Newsbriefing – Week of 4 February

In 2018, the port of Rotterdam reached a peak in cocaine seizure with 19 tonnes. Of these, 4 tonnes were secured in December only. Most of the loads seized come from South America.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council discussed the pressing issue of transnational maritime crime. At this occasion the UNODC director highlighted the threat it posed to international peace and security. In addition, he called all countries to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.

In Colombia, the city of Medellín is facing an increase in homicides after years of declining violence. The number of incidents was raised by 7.6% between 2017 and 2018, with most of the homicides taking place in Comuna 13, a district where criminal gang battle to control drug trafficking.

As the anti-corruption crusade goes on in Peru, the country’s current president is being investigated for dealing with the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Earlier this year, the president showed his commitment to transparency by signing several law constitutional reforms to tackle corruption.

In Brazil, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, jailed since April 2018, was convicted again for receiving systematic bribes from constructions companies.  As he was sentenced to 13 more years of prison, his supporters took the street accusing the country’s elites of political persecution of keeping him from office.

In Paraguay, the authorities recorded the biggest seizure of cocaine in the history of the country: more than 2 tonnes. The drugs were found in the north of the country, in a ranch where a man and a woman were also arrested.

On Friday, a military-style security operation conducted in the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro killed at least 13 suspected drug traffickers. Since the election of Jair Bolsonaro, police killing are at record high in the country.