HomeNewsBriefMinister Denies Venezuela Has a Drug Problem at UN Assembly
BRIEF

Minister Denies Venezuela Has a Drug Problem at UN Assembly

CARTEL DE LOS SOLES / 22 APR 2016 BY SAM TABORY EN

Venezuela’s foreign minister has stated in front of the United Nations that her country does not have an endemic drug trafficking problem despite overwhelming evidence the country has become a key drug transshipment point. 

Speaking in front of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) on April 21, Minister for Foreign Affairs Delcy Rodríguez made statements championing the success of the country’s national anti-drug plan, reported El Universal. 

“We, from Venezuela, in the last several years under the leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution, can say without any doubt that we are not a producer nation nor do we have an endemic drug trafficking problem,” said Rodríguez. 

Chancellor Rodríguez went on to claim Venezuela is also not a drug consumer country and that drug trade profits are not laundered in the country. She added the country has advanced an anti-drug plan that is centered on “human beings,” focused on respecting their democratic and human rights. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

While Venezuela is not a significant producer of drugs, the foreign minister’s comments about its role in trafficking draw a sharp contrast to a broad range of evidence suggesting Venezuela is a prominent drug transshipment point. 

The US State Department’s 2015 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report characterizes Venezuela as a one of the region’s preferred trafficking routes due to its “porous western border with Colombia, weak judicial system, sporadic international counternarcotics cooperation, and permissive and corrupt environment.”

Overland trafficking routes across the border with Colombia channel cocaine into Venezuela for both domestic consumption and international distribution. Venezuela is a departure point for illicit drug flights, creating an air bridge that connects drug shipments to Central America, the Caribbean and the US as well as shipments trafficked to West Africa and Europe.

In addition to criminal gangs and the Colombian armed groups that operate in border regions, corrupt members of Venezuela’s security forces are also thought to be widely active in the country’s drug trade, facilitating border crossings and the departure of illicit drug flights. This loose network of security forces has been dubbed the Cartel of the Suns (Cartel de los Soles) due to the sun insignia on the uniforms of military generals.

SEE ALSO: Cartel de los Soles News and Profiles

Venezuela saw a rash of drug trafficking allegations made against top government officials in 2015, including moves by the US Justice Department to indict several high ranking military officers. Various arrests and efforts to prosecute lower-level security forces highlight the extent to which drug trafficking in the security forces appears to be present at all levels. 

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.

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

VENEZUELA / 16 OCT 2013

The authenticity of a photograph purporting to show one of two "nacro-planes" apparently shot down by a special armed forces…

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2017

New US President Donald Trump has ordered the construction of a border wall to keep out what he has labelled…

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 JAN 2017

The newly appointed vice president of Venezuela has reportedly been investigated by the United States for involvement in the drug…

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…