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.

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 / 20 FEB 2021

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

ECUADOR / 27 OCT 2022

Fishing vessels are harvesting smaller marine species in Ecuador as the demand for fishmeal is drawing the attention of illegal…

ECUADOR / 5 APR 2021

Authorities in Ecuador have seized close to 200 baby tortoises native to the Galápagos Islands that are coveted in the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…