HomeNewsBriefCaribbean to US Cocaine Trafficking Doubles in a Year: US
BRIEF

Caribbean to US Cocaine Trafficking Doubles in a Year: US

CARIBBEAN / 4 OCT 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Drug trafficking through the Caribbean doubled in the first half of 2013 compared to the previous year, according to the DEA, as traffickers return to the region to escape the increased law enforcement pressure on Central America routes.

According to the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA), the first half of this year saw 14 percent of cocaine destined for the United States trafficked through the Caribbean, compared to seven percent in the same period of 2012. The DEA’s Caribbean division head, Vito S. Guarino, said the trend is likely to continue over the coming years, reported the Miami Herald.

According to the DEA, Puerto Rico in particular is becoming increasingly important to traffickers because of the lack of customs inspections on the journey to the United States. This was underlined earlier this month, when the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) dismantled a major drug trafficking organization based on the island, which it labeled the “most powerful organization” in Caribbean trafficking over the last 20 years.

InSight Crime Analysis

These latest figures from the DEA reiterate a message which has been coming from US officials since last year. In April this year, State Department official William Brownfield declared that a revival of Caribbean trafficking routes was on the cards as drug traffickers look to avoid the ramped up law enforcement efforts in Central America. 

The United States has been channeling funds and assistance to anti-narcotics efforts in the region for several years and recent initiatives such as the $200 million provided through the 2010 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) have boosted long term operations such as the drug interdiction efforts of the Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT).

Some of these operations have registered notable successes. Improved facilities for tracking air traffic, such as the new radar system introduced in Puerto Rico in January, have been particularly effective in reducing drug flights into the region. However, sea routes remain a serious problem. The combination of inadequate state resources and expansive coast lines make the go-fast boats and submarines traffickers use to transport their product between Caribbean islands extremely difficult to monitor.

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.

Tags

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 3 JUL 2014

A recent series of attacks against a journalist in the Dominican Republic illustrates the tactics used to silence those investigating…

CARIBBEAN / 22 SEP 2011

Honduras’ security and defense ministers met with their Jamaican counterparts in Tegucigalpa to sign a pact strengthening security cooperation as…

CARIBBEAN / 2 FEB 2012

Fighting drug trafficking is one of the few issues where the US and Cuba actually collaborate, albeit on a small…

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…