America's "War on Drugs" Proving Costly to Argentine Women
The Crime Report
May 23, 2013
The population of women in Argentina’s prisons has nearly tripled in the last two decades, in part due to the United States’ “War on Drugs,” according to a recently released report.
Researchers from Cornell Law School's Avon Global Center for Women and Justice and International Human Rights Clinic, University of Chicago Law School's International Human Rights Clinic, and the Public Defender's Office in Argentina surveyed nearly 30 percent of women incarcerated in Argentina’s federal prisons, and interviewed other key stakeholders.
The study found that Argentina’s response to pressure from the U.S. to participate in the “War on Drugs” has been to focus on low-level drug crimes, in which women are disproportionately represented.
“Within the drug hierarchy, women most often play the low-level role of trafficking mules, transporting drugs in their belongings, or on or within their bodies,” researchers wrote.
Researchers found that about 56 percent of women in federal prisons were incarcerated for drug trafficking. More than 40 percent were pretrial detainees.