HomeNewsBriefQuito Police Battle Rising Tide of Micro-Trafficking
BRIEF

Quito Police Battle Rising Tide of Micro-Trafficking

ECUADOR / 2 DEC 2013 BY NATALIE SOUTHWICK EN

Quito police have identified dozens of micro-trafficking hotspots within the Ecuadorean capital, as well as the groups running them, offering further evidence of the rise of domestic consumption amid the country's growing status as an international drug transshipment point.

In one central section of the capital alone -- the neighborhood of San Roque -- anti-narcotics police have noted the presence of 37 marijuana vendors, while cocaine sales in the same area are apparently controlled by two groups, reported El Comercio.

Another key neighborhood in the city's micro-trafficking trade is the upscale La Mariscal area, which has seen a rise in drug activity as it has become more popular with tourists. According to authorities, both sectors were formerly under the control of the Cordillera gang, a Colombian organization that controlled a large portion of drug trafficking and money laundering in the city. One Cordillera leader, Oscar Alcantara Gonzalez, was arrested in March in Quito, where he had been based since 2010.

Earlier this year, it was reported that micro-trafficking was on the rise in ten cities across the country, amid reports of growing activity from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel and the identification of more than 100 drug routes into the country from neighboring Colombia and Peru.

InSight Crime Analysis

In recent years, Ecuador has become an increasingly important transit point for transnational drug trafficking networks, with weak port security allowing trafficking groups to increase their reliance on shipping containers.

As large quantities of drugs continue to move through the country, Ecuador has seen the growth of domestic micro-trafficking networks -- likely spurred by transnational groups paying local operatives in product.  

See Also: Coverage of Ecuador

Despite the increase in domestic networks, Ecuador's drug trade is still dominated by foreign groups, with Colombia's Urabeños notable players alongside the likes of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Cordillera reportedly controlled the majority of micro-trafficking in Quito for several years, earning up to $20,000 a day. However, Alcantara's arrest has likely left the organization exposed to challenges from other organizations keen to claim a stake in Quito's increasingly lucrative micro-trafficking trade.

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

ECUADOR / 22 APR 2014

Authorities in Ecuador have rescued around 8,000 animals from eco-traffickers in the last decade, a number that likely represents just…

ECUADOR / 16 APR 2014

In 2013, Ecuador lost around $22 million and over 7,000 vehicles to car theft, a lucrative international trade that connects street…

COSTA RICA / 25 MAY 2015

Recent bloodshed in Costa Rica's capital has been attributed to gangs battling for control of local drug sales, furthering concerns…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…