Kalantry on Women in Argentine Prisons

“The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble”
Sital Kalantry
IntLawGrrls
March 11, 2013

An article appeared in the New York Times Magazine yesterday about a physics professor who claims he was duped into unknowingly transporting cocaine from Argentina by a bikini model he met over the Internet.  But at his trial, prosecutors introduced text messages from the professor to the bikini model acknowledging that he knew that he was carrying drugs.   Now he is serving a 4 ½ year jail sentence in Argentina.

The real story about the transport of drugs and incarceration in Argentina is about the numerous women who transport small amounts of drugs across the Argentine border for little money (“drug mules”), face long criminal sentences, and are filling up Argentinian jails.

The International Human Rights Clinics at the University of Chicago Law School and Cornell Law School and the Avon Global Center for Women & Justice have been working with the Defensor del Pueblo de la Nacion  in Argentina on a report that will be released this May about the causes, conditions, and consequences of women’s imprisonment.  Our survey, randomly administered to over 30% of Argentina’s women prisoners in the federal prison system, showed that over 50% of women were in jail for drug-related crimes.