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Argentina Arms Itself with Israeli Technology to Fight Drug Trafficking

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Jan 2, 2017, 12:41 pm
Mauricio Macri has prioritized combatting drug trafficking on Argentina's borders (
Mauricio Macri has prioritized combatting drug trafficking on Argentina’s borders (FDRA-Naval).

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The Argentine government announced plans to purchase military equipment from Israel to combat the growing drug trafficking threatening its borders.

On January 2, the administration of President Mauricio Macri approved the appropriation of almost US $80 million for the purchase of four coastal patrol boats to be used on the Paraná River, one of the main marijuana entry points to Argentina.

The patrol boats will arrive in the South American country fully equipped and feature an integrated surveillance system capable of monitoring terrestrial border crossings, emphasizes the news site Infobae.

The official gazette of Monday, January 2, states that the four boats acquired have a total value of US $49 million, while the border surveillance system is estimated to cost US $35 million.

Infobae explains that the boats that will be destined to patrol the Paraná River feature artillery in both the bow and stern with a Typhoon cannon that uses projectiles of 25 mm, and a 20mm Oerlikon system, in addition to having two 50 caliber machine guns.

Drug smugglers currently use the northeastern region of the Paraná River as their main entry route into Argentina, both with micro-trafficking in barges, and for the movement of large shipments. Subsequently the drugs are delivered at drop-off points to be transported via roads to the central cities.

In northwestern Argentina, on the other hand, drug smuggling along the Bolivian border is largely facilitated by plane.

On December 15, the governments of Argentina and Israel signed an agreement for the purchase of this military equipment, which resulted in the administrative decision to approve relevant appropriations.

In November, Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich traveled to Israel to learn firsthand about the high technology utilized by that country, including radars, cameras, and command and control centers in border areas.

In 2017, the Argentine government has ambitious plans to equip its military, including: aircraft for the Air Force, patrol boats for the Navy, armored vehicles and combat rifles for the Army, following a decline in Argentina’s military capabilities during Kirchnerism due to lack of appropriations and necessary maintenance.

Rearming the Argentine military will mean an expenditure between 2018 and 2019 of more than AR $40 billion (about US $2.5 billion).

Source: Infobae

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.

Colombia: FARC Violate Demobilization Terms in New Year’s Bash

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Jan 2, 2017, 11:52 am
FARC's Antioquia-based 34th front rang in the New Year with a party, which violated the terms of the peace agreement (

Español The 34th Front of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrilla group ended the year with an epic party in Vegaez, Antioquia, one of the "pre-grouping zones" where ex-militants are waiting to be relocated to their final concentration zones, according to an article published by the newspaper El Espectador on January 1st of this year. The FARC has waged a five decade insurgency against the Colombian government, but has recently demobilized by means of a peace agreement signed with the Colombian government. Read More: Colombia Passes Amnesty Law for FARC Guerrilla Crimes Read More: Obama Could Pardon Extradited FARC Leader as Part of Peace Deal According to the report, some guerrillas also received visits from their relatives, including minors, which according to the agreement is prohibited. The Colombian government appeared to overlook the irregularities in the year end festivities, which featured one particularly poignant reunion of a child who had not seen his parents (both FARC soldiers) in more than two years. The party featured a barbecue, music, and even a beer, which is also technically prohibited, but was also overlooked in the spirit of the Holiday Season. To ring in the New Year, guerrillas turned in their rifles and camouflage fatigues for civilian clothes and makeovers, including manicures and new hairstyles. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); According to the El Espectador article, many of the members of the guerrilla group are happy to have been able to reunite with their relatives and reintegrate into the civilian population. There are those who point out that they enjoy the option of "eating, drinking, and being merry," while in the process of defining their legal situation and negotiating the surrender of their arms. The guerrillas are optimistic about what will come with the Santos-FARC agreement, and they expect its implementation to begin soon. In the next phase they will have to move towards the stipulated "zones of concentration," where they will define their legal situation through the controversial transitional justice program, and aid with the process of reparations for the victims. Source: El Espectador

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