HomeNewsBriefBrazil Developing Technology to Trace Cocaine 'DNA'
BRIEF

Brazil Developing Technology to Trace Cocaine 'DNA'

BOLIVIA / 8 FEB 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Brazil's Federal Police director said that his nation was developing ways to trace cocaine's origins through chemical analysis, more evidence of resolve by Latin America's superpower to confront drug trafficking in the region. 

Police Director Leandro Daiello said that Brazil was experimenting with scientific procedures that would detect the "DNA" of cocaine seized inside the country, EFE reported. Brazil has already built up a database to facilitate this process and is willing to share the information with Bolivia, believed to be the main producer of the cocaine seized in Brazil, Daiello added.

The practice is already used by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and has been employed inside Colombia, in order to track batches of cocaine back to particular coca-growing regions. It involves analyzing trace alkaloids in cocaine samples, and then tracing them back to coca leaves grown in specific areas. Coca leaves are the raw material for cocaine production. 

Daiello made the remarks during a two-day meeting between security and government representatives from Bolivia and Peru in La Paz. Representatives from Colombia and the United Nations also attended the meeting, which is expected to result in a pact outlining terms under which unmanned Brazilian aircraft may monitor Bolivian airspace for suspected drug traffickers.

InSight Crime Analysis

Brazil's cocaine tracking is likely to face some of the same challenges confronted by the DEA in the Andean region. Because coca leaves may be processed into coca base in one country, then refined into cocaine hydrochloride (HCl) in other countries, this could make the identification of the cocaine's geographical origin difficult to determine. 

Daiello's comments speak to the amount of resources -- both scientific and military -- that Brazil is willing to invest in the war against drug trafficking in the Southern Cone region. Brazil is facing a crack cocaine epidemic and has become the single biggest consumer of the drug after the United States, as well as being a transhipment point for drugs heading to Europe. Asides from donating technological assistance and anti-narcotics training to its neighbors, Brazil has become more active in anti-drug operations in other countries, particularly Bolivia

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

Related Content

BRAZIL / 30 NOV 2020

A government raid on an illegal gold mine in northern Brazil freed 39 people working in conditions of slavery and…

BRAZIL / 10 JUL 2021

Brazil has seen its fair share of new synthetic drugs, but the latest hit, known as “love honey,” may be…

BRAZIL / 17 JAN 2022

The death of a top Red Command leader near Rio de Janeiro raises questions about the success of coordinated attempts…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.