HomeNewsBriefChile Makes Historic Drug Seizure as Domestic Market Grows
BRIEF

Chile Makes Historic Drug Seizure as Domestic Market Grows

BOLIVIA / 9 JUL 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Authorities in Chile have seized 3 tons of marijuana and cocaine trafficked from Bolivia in what the government is calling the largest ever seizure of narcotics bound for the domestic market, pointing to increased drug consumption in the country.

On July 5, Chile’s antinarcotics police intercepted a truck and three vans carrying the drugs in the northern region of Coquimbo, reported El Dia. The shipment, which came from Bolivia, was composed of 1.7 tons of cocaine, along with smaller quantities of cocaine paste and marijuana. Eight people were arrested during the operation.

press release from the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security stated that the shipment was the largest seizure on record destined for the domestic market, and the largest of any kind since 2000. The traffickers had attempted to disguise their vehicles as a mining convoy and were dressed in mining gear, with reflective vests and hardhats.

Chilean authorities also raided three properties in capital city Santiago as part of the operation, seizing weapons, ammunition and telecommunications equipment belonging to the alleged traffickers.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Chile has not seen powerful drug trafficking cartels and violence on the same scale as some other countries in Latin America, the nation is used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Europe. There have been indications in recent years that drug trafficking into Chile is on the rise.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Chile

Bolivia is an increasingly important route for drugs moving to the southern part of the continent, including Brazil and Argentina, and the Bolivian antinarcotics force reported seizing 13.3 tons of cocaine products in the first six months of this year. In 2011, Chilean authorities identified 140 overland routes used for drug trafficking, of which 106 were along the border with Bolivia. More recently, in May 2013, Bolivian authorities identified Chile as the main destination for drug trafficking “mules” from Bolivia. 

The recent seizure suggests Chile’s domestic drug market could be growing. Although Chile’s market for cocaine is smaller than domestic markets in Brazil and Argentina, the prevalence of cocaine use among Chileans is the highest of the three nations, according to the Organization of American States 2011 Report on Drug Use in the Americas (pdf). United Nations figures (pdf) indicate that Chile accounts for 10 percent of all cocaine consumption in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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

BOLIVIA / 7 JUL 2011

A report by the Center for International Media Assistance and the National Endowment for Democracy on the state of independent…

BOLIVIA / 11 JAN 2016

Bolivia's Attorney General's Office dismissed or sanctioned more than 100 of its employees in 2015 for various transgressions, pointing to…

BOLIVIA / 21 MAY 2013

Drug traffickers operating along the Bolivia-Brazil cocaine route are buying up Peruvian product because it costs significantly less, according to…

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…