As the debate over drug-trafficking in Argentina heats up, a leading official from the government of President Cristina Fernandez Security has said he supports Uruguay’s decriminalizing model that recently legalized the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana.
In statements to a local radio station, Security Secretary Sergio Berni gave his “personal” opinion about the liberalization of drugs saying he “would agree if the whole chain was decriminalized, from production to consumption.”
“Decriminalizing consumption is not effective enough. This is a personal opinion, after a lot of experience and studying different models. The US has the most protected borders and everything gets inside,” the security official said.
He then quoted a controversial character to explain his position, the Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. “He (Escobar) said there were no mathematical chances that police persecution could win drug-trafficking and it is true. It is a cat vs mouse fight”.
“If they would have called my attention, I would not have needed the liberalization of marijuana to have tried it” the secretary insisted as he considered Argentina’s main addiction problems are alcohol and smoking instead.
Berni’s comments come amid the Argentine government controversy over drug trade in Argentina with Defense Minister Agustín Rossi recently saying that Argentina had turned from a 'transit-nation into a “drug-producing nation.”
But the Security Secretary strongly rejected minister Rossi’s statements and on Tuesday Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich ratified what he called the “clear” position of the Cristina Fernández administration about drugs.
“The government’s position is clear. The Republic of Argentina is not a drug-producing country,” Capitanich underlined on Tuesday morning during his daily brief to the press at the government house.
“Argentina was a transit country, and now it’s a consumption country, and more seriously still is that it’s also one of production,” Agustín Rossi stated last week prompting Kirchnerites’ reaction.
“Objectively speaking, Argentina does not produce drugs apart from the odd marijuana plant but on nothing like the scale of Paraguay or at least not detected until now. It is practically impossible to produce cocaine in Argentina because neither the altitude nor the climate permits it” argued Berni.
With the opposition urging both Rossi and Berni to appear in Congress to explain their statements, it was the Cabinet Chief who tried to put a full stop to the controversy on Tuesday when he said Argentina is not a drug-producing country”.