HomeNewsBy Land and Sea - Chile Dealing with Surge of Creepy Marijuana
NEWS

By Land and Sea - Chile Dealing with Surge of Creepy Marijuana

CHILE / 20 JAN 2022 BY HENRY SHULDINER EN

Authorities in Chile have reported a string of massive maritime seizures of "creepy" marijuana, as traffickers now move the sought-after drug by sea and land, and from a wider range of departure points.

Chile's maritime authorities seized almost 7 tons of creepy marijuana in 2021, culminating with the largest haul in November when 3.5 tons of creepy were found in the central Chacullata region after being delivered by a vessel sailing from Colombia, according to a government news release.

According to La Tercera, authorities tracked the vessel down the Pacific coast until it dropped off its merchandise in the Chacullata region, along Chile's border with Peru. Authorities later dismantled the Colombian trafficking ring responsible on November 26 as they were making a separate delivery of 900 kilograms of cannabis to two Chilean gangs.

Creepy marijuana has been growing in prominence across Latin America. Primarily grown in Colombia, it contains far higher levels of the psychoactive drug THC than standard marijuana.

SEE ALSO: A Green Gold Rush: Potent Marijuana Big Business For Colombia Traffickers

According to a police press release, Chile's latest seizure of creepy marijuana occurred in late December, when Navy personnel intercepted a Peruvian-flagged boat near the northern border port of Arica. Authorities discovered nearly 1.4 tons of cannabis aboard the vessel. And in August 2021, more than one ton of creepy marijuana was discovered in a shipping container at Chile's port of San Antonio.

Land seizures are also regularly being seen once again. In November, nearly 200 kilograms of creepy were caught in Chile's northern province of El Loa, which borders Bolivia. And in June, creepy marijuana and cocaine worth $1.5 million were seized in Antofagasta and were tracked back to Bolivia, having come from Colombia originally.

Creepy marijuana is grown in vast quantities in the hillsides of Colombia's Cauca region. In Cauca, it sells for anywhere between 30,000 and 120,000 Colombian pesos ($9 to $45) a kilogram, but these prices go far higher in Chile.

InSight Crime Analysis

Colombian creepy has reached the Southern Cone countries in past years, but authorities noted a rise in marijuana coming into Chile by first passing through Ecuador and Peru, according to the State Department's 2021 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR).

Traffickers turned to maritime routes during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely to circumvent Chile's strict border closures. The country did not reopen its borders fully until October 2021.

Now, Chile is confronting trafficking on two fronts as smugglers use newly established maritime routes in the Pacific and return to land routes.

SEE ALSO: Chile's Status as Marijuana Destination of Choice Confirmed by Record Bust

At sea, cargo containers are the most common smuggling technique. In November 2021, more than 160 kilograms of creepy were hidden in containers with declared banana exports from Ecuador, according to a Chilean Navy press release. But drugs are also commonly inserted on ships at intermediary ports, especially in Central America. To further help evade authorities, traffickers use fishing boats leaving Colombia or Peru headed for Chilean ports in the north and "luxury" yachts with greater freedom of movement and less regulation than cargo and fishing ships.

Land borders have become of growing concern for Chilean authorities, especially that with Bolivia, due to drug trafficking, human smuggling, and contraband. The issue has become a regular sticking point between the two countries. Chile has seen better success in collaborating with Peru and Ecuador to crackdown on transnational drug trafficking rings.

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

COLOMBIA / 14 JUN 2022

The Colombian army has killed two more important dissident FARC leaders in the north and the west of the country.

COLOMBIA / 16 AUG 2022

The ELN and Urabeños are once again battling for control of Bolívar, a northern department of Colombia.

COLOMBIA / 23 AUG 2021

The death of a top guerrilla commander in southern Colombia has unveiled an all-too-familiar situation: the leaders of criminal groups…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…