Newsbriefing – Week of 8 April

The increase of cocaine production in Colombia has boosted the vulnerability of the Panamanian maritime transport industry. In 2018, the authorities of Colón arrested 330 people and seized 12 tonnes of cocaine, half of it in the port terminals. On the other side of the route, the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp have registered an increase of cocaine seizure from Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018.

On Tuesday the European Council adopted new rules designed to protect cultural heritage imports from illicit trade. The regulation was also designed to protect cultural goods from becoming a source of funding for terrorist groups.

On Wednesday the former Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was arrested at the request of prosecutors investigating the Odebrecht corruption scandal. The scandal involves four other Peruvian former presidents and many Peruvian officials.

The Spanish National Police, with the support of Europol experts, managed to arrest one man who is accused of being at the head of an illicit firearms trafficking network and a member of an organised crime group.

In Brazil, the head of the National Penitentiary Department has announced that 1.5 billion Brazilian Reais will be invested to help state governments build between 10,000 and 20,000 spaces to house prisoners.  In Brazil, prison gangs – exacerbated by precarious conditions and overpopulation-  remain one of the government most pressing national security concern.