HomeNewsBriefEcuador Tightens Controls on Diplomatic Mail After Cocaine Scandal
BRIEF

Ecuador Tightens Controls on Diplomatic Mail After Cocaine Scandal

ECUADOR / 14 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The Ecuadorean government is implementing reforms to the diplomatic bag service in response to the discovery last year of 40 kilos of cocaine sent to Italy in diplomatic cargo.  

The Diplomatic Bag Service bylaw introduces 11 new security measures, including CCTV monitoring and digital alert systems, to prevent tampering while shipments are in storage or en route.

Under the terms of the new law, anti-narcotics police will control and monitor diplomatic shipments.

The law comes a year after a diplomatic bag of art materials for an Ecuadorean cultural event in Italy was found to contain jars holding 40 kilos of liquid cocaine.

Five Ecuadorean citizens were arrested in connection with the case. One of the accused, Jorge Luis Redroban Quevedo, allegedly has links to Central Bank President Pedro Delgado (who is also President Rafael Correa's cousin), Correa's sister, and to the Ecuadorean Consulate in Milan.

Three of the five are currently serving four to eight-year sentences, while the cases of the other two are being processed, according to Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to Ecuador’s prosecutor general, the Italian shipment is an isolated case, and there is no indication that drug trafficking organizations had used diplomatic bags for moving drugs previously.

Even if this is true, other countries such as Venezuela have seen allegations of systematic abuse of the diplomatic bag service. This could also be a risk in Ecuador, which is an increasingly popular staging point for the international drug trade.

However, it could also be argued that the new law is primarily a response to the raft of unwelcome publicity Ecuador saw as a result of the original case, and leaves the transnational drug trafficking groups moving large shipments through the country to expand unchecked.

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.

Tags

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

COLOMBIA / 28 SEP 2021

The recent dismantling of a migrant smuggling ring in Colombia has revealed the routes, corruption networks and modus operandi used…

ECUADOR / 7 JAN 2015

A shootout between police allegedly smuggling drugs and their colleagues has left two officers dead and ratcheted up concerns over…

ECUADOR / 16 APR 2012

Colombian drug gang the Rastrojos may now control almost all the drug trafficking routes in Ecuador, shipping their product to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…