Paco: The Poor Man’s Drug in Buenos Aires

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In 2001, Argentina faced a devastating economic crisis that led to widespread unemployment and left more than 50 percent of the country living below the poverty line. Amid the devastation, a cheap and enormously addictive drug called paco — a variation of crack made from cocaine residue, baking soda, and sometimes even crushed glass and rat poison — started to take hold, especially among young people in urban barrios.

Today, 13 years after the crisis, Argentina’s economy is once again in trouble, and the widespread abuse of paco continues. VICE News traveled to Argentina and talked to paco manufactures and users, along with activists and government authorities, to find out why so little has been done to curb the problem, and whether a new wave of addicts is about to emerge.

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49 thoughts on “Paco: The Poor Man’s Drug in Buenos Aires

  1. Sadly I've met some very pro capitalist people to the extreme- quite a few- are in power- there never going to do " that much " about it- in there eyes- it kills off the weak- let them kill themselves- if there not strong enough to get off of it- then they dont contribute and there useless– then die- we dont want you anyway- sadly- it really does work that way in alot of matters like this- compassion is a luxury when faced with how much money to spend on low level non contributing individuals to society- I dont agree with that- but it is like that in ALOT of tiers regarding issues like this-

  2. Who the hell is doing these currency conversions 1500 pesos is 42GBP ($55 roughly) not the $150 this film makes out,I know they want to make things more dramatic but come on don't insult our intelligence please

  3. So, because arsehole rightwing Govts fucked the Argentinian economy for their own wealth, as happens over and over, now you have this. Wake up people, they are all the same as each other. Leftwing, Rightwing doesn't matter , all cocksuckers milking the countries money. Stand up and don't fall for rhetoric.

  4. That’s literally just cooking crack, Vice thinks it’s some new drug nobody does anywhere else and they act like it has a bunch of deadly chemicals in it like meth does. lmfao!

  5. So…its literally crack lol. I used to make that in the late 90's when we only had powder but wanted to smoke. We would put the spoon in the freezer though. Glad im far away from all that. I was just a teenager.

  6. The rat poison they are using is varfarin, it's also used as blood thinning medicine. It increases the high, but may also make you bleed through your mucous membrane and can cause internal bleeding. I know few guys who have been poisoned by speed cut by varfarin. needless to say, the dealer ''forgot'' how he ended up walking in middle of lake ice without clothes when police found him.

  7. Los gringos te ven como un país devastado la realidad es q lo somos . Las élites financieras nos llevaron a esto .y por alguna razón. Quieren q nuestra juventud sea exterminada por este veneno . Creo q un estado nacional tiene todas las herramientas para erradicar esto. Porque no lo hace?

  8. this style of reporting on "new drugs" to get more attention based on nothing more than the fact that a standard drug has a local street name is garbage. "paco seems to be almost endemic to buenos aires" – sure, because elsewhere they call it crack, or a wide variety of other colourful names! reporting on this as "paco" is clickbait at the expense of education.

  9. Tis not the job of the government to stop drug usage tis the job of the governemnt to allow citizens to carry out bussiness without the interference of the government itself and other citizens

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