Newsbriefing – Week of 9 September

Venezuela’s state prosecutor opened an investigation into Juan Guaido’s pictures with members of a Colombian organised crime group. Analysts say the images have the potential to cause severe harm to the Venezuelan opposition leader’s credibility, especially at the international level, and his quest to force Maduro out of power.

Frontex co-led an international operation against organised cross border crime in the Western Balkans involving Europol, Interpol and the UNODC. The operation tackled illicit trafficking, illegal migration and document fraud. It helped uncover 14 separate cases of visa fraud.

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez announced plans to amend the constitution to give the military a greater role in the fight against organised crime. This comes as a response to a wave of violence from rival Brazilian gangs operating in the country. The announcement prompted concerns over civil liberties.

Mexico’s Supreme Court has moved towards the legalisation of cannabis in the country. The recently elected president campaigned on ending Mexico’s drug war, which caused around 150.000 killings since 2006. The value of the Mexican market for legal cannabis is estimated to reach $12 million by 2029.

The UN Security Council urged increased international support to Guinea-Bissau despite recent achievements, as not to create a security vacuum. It highlighted the country remains a transit hub for drugs and appealed for continued international financial and technical support for the government.