An investigation by the Argentine newspaper El Tribuno reported on how the entry of contraband goods from Argentina for sale in Bolivian territory works. According to the article, it was done for a long time through the work of a “parallel customs” located in Salvador Mazza, in the Argentine province of Salta, which had the “approval” of the mayor Rubén Méndez Salazar, now accused of illicit enrichment.

The journalistic investigation details that hundreds of Argentines, men, women and children, carry the merchandise, in broad daylight, to the border with Bolivia, and proceed to enter the neighboring country through various points of the dry border that are not legal, such as private farms with access to non-authorized paths.

The report assures that the problem worsened during the pandemic, then the “parallel customs” was born, which took care of those merchandise that did not have the corresponding papers for their legal entry into the country.

Salvador Mazza is a very poor town in Argentina, however, the movement of trucks is massive: “Hundreds of trucks line up to enter the town every day, from the south. While many others do it from the north, that is, from the neighboring republic” says El Tribuno.

The trucks load cereals, oilseed, beverages, food, and even agricultural machinery, among other products, which are then distributed in smaller vehicles for their passage across the border.

“Millions of pesos pass through our noses, at all times, nothing is left in town, it is only for a few,” a saleswoman at a clothing stall tells the Argentine newspaper.

Mayor Méndez enjoyed a life of luxury, very different from that of the citizens of Salvador Mazza. During the raids on his properties, carried out by the Justice after an Internet whistleblower shared key information, dollars, euros, luxury cars, weapons, incriminating documentation and a total of 18 properties were found.

According to the information verified by El Tribuno, the total cash seized in the coffers of Méndez’s home amounted to 196,032,756 Argentine pesos, divided into 854,178 dollars, 9,070 euros and 34,342,350 pesos in local currency.

Source: El Tribuno

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