That’s how easy it is to cross the Argentine borders to Paraguay, Bolivia or Brazil

That’s how easy it is to cross the Argentine borders to Paraguay, Bolivia or Brazil
That’s how easy it is to cross the Argentine borders to Paraguay, Bolivia or Brazil


It is possible to walk along a small log lying over a stream in the missionary city of Bernardo de Irigoyen and go to Brazil in 3 seconds. A little further north, in Salvador Mazza, Salta, 50 meters from a border post You can enter a neat house through the door located on an Argentine street and walk a few steps through the empty interior and exit through the patio located in Bolivian territory. Or get into a car camera, in Aguas Blancas, and let the Bermejo River do its thing with its enormous current to carry the occasional package to the other side of the border, in the south of Bolivia.

To go from Chaco, or Formosa, to Paraguay, any rudimentary boat that barely floats for a few minutes is enough. Or if you want to avoid any disruption of unconventional routes, it is possible to reach the missionary city of Puerto Rico and, for a few pesos, pass by car on a raft without leaving a mark in the records of either country.

With rowboats it is possible to cross the border without any type of controlHernan Zenteno – La Nacion/Hernan Zenteno

You can smuggle 50 tons of soybeans in bags through illegal ports in El Soberbio, or unload a truck of scrap metal on an Argentine property that coincidentally has a door on Bolivian territory. And after a perfected logistics operation, with forklifts and winches, they are deposited in small carts that, pulled by marginalized workers, push them down an embankment that leaves them on Bolivian land in no more than 2 minutes.

The above examples are a small sample of what happens on the porous Argentine borders and that LA NACION was able to verify on several trips to the limits of the country, those enclaves where other rules operate and in which the State declares itself absolutely incapable of regulating border relations. In a word, they are territories where “everything happens”; and where “everything happens” from one side of the territory to the other.

The case of Loan, the 5-year-old boy who disappeared on Thursday, June 13, brought to the fore what has been happening for years on the northern border, where crime and smuggling coexist with legality. It is only necessary to get to those places to see what happens in the open sky; or hope that public opinion is moved by a child who is speculated to have traveled through those illegal corridors after being torn from his family.

The sovereign challenge at the borders was strengthened in recent years, when the government of Alberto Fernández deactivated several systems that had been put in place in the previous four years, during Patricia Bullrich’s previous tenure as the Ministry of Security.

Clandestine passages abound throughout Argentine territoryHernan Zenteno – La Nacion/Hernan Zenteno

For example, at the beginning of 2020 when the fourth Kichnerism began its mandate, the Corrientes route of the Paraná River, one of the hottest areas on the border with Paraguay due to growing smuggling, was patrolled by four assault boats that Bullrich had bought from Israel. These boats had some special characteristics: they could travel at high speed and in shallow depths. In addition, they had long weapons, 20 and 25 millimeter cannons.

Shortly after Fernández came to power, under the management of Sabrina Frederic, The order was given to take away the weapons they possessed. Shortly after, and without weapons on board, they were removed from that corridor and sent to Rosario, by speedboat. It was a consequence of resolution 1231 of December 20, 2019, (10 days after taking office) through which another resolution from 2018 was repealed in which the General Regulations for the Use of Firearms by members were approved. of the Federal Security Forces.

“This norm significantly expands those circumstances that enable the use of lethal weapons by officials of the police and security forces,” reads the recitals of that resolution. “When the use of firearms is unavoidable, law enforcement officials must act in proportion to the severity of the damage, respecting and protecting human life, and then highlighting that intentional use of lethal weapons can only be made when it is strictly unavoidable to protect a life”Frederic argued.

By repealing it, the weapons scrapping of those boats was ordered, in addition to generating enormous questions in the agents regarding the support, or not, that they would have if they used regulatory weapons. It was the beginning of a system that had a full impact on the relations between crime and federal forces in border areas.

But pendular Argentina did its thing. On February 8 of this year, two months after returning as Minister of Security, Bullrich repealed Frederic’s rule. “We are going to protect those who protect us”, he said then at a press conference. “We have proposed an adequate framework and have worked for this special protocol so that From today onwards, the Argentine Naval Prefecture can protect its people, protect the borders, protect citizens and be in better or equal conditions than criminals and delinquents. International law protects us regarding the proportionality of weapons that the Naval Prefecture will use from today against the attacks they suffer,” added the minister.

There are more cases. In the North, a night shift of personnel who controlled some radars in the area was abandoned. In La Quiaca, a monitoring center with dozens of cameras that controlled the border was no longer used, some of them infrared and with devices to detect human heat.

The border gangs took advantage of the fallen arms of the security forces that operated in those enclaves. In plain sight, the limits of Argentina are pierced for any crime.

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