HomeNewsBriefReport Finds Drug Trafficking Through Chile is on the Rise
BRIEF

Report Finds Drug Trafficking Through Chile is on the Rise

CHILE / 19 DEC 2016 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

Recent official data indicates that Chile's role as a transit nation for drug trafficking has increased in recent years, a pattern that authorities say is directly correlated to the country's geographic position between drug producers and consumer markets.

The Observatory on Drug Trafficking in Chile, which operates under the auspices of the Attorney General's Office, found in its annual report released on December 14 that the trafficking of numerous types of illicit drugs is on the rise. Seizures of LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, coca paste and marijuana have all increased since 2009, and the report highlighted the growing presence of synthetic drugs in the country. 

The report argues that the observed patterns are clearly correlated with Chile's geographic location, citing a 2016 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that came to the same conclusion. Chile serves as a transshipment point for cocaine leaving the coca-producing countries of Bolivia and Peru that is destined for consumer markets in Europe and Africa. According to the UNODC, 9 percent of the cocaine trafficking incidents registered on African soil were linked back to Chile. 

With an estimated 71 percent of the cocaine from Bolivia passing through Arica, the Chilean port appears to be one of the major transshipment points in the country, along with the other coastal cities of Iquique, Antofagasta and Mejillones.

According to the report, the country is not only the recipient of foreign drugs but also of foreign criminal structures. The study points to a recent police operation against Colombian drug traffickers who may have been operating in Chile as far back as 2006.

The report also addresses the government's response to the drug trade, arguing that police operations combined with prison sentences are not enough to tackle the issue. Citing the high prevalence of repeat drug offenders, the authors of the report said that the authorities must focus more attention on prevention and rehabilitation. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Chile's geographic location, its extensive borders and its broad coastline renders it an attractive spot for moving drug shipments through the region and abroad. In addition to its borders with Peru and Bolivia, Chile shares a lengthy frontier with Argentina, where domestic drug consumption is reportedly on the rise.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Cocaine Production

While the report does not provide estimates on the proportion of drugs moving through Chile that are destined for the domestic market, growing drug consumption within traditional transshipment countries is a trend that has previously been seen in Brazil and Argentina. 

It appears this trend may also be taking place in Chile, at least in the marijuana market. UNODC statistics compiled by Vice News show that Chile holds the highest marijuana consumption rate in the region among youth aged 15 to 18, with nearly 33 percent of this population having consumed the drug at least once in the past year.

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

CHILE / 23 JUN 2022

Ketamine has become all but the most popular synthetic drug in Chile, as traffickers are increasingly marketing ketamine to buyers…

BRAZIL / 21 JAN 2021

President Joe Biden’s policy documents on Latin America tread familiar ground. But the region contains a range of other security…

CHILE / 28 OCT 2021

Chile has become a convenient exit point for illegal gold from the Amazon, with Dubai emerging as a consistent destination…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…