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

DRUG POLICY / 22 SEP 2015

Ecuador's authorities say they are shifting their security focus to curbing neighborhood level drug peddling, raising questions about the priorities…

COLOMBIA / 14 NOV 2019

Three years ago, a massive police operation swept through the Bronx, a small neighborhood at the center of much of the…

CHILE / 4 DEC 2020

A record drug bust by Chilean armed forces showed that growing public concern about increased drug trafficking in the country…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.