News briefing – Week of 14 November

  • Reportedly, there are 440 organized crime groups operating in Spain, out of the 3,600 identified in all of Europe, as indicated by experts from the Spanish Guardia Civil and the National Police. The majority of those criminal groups are dedicated to drug trafficking and fraud. Ten organised crime groups in Spain are labeled as “high intensity” groups, meaning members are involved in more than one criminal activity at transnational level.
  • Argentina has become the fifth-largest trafficking point of cocaine going to Europe and Asia, as revealed by the United Nations. Even though not a drug producer, Argentina has turned into a transiting country for the cocaine coming from Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Allegedly, lack of cooperation between coast guard and customs, in addition to porous borders would be factors explaining this new trend.
  • Reportedly, Colombian drug trafficker “Mi Sangre” has been extradited from Argentina to the United States after four years in jail. The US federal court in South Florida asked for his extradition for charges of cocaine trafficking to the US. He was also accused of being a leading member of the Urabeños drug trafficking organization.
  • Four police officers died after their helicopter was shot down by a gang over one favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. According to the police, the helicopter was involved in a police operation against gangs in the favela. Reportedly, police began a large scale operation in western Rio, with arrests and seizures of drugs.
  • The President of Guinea-Bissau has named a new prime minister – the fifth one in nine months – after the dissolution of the sitting government. The country has been in a political deadlock since August 2015, which has consequently limited parliament from passing budgets and blocked international aid. Characterized by political instability since its post-colonial independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau is a major hub for cocaine trafficking to Europe.