Drug trade endangering future of Argentina, warns archbishop


In the wake of a growing murder rate in the cities of Argentina, Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata warned this week of an increased link between murders and drug use, saying in order to combat this drug trafficking must be addressed.

Generally, young people involved in drugs tend to fall into criminal activity, the archbishop said.  Drugs cause such alienation in them that they “are capable of having scorn for life to such a degree that they will kill for nothing.”

Archbishop Aguer lamented the lack of a clear government policy for addressing the distribution and consumption of drugs, but he praised the work of social and religious institutions that reach out “to the victims of this plague.”  He noted, however, that recovery from drug addiction is costly and in comparison with the number of people affected, not very common.

The archbishop also lamented that the issue is neglected.  “We all know that it is a very serious problem, and nevertheless, it does not seem that the measures adopted to suppress the trafficking are effective.”  He recalled the words of Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, to the UN General Assembly: “The international commercial and financial drug ring must be combated,” he said.  “An effective stop must be made to the expansion of the market of narcotic substances.”
Archbishop Aguer went on to say the problem of drug trafficking involves individuals in high positions of power.  “We must realize the problem is very serious.  We must create awareness and not be afraid to speak,” he said, encouraging Argentineans to force authorities to address the problem with effective policies.

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