HomeNewsBriefAfrica's Drug Gangs Pushing out LatAm Groups
BRIEF

Africa's Drug Gangs Pushing out LatAm Groups

21 JUN 2011 BY PATRICK CORCORAN EN

UN officials expressed concern about Africa’s conversion into a major transit point for the transcontinental drug trade, and said homegrown groups may be taking over the trade from Latin American traffickers.

As Reuters reports, South American cocaine traffickers have long used Africa as a staging area for merchandise being sent to Europe. An estimated $800 million dollars in narcotics passes through the region each year.

Latin American cells have typically been in charge of the African drug trade. However, Alexandre Schmidt, the local chief of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, said that just as the Mexicans have come to replace the Colombians as the dominant force in the Western Hemisphere’s drug trade, the local African groups are playing an increasingly significant role in their region's trafficking business.

In addition to its geographical advantages, war-wracked West Africa is an appealing site for organized crime because of the weakness of local governments, ready access to weapons, and the large numbers of youths looking for work.

According to Schmidt, the drop in the seizures of cocaine in the region in recent years is not a reflection of a reduced flow of the drug, but rather of increasingly intricate trafficking routes, which governments have so far been unable to keep pace with.

See InSight's timeline on drug smuggling in North Africa.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…