News briefing – Week of 19 June

  • According to the World Drug Report 2017 from the UNODC, the global illicit drug market is on the rise with a significant increase in the production and use of heroin, opium and cocaine as well as new psychoactive substances (NPS) and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). The report also states that 250 million people used drugs in 2015, of which nearly 30% presented a drug use disorder.
  • Another series of homicides took place in the city of Veracruz, in the south-west of Mexico. Eleven people were killed in an ambush presumably carried out by criminal gangs. Organised crime is ubiquitous in the country with more than 2000 murders registered in May alone.
  • Argentina’s Federal Police seized two metric tonnes of cocaine in the Bahía Blanca port city of Buenos Aires. This represents the second largest cocaine seizure in the history of country. The drugs, worth US $60 million, were supposedly linked to a Mexican cartel, highlighting the role of Argentina as a transit point for transnational drug trafficking in the region.
  • Colombian authorities seized more than a metric tonne of cocaine in Carepa, in the north-west of the country, hidden in a cargo ship container. The haul was bound for Belgium and was worth US $67 million. Seizures along the Caribbean coast of Colombia have increased over the last years: in April, six metric tonnes were seized in the Port of Barranquilla.
  • 963 kg of cocaine, worth about US $23 million, were seized in Cape Town, South Africa. This is one of the largest cocaine seizures in the country. The cocaine was believed to be bound for Europe. A Dutch national was arrested.