Saint Joseph. – Drug traffickers in Latin America and the Caribbean know that some of the funniest moments of humor are enjoyed by reading, listening and watching everything from rulers, politicians, military, police, prosecutors and magistrates to proclamations against them Is. Repeated promises and multimillion-dollar investments in weapons and equipment… without achieving positive results: the mafia is winning the global war on drugs.
Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, “crack” and synthetic or designer narcotics, such as fentanyl and methamphetamine, continued to flow through Latin American and Caribbean countries into the United States, the world’s main consumer market for narcotics, in 2022. And left a trail of enrichment and political, military, police, judicial and business corruption and criminal violence and thousands of deaths from overdoses.
“The fight against drug trafficking is a global failure. And of course, Latin America and the Caribbean also have enormous responsibilities in this failure,” said Venezuelan lawyer Rocío San Miguel, president of Control Ciudadano, a Caracas-based non-profit organization. State group that studies the armed forces, defense and security.
“Political will is the first element that must be highlighted, absent in the review of the anti-drug policy of the region. The same things (of the past) are done with the same results,” San Miguel told EL Universal.
“Second, the fight against drug trafficking has focused on identifying leaders, measuring seizures, determining organizations and the number of people who make them up, when the most important thing is to understand how the criminal economy operates. is,” he said.
“As long as the factors that promote drug trafficking remain and are strong, it will expand, and of these, unfortunately, the links of drug trafficking with the state are the most relevant. Production, transit and consumption. There are variables that are not being taken into account.” as a whole”, he insisted.
After stressing that “the cooperation between the states of the region does not seem to be complementary in this sense,” he described that “Colombia continues to produce coca, for example, it continues through Venezuela, Mexico and from there to reach America.
“This route is visible for all to see and cannot be stopped. It is a historic failure of states and a consolidated victory of decades in the management of drug trafficking by cartels and organized crime.”
The Mexican cartel of the Sinaloa and Jalisco Nueva Generation (CJNG) once again used a powerful financial network to buy politicians, police, military, judges and a range of businessmen – financiers, traders, transporters, tourists – into a platform of private shell companies. demonstrated strength. “Briefcase” as a screen for multimillion-dollar business of money laundering or legalization of dirty capital.
Two cartels carried out a violent incursion into Ecuador this year, in a crisis that intensified last October and subsided, but still without resolution, besieging the government of Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, and insecurity in The most serious conflict broke out. Country in the 21st century.
In a progressive course of action positioned this century, and with an emphasis for six or more years, it will rapidly deteriorate from 2020 and deepen in 2021 and 2022, blocking Ecuador for traffic to Central America, Mexico, Was consolidated as a sea and air platform. America and Europe’s cocaine is produced essentially in clandestine laboratories in Colombia, although also in Peru.
A report published in June 2022 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) stated that world cocaine production stood at 1,982 tonnes in 2020 and 1,723 tonnes in 2019. Updated data is not available.
by the Arabs
With a presence practically throughout the Americas, Sinaloa and the CJNG jumped into Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania in an expansion process that they consolidated by crossing borders in the 21st century, in a maneuver that, despite difficulties, they Succeeded in achieving multi-million. dollar profit. In local currencies in dollars and billions.
Ecuadorian historian and urban planner Fernando Carrion, an academic in the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, warned, “Generally speaking, in Latin America today the ‘laundering’ of economic resources by drug trafficking is more likely than foreign investment.” is more.” flacso). , an autonomous non-governmental entity.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed in June 2022 that foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean has recovered after a decline due to the coronavirus pandemic and is set to grow by 56% to reach $134 billion in 2021.
“The expansion of drug trafficking in Latin America can be measured from two perspectives. First, production. Colombia has increased cocaine production by 25% this year. Not crops: production, but productivity,” Carrion said. Told the newspaper.
“The case of Peru is more interesting, because it practically doubled the production of cocaine. Second, what it did is substantially increase consumption in the region. That’s what’s new. If Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru , etc. did not consume earlier, they consume today”, he narrated.
Recalling that “we have the world’s first drug consumer”, which is America, he warned that “we also have the second cocaine consumer in the world, which is Brazil, the world’s first “crack”. Is.
“To this we must add that America is especially a destination country, and in the case of Brazil there is also transit in addition to consumption as drugs go to Europe, Asia and Oceania,” he stressed.
Calculations from official sources determined that for every kilo of cocaine seized, nine managed to reach the US.
Sowing around the EU
A factor of concern that emerged from 2017 and 2018 was that Honduras and Guatemala became coca leaf plantation countries, with Central America entering the market for producers of this raw material, with Colombia being the world’s largest cocaine producer. With about 80%. supplied, Peru and Bolivia.
While they are still planted without expansion to the three South American countries, they are in the experimentation phase with one benefit for the future: they could bring leaf planting and cocaine production closer to the US, thereby reducing is the cost of the regional drug trafficking chain – planting and collecting leaves to prepare, produce, transport and distribute the drug – and its launch into new phases.
The first plantations of this illegal crop in the region were discovered in 2013 in the Panama Sector of the Darien Gap, in the jungles of eastern Panama and western Colombia.
“Transnational criminal organizations, especially Mexican ones, have expanded their cultivation scenarios,” explained Carlos Menocal, Guatemala’s interior minister and security and defense advisor from 2010 to 2012.
Menocal reminded the newspaper, “Guatemala was a country where opium (the raw material for heroin) and marijuana were grown and today in the northeast, in the department (state) of Isabel, coca leaf has been largely eradicated. ”
“The CJNG has a very strong foothold in Guatemala and their respective ties to the economic, financial and political sectors,” he highlighted.
For Colombian economist Jorge Restrepo, director of the (non-state) Resource Center for Conflict Analysis in Bogotá, “the proximate cause (of the consolidation of drug trafficking) is the demand for drugs (in the Americas) which is growing, especially Pertains to mixing consumption with cocaine and opioids (or synthetic drugs).
“It increased the demand for cocaine,” Restrepo told this newspaper.
The US began the World War on Drugs in June 1971, in a landscape largely dominated at the time by marijuana, cocaine and heroin, along with other substances that were less widespread, such as lysergic acid or LSD.
“Somewhat paradoxically, the strong trend toward legalization of soft drugs such as marijuana in the US, Canada, and other countries has prompted organized crime organizations (…) to seek to replace these sources of illicit income.. ..which they are legal now and they no longer have income”, he alleged.
“Along with other hard drugs, alone or in a mix, they seek to replace the sources of illegal income they lost,” he suggested, highlighting the phenomenon occurring near borders and within large consumers, such as the US and Canada. Gave.
“There is a mutation which means the strengthening of transnational organized crime, which is always one, two or three steps ahead of the combined capabilities of the countries in the hemisphere,” he insisted.
That is why, being one, two or three steps ahead of their supposed rivals on the side of governments, politics, armies, police forces and justice, Latin American and Caribbean drug traffickers can also choose what they read, listen to are and what they see. Hierarchies and leaders declare against them, knowing that the results will be null: they are amusing moments of humour.