HomeNewsBriefPeru Seizures Point to Popularity of Synthetic Drugs in Region
BRIEF

Peru Seizures Point to Popularity of Synthetic Drugs in Region

PERU / 30 JAN 2013 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

The seizure of thousands of capsules of synthetic drugs in Lima illustrates the growing popularity of synthetic party drugs, such as 2CB, in Latin America, some of them easily obtained over the Internet.

Peru's National Police seized an estimated 5,000 capsules of synthetic drugs and detained four dealers in Lima, reported Peru 21. The drugs included Ecstasy tablets, MDMA, LSD, and 2CB -- a stimulant and hallucinogen which has been popular in Europe for some years.

According to experts consulted by Peru 21, these drugs can be obtained from the Netherlands and Canada via the Internet. A single dose of 2CB, which is often sold in nightclubs, costs around $50 to $60 in Lima. A police official told press that these synthetic drugs are difficult to track because they can be easily prepared in people's homes.

InSight Crime Analysis

Synthetics drugs such as 2CB have recently been gaining popularity among young people in Latin America. According to the United Nations 2012 World Drug Report, while global production of cocaine and opium has fallen significantly in the past five years, synthetic drug production has risen, including both Ecstasy-like drugs like 2CB and "legal highs" specifically manufactured in order to avoid international controls on certain chemicals.

The Netherlands and Canada -- the alleged sources of the drugs seized in Lima -- have emerged as market leaders in this trade. The Netherlands is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of synthetic drugs, including amphetamines and Ecstasy-group substances. According to the United Nations' 2011 Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) Assessment, as manufacture of Ecstasy has declined in Europe in recent years, production has increased in Canada, where Asian, Eastern European, and now Mexican criminal groups are involved in the trade.

In recent years, opportunities for online drug distribution have also increased. Many black market sites, such as the infamous Silk Road, are accessible via Tor, an network that makes it difficult for authorities to trace sites and identify users. Drugs are shipped either through private shipping companies or registered mail, but the relatively small quantities of drugs sent, often in vacuum-sealed bags, can make detection difficult. Forbes estimates that Silk Road brings in $22 million dollars in revenue a 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

AUC / 30 AUG 2021

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the pioneer in industrial-scale cocaine trafficking.

COCAINE / 12 JAN 2023

Peru's largest seaport handles millions of tons of cargo annually, a fact that cocaine traffickers are using to their advantage.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

Peru – rich in biodiversity – is a hotspot for the wildlife trade. Reptiles, fish and birds are all trafficked…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…