Latin American Drug Traffickers Continue adopting new Strategies

cocaine-seizureThe Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Drug trafficking is an increasingly fragmented business, constantly adapting and expanding. That is perhaps the main conclusion of the report “Situation Analysis of Drug Trafficking, A Police Perspective”, prepared by the American Police Community (Ameripol) and released this week in Bogota.

“Drug trafficking … is not nor destroyed, only transformed”, reads Ameripol conclusions.

One conclusion that, according to the report, requires the adoption is increasingly innovative strategies and an closer cooperation between police forces on the continent and internationally.

The disappearance of the big cartels, today have converted into ‘gangs’ that have made it harder to fight these criminal organizations and more difficult to investigate the inherent problems they entail..

The report, which was prepared with funding from the European Union, concentrates on the analysis of the different routes and methods employed by Latin American drug traffickers bringing drugs to the European continent, also recognized that “there is increasing markets, new routes, new criminal organizations seeking new partners. ”

The projects main objective is the construction of a system of information exchange for Ameripol, which could be key in the fight against drug trafficking in the future.

For now, including new routes used by Latin American drug traffickers, the study highlights the increasing use of cargo ships traveling from Brazil and traveled to the Balkans and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

And the report also notes the increasing importance of the Canary Islands as one of the main points of entry of drugs passing through Africa on its way to the European continent.

According to the study established routes, through West African countries currently carry approximately 30% of the cocaine consumed in Europe.

“Traffickers are more versatile than any other business, and foresaw what was going to happen and adjusted their routes in time not to lose lucrative business,” says Ameripol.

And that adaptability is also observable in Latin America itself, and explains the changes in trends and modus operandi recorded in the report.
In Colombia, for example, the reduction of drug-related air traffic would have coincided with an increase in maritime traffic, especially via the use of semi-submersibles, as well as greater numbers of flights originating in Venezuela.

And according Ameripol, reducing air traffic seen during the last decade in Mexico also contrasts with the increase in illegal flights bound for Honduras and El Salvador.

Among other trends, the report highlights a significant increase in seizures of sailboats or yachts loaded with drugs, which during 2012 and so far in 2013, saw an increasing of seizures and new routes originating fromn Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.

In its conclusions, the police forces of Latin America also identify global container trade as a major turning point in the fight against drug trafficking.

“Without a doubt, not being able to oversee more than a minimum percentage of transit containers in the world is a significant point to be considered by police and customs organizations,” reads the report.

Ultimately, however, the challenge is to keep up with capacity for innovation of drug traffickers.BBC

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica