The project, lasted 8 years, aims at investigating the drug world in South America.
Also named PBC (cocaine base paste), paco is a drug with devastating social impacts and effects, which started to spread from the beginning of the 90s, above all in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and – subsequently - in the favelas (shanty towns) and in the poorest areas of Latin America.
Defined as the “poor man's cocaine” due to its low cost (a dose can cost less than a dollar), paco is a product of poor quality and is extremely harmful: the waste product from the cocaine preparation is mixed with various chemical substances like kerosene, glue, rat poison, and even glass powder.
Smoked like crack, paco has an extremely short-term effect and can lead to addiction in just as short a time. Who becomes quickly addicted finds themselves needing 50 or even more than 100 doses a day. Children from 12 to 17 years, living in urban ghettos, are the most addicted. There is no escape for those who smoke it, they become cannibals of life, always dazed: the addicts’ bodies become scrawny, the teeth fall down, their eyes are staring into space, until they choke.
In the first years of the millennium, following the Argentinian economic crisis, paco consumption has grown by 300% in the country, creating a young army of “walking dead” that will do anything to get their dose, with devastating human, health and social effects for whole communities.