News Briefing – Week of 15 August

  • Paraguay authorities reported the interception of a tour bus loaded with 296 kilos of cocaine on its way to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two men were arrested and charged with drug trafficking and other crimes. According to officials, the cocaine would have a value of $3 million on the Brazilian market.
  • Venezuelan authorities have informed that three National Guard soldiers were convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 22 years in prison for smuggling 1.4 tons of cocaine to Paris in an Air France passenger jet. Venezuela is considered a major transit country for Colombian cocaine into Europe.
  • Adeolu Ogunrombi, Regional Director of West Africa Drug Policy Network, has pointed out the evolving nature of the illicit drug problem in West Africa. Allegedly, the region has become a hub for a large-scale methamphetamine production and drugs consumption. Ogunrombi has pointed out the current situation demands drug policies reform in order to face the new challenges.
  • The Honduran government has fired 313 police officers linked to organised crime. A special commission has investigated corruption within the national police force and evaluated 946 senior police officers.
  • The Spanish Civil Guard has informed the disruption of an Albanian-Bulgarian network dedicated to heroin smuggling and other drugs from the Balkans and Turkey to Barcelona and Tarragona. According to the officials, seven members of the group were convicted.
  • It has been confirmed that Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, son of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was one of the six kidnapped individuals last week in the Pacific Resort of Puerto Vallarta. Evidence suggests that the kidnappers belonged to the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel while the victim is considered one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel.
  • Brookings Institute has released an article of the Medellin miracle. This city is the second largest in Colombia and has become a peaceful place to live after being under control by the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article points out Medellin suffered a positive transformation since the identification of core causes of crime.