News briefing – Week of 5 December

  • The Crime Rate Index for 2016 listed Mexico as the third most dangerous country in the world due to the violence created by drug-related organized crime, with the country ranked higher than countries currently at war.
  • Ecuadorean Police seized around 10 metric tons of cocaine at Guayaquil port, which could mean the country may become more and more important as one of Latin America’s key drug transit hubs. The cargo was destined for Honduras. Even though Ecuador is not a cocaine producer, its geographic location between Colombia and Peru – the world’s two main cocaine producers – makes it vulnerable in receiving drugs shipments from both countries.
  • Organized crime networks were targeted during an INTERPOL-led border security operation across West Africa, resulting in the arrest of human traffickers, migrant smugglers and the seizure of drugs, stolen vehicles, cash and counterfeit goods.
  • “Unnatural” to send the military to fight drug traffickers, declared Mexico’s defense minister regarding the fact that his troops are involved in the fight against drug trafficking. The criminal violence cannot be stopped “by bullets”, added the defense minister. The military was initially involved in the anti-drug war in western Mexico, where the local police could not cope with the drug-cartel violence.
  • A Bolivian woman travelling to Mozambique was arrested at Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, for carrying 9 kg of cocaine, estimated at around 176,000 euros.
  • 218 kg of cocaine were intercepted by customs officials and police in Taiwan. Reportedly, the cocaine was hidden in batteries and is the largest cocaine bust in the history of Taiwan.