HomeNewsAnalysisMexican Cartels Exploit North Africa Turmoil
ANALYSIS

Mexican Cartels Exploit North Africa Turmoil

EL LOCO BARRERA / 1 APR 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Mexican cartels have moved into North and West Africa, a former DEA official said, taking advantage of the upheaval in the region to move drugs into Europe.

 “Mexican cartels are not sitting around waiting for other global drug traffickers to reap all the profits of the emerging European and Soviet markets,” observed former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Operations Chief Michael Braun in an interview with El Universal earlier this week.

Not only does the euro buy more than the dollar, he said, but the lack of state control over huge regions in North Africa has created an open invitation for Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) to operate there.

Analysts have been observing the expansion of Latin American DTOs in North and West Africa even before the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) released a special report calling attention to the issue in 2007.

Since 2003, Colombian traffickers have been observed in African nations ravaged by war and poverty, like Guinea-Bissau, where the DTOs benefit from weak law enforcement and government controls. Over the next several years, the discovery of rogue jet aircraft loaded with cocaine — like a Cessna 441 that landed in Sierra Leone in 2007 — also pointed to the increased importance of Africa as a transhipment point between Europe and South America.

Behind the scenes are traffickers like Colombian Daniel Barrera, alias ‘El Loco,’ who is based in Venezuela and is believed to control much of the network that coordinates boats and aircrafts from Venezuela to Europe, possibly using Africa as a transit hub.

InSight takes a look at some of the key events over the past decade that point to the increased influence of Mexican and Colombian cartels in Africa.

 

 

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

COSTA RICA / 3 MAY 2019

A new criminal group in Costa Rica, Los Moreco, is causing concern as their tactics, reach and admiration for Mexico's…

COLOMBIA / 31 AUG 2012

A former chief of Colombia’s military intelligence is awaiting a verdict in his money laundering trial, a reminder, amid the…

ARGENTINA / 18 SEP 2018

Changing dynamics in the criminal world, new government control strategies and fast technological advances are forcing organized crime groups to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…