Police and Institutional Repression[17] and Let's Save Football[18] (Salvemos al Futbol).


Freedom House, "Freedom in the World 2013 - Argentina," June 2013

Freedom House, "Freedom in the World 2012 - Argentina," June 2012

Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2013," January 2013 

Organisation of American States, "Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2012," May 2012

Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina, “Atlas Comparativo de la Defensa en América Latina y Caribe Edición 2012,” October 2012

Small Arms Survey, “Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets,” August 2012

Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, “Argentina – Gun Facts, Figures and Law,”Data retrieved from

The Americas Barometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Vanderbilt University, “The Political Culture of Democracy in the Americas, 2010: Democratic Consolidation in the Americas in Hard Times,” December 2010 

The Americas Barometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Vanderbilt University, “The Political Culture of Democracy in the Americas, 2012: Towards Equality of Opportunity,” January 2013

Transparency International, “Corruption Perceptions Index 2012,” December 2012

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Evaluation and Recommendations for the Improvement of the Health Programmes, Including for the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency and of HIV and AIDS, Implemented in the Establishments under the Responsibility of the Federal Penitentiary Service in Argentina,” September 2011

U.S. Department of State, “2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume 1: Drug and Chemical Control,” March 2012

U.S. Department of State, “2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume 1: Drug and Chemical Control,” March 2013

U.S. State Department, “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume 2: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes,” March 2012

U.S. State Department, “2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume 2: Money Laundering and Financial Crimes,” March 2013

U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011,” May 2012

World Economic Forum, “The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013,” September 2012

World Economic Forum, “The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014,” September 2013


[1] Global Study on Homicide 2013, United Nations, p.33 available at:

[2] Paco can be bought for only $1-$1.50, with the low cost driving its popularity among the poor.

[3] Argentina restricted the import and export of ephedrine, a key chemical in the manufacture of methamphetamine, in 2008.

[4] In 2012, Argentina’s Gendarmerie seized over 1 million rounds of ammunition, most of which was reportedly destined for Bolivia.

[5] US Department of State, 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, available at:

[6]LAPOP recodes respondents’ answers into a scale of 0-100 with a higher score representing a higher perception of insecurity.

[7] Each of Argentina’s 23 provinces and the Federal capital is served by a provincial supreme court.

[8] The first trial by jury took place in 2005.

[9] LAPOP recodes respondents’ answers into a scale of 0-100 with a higher score representing a higher degree of confidence.

[10] Countries are scored between 0 and 100 with 100 being least corrupt.

[11] More information on their website:

[12] More information on their website:

[13] More information on their website:

[14] More information on their website:

[15] More information on their website:

[16] More information on their website:

[17] More information on their website:

[18] More information on their website:

Igarapé Institute

The Igarapé Institute is a southern think tank devoted to evidence-based policy and action on complex social challenges including global drug policy, citizen security and international cooperation. Its goal is to stimulate humane engagement on emerging security and development issues. Across all its programs, the Institute adopts a three-prong approach:

  1. Diagnose challenges through cutting-edge research;
  2. Trigger informed debate and action across public and private spheres; and
  3. Design tailor-made solutions that are people-centered.

The International Security Sector Advisory Team

The International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) provides practical support to the international community in its efforts to improve security and justice, primarily in conflict-affected and fragile states. It does this by working with a group of member states and institutions to develop and promote good security and justice reform practices and principles, and by helping its members to build their capacity to support national and regional security and justice reform processes.