HomeNewsBriefMarijuana Production Spreading Throughout Ecuador
BRIEF

Marijuana Production Spreading Throughout Ecuador

ECUADOR / 5 JUN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Marijuana production in Ecuador is reportedly spreading throughout the country as criminal groups seek to avoid controls in place in traditional growing areas near the Colombian border, and meet the demands of the burgeoning domestic market.

So far this year, security forces have raided marijuana plantations in central locations such as Guayaquil in the west, and Baños and Chambo in the east, reported La Hora. Previously, marijuana plantations were mostly discovered in the states of Esmeraldas and Sucumbios, on the border with Colombia.

While many plantations remain in the open-air, there has also been a move towards cultivating crops in greenhouses and inside houses in urban areas, security analyst Eduardo Jarrin told La Hora.

In 2012, Ecuador's anti-narcotics police destroyed nearly 10.7 tons of marijuana, more than double the 2011 total of 4.6 tons.

InSight Crime Analysis

As Jarrin points out, one of the main triggers for the expansion of marijuana production throughout the country was likely increased pressure from the security forces in the border region, which has encouraged criminals to not only seek out new locations but also new methods, such as indoor cultivation. There is also the question of logistics, as it is often easier for criminal groups to distribute their product from more central locations.

Likely the most important factor, however, is the rapid expansion of domestic consumption of marijuana, which by some estimates has grown 300 percent since 2007. Meeting the demand of this growing market will have led to groups already involved in the trade to analyze how best to expand production, and may well have also encouraged new operations to develop outside of traditional areas.

Another aspect of this expansion to consider is the role of Colombian groups. The guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) dominate marijuana production in Colombia and have a strong presence on both sides of the Colombia–Ecuador border, so may well play a role in marijuana production in that region. Meanwhile microtrafficking in Quito, Ecuador's biggest internal market, has been the domain of a small but influential Colombian cartel, La Cordillera.

Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether such groups have had a hand in the spread of marijuana production, or if Ecuadorean groups have stepped up. 

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

ECUADOR / 28 MAR 2013

Ecuadorean armed forces have reported two confrontations with Colombian rebels in a week, as the country marks five years…

ECUADOR / 19 APR 2017

Authorities in Ecuador believe a police captain played a central role in coordinating the Ecuadorean side of one of the…

ECUADOR / 8 AUG 2012

Ecuador's arrest of a Russian national suspected of drug trafficking points to the country's importance as a operating base for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…