HomeNewsNew Cocaine, Marijuana Trafficking Connections Between Colombia, Brazil

New Cocaine, Marijuana Trafficking Connections Between Colombia, Brazil


The dismantling of a gang trafficking marijuana and cocaine from Colombia to Brazil has revealed greater connections between organized crime in both countries.

Five men were arrested in Colombia’s southern department of Putumayo on charges of trafficking drugs over the Brazilian border and selling it to Brazilian groups, according to a January 3 report by Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office.

The men allegedly had their own marijuana plantations in Colombia’s department of Cauca.They then used members of Indigenous communities to transport the drugs. The shipments of cocaine and marijuana were temporarily stored near the Brazilian border before being sent across by boat.

SEE ALSO: Bolivia Family Clans Key Cocaine Suppliers to Brazil, Colombia

The report mentioned that the drugs were sold to Brazilian gangs, including the Red Command (Comando Vermelho – CV), one of Brazil’s main criminal groups, and the Family of the North (Familia do Norte – FDN).

This is far from the only recent drug trafficking connection made between the two countries. In October 2021, Brazilian police dismantled a drug gang that arranged drug flights and shipments to carry cocaine from Venezuela and Colombia into northeastern Brazil. Authorities seized three planes and 19 boats as well as total assets in excess of $1 million.

InSight Crime Analysis

While much of the drug flow into Brazil comes from Bolivia and Paraguay, the Colombia connection has become increasingly relevant.

With record amounts of cocaine being produced in Colombia, drug gangs in the country have had plenty of product to offer their Brazilian counterparts. In 2017, a report by Brazilian magazine Exame estimated that Brazilian gangs were buying as much as 35 percent of Colombia’s drug production.

While this high number is difficult to verify, Brazil has become a major exporter of cocaine to Europe. Gangs such as the Red Command or its rivals, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC), have become influential middlemen. Their territorial control allows them to connect producers in Colombia – such as the Urabeños and dissident groups formerly belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) – with mafias in Italy and eastern Europe.

SEE ALSO: PCC-'Ndrangheta, the International Criminal Alliance Flooding Europe with Cocaine

But as evidenced by the most recent operation, the Brazil-Colombia drug trafficking connection does not end with cocaine. Colombian marijuana, particularly of the “creepy” variety, has also fueled a growing domestic market in Brazil

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.


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.


Related Content

COLOMBIA / 26 JUL 2015

The last seven months have seen the pendulum of Colombia's peace process swing back and forth rather wildly. The year…

BRAZIL / 9 DEC 2013

Rio de Janeiro's Police Pacification Units (UPP) are celebrating their fifth year in 2013. They do so with generally positive…

COLOMBIA / 16 DEC 2016

Colombia's FARC have expelled five of their commanders, some of whom are powerful historical figures, a revealing indication of the…

About InSight Crime


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…


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,…


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…


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…


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…