HomeNewsBriefChile Makes Second Largest Drug Bust of Last Decade
BRIEF

Chile Makes Second Largest Drug Bust of Last Decade

CHILE / 2 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities in Chile have seized over two tons of drugs intended for domestic consumption in what officials are calling the second largest seizure in the last ten years, highlighting the supply lines for the country's lucrative domestic market.

On August 29, Chilean authorities seized 2.4 tons of coca base and marijuana on a bus traveling from the northern municipality of Calama to capital city Santiago, reported Nacional. Authorities also discovered 533 containers of drugs on a property in the city of Pichidangui -- where the bus was stopped -- that had already been delivered.

The individuals arrested in conjunction with the seizure were attempting to pass themselves off as part of a mining company, reported Cooperativa. According to officials, the drugs were originally from Bolivia and were destined for the domestic market in Santiago.    

InSight Crime Analysis

The recent seizure -- along with a July seizure of 3 tons of marijuana and cocaine identified as the largest seizure ever of drugs bound for the domestic market -- point to shifting drug trafficking patterns in Chile, and Latin America in general. 

number of countries in the region are experiencing higher levels of domestic drug consumption and micro-trafficking, a trend fuelled by transnational drug trafficking groups looking to local markets as a source of income. Micro-trafficking is attractive because it is considered low-risk, and can be used by drug cartels to finance their international operations. 

In addition to serving as a transshipment point for cocaine bound for Europe, Chile has become a lucrative destination for both cocaine and Paraguayan marijuana. Sources in Paraguay told InSight Crime that while a kilo of marijuana sells for around $400 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and São Paulo, Brazil, the same amount fetches around $800 in Chile.

SEE ALSO: Chile News and Profiles

According to a 2011 UNODC report (pdf), Chile is responsible for 10 percent of all cocaine consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although Chile's domestic cocaine market is smaller than markets in Argentina and Brazil, Chile has a higher prevalence of cocaine use, according to the Organization of American States 2011 Report on Drug Use in the Americas (pdf). In May 2013, Bolivian security officials also listed Chile as the primary destination for drug "mules" (carriers) leaving the country, overtaking both Argentina and Brazil.

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

CARIBBEAN / 11 FEB 2022

Latin American countries scored poorly on Transparency International’s latest corruption index, with the worst joining the ranks of war-torn nations…

BOLIVIA / 22 JUL 2021

A recent clash between soldiers and smugglers has pointed to how Bolivia’s trade in contraband has reached a flashpoint.

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

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,…