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A CENTURY AGO, Argentina was one of the richest countries on earth. Now, after decades of mismanagement, corruption, and repeated financial meltdowns, the over-indebted country finds itself gripped with rising levels of poverty (50 percent of Argentines lived under the poverty line in 2003), unemployment, and crime.

In the case of Argentina, one cannot talk about organized crime as a phenomenon existing on the margins of society because of the active involvement of political, law-enforcement, and military officials in criminal activities. Thus, aspects of white-collar and corporate crime and intertwined with other criminal categories. In 2001, for instance, former President Carlos Saúl Menem spent six months under house arrest for his alleged involvement in illegal arms sales to Ecuador and Croatia, which was under a United ...

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