By Christopher Woody

In late January this year, at little more than a month after he took office, Argentine President Mauricio Marci issued a presidential decree declaring a "state of emergency" in South America's second-largest country. One of the things asserted in the decree was that trafficking of illegal drugs posed a "threat to national sovereignty." In the months since, Argentina has pursued muscular law-enforcement practices in its anti-narcotics efforts.

And while the country has not seen the high-levels of drug-related violence witnessed elsewhere in the region, this new trend in the drug fight, and recent violence that appears tied to it, have sparked worry at home. Macri's campaign framed drug trafficking as a central challenge, and his drug-policy adviser called for a "comprehensive re-engineering" of national security. As part of the decree issued in January, Macri also authorized the shoot-down of suspected drug planes, a policy recently reinstated by countries in the region that has worried human-rights advocates.

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