News briefing – Week of 27 March

  • Colombian police seized more than 6 tons of cocaine in the Caribbean port of Barranquilla bound for Spain. Colombian Defence Minister Luis Carlos Villegas confirmed that the shipment, worth €200 million, was carried out by several drug cartels, including El Clan del Golfo. The seizure represents the third largest cocaine seizure in the history of Colombia.
  • About 1400 kilograms of cocaine with a value of US $85 million have been intercepted by the Peruvian police in Lima, which were bound for the port of Callao. The shipment was deceitfully hidden with a fake label of the name of soccer player Lionel Messi.
  • Edgar Veytia, Mexican attorney general of the state of Nayarit, Mexico, has been arrested in San Diego on charges of drug smuggling. He is accused of plotting with US conspirators to manufacture, import and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana between 2013 and 2017. This is a blow to the credibility of the Mexican government and President Enrique Peña Nieto who are already mired down by corruption scandals.
  • Former speaker of the lower house of the Brazilian Congress Eduardo Cunha has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in charges of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. He was one of the most powerful politicians of the country for having led the impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. He was arrested last October in connection to the largest corruption scandal in the history of Brazil centered around the petroleum multinational Petrobras.
  • Argentina’s Senate has given legislative approval to legalise medical marijuana, making Argentina the latest country after Uruguay to relax its legislation on pot. Argentines will now be able to import and buy cannabis oil and marijuana derivatives with a prescription.