Latin America: tackling the cocaine tradeedit
Our conference on ‘Tackling the cocaine trade’ went ahead despite the travel disruption caused by the ash from the Icelandic volcano. The group of 25 people who managed to participate were joined “virtually” by eight speakers from Colombia, Peru, USA, UN (Vienna) and Warsaw.
Latin America: tackling the cocaine trade
Monday 19 – Wednesday 21 April 2010 (WP1029)
In tackling the increasingly complex cocaine trade, and associated organised crime, it was recognised that there is no single solution. A combination of actors and tools are needed; resources, capacity, experience, and leadership. Progress has been made with recent successes in reducing production in Colombia and in interdicting coca paste in transit to US and EU markets (including in West Africa). However, it may be too early to say that recent successes are a long-term trend rather than a blip.
Bilateral operational cooperation is strong in many instances; sharing of information is critical and the wider dissemination of best practice would be beneficial. Such cooperation needs to be matched at the political level between countries and internationally, across the Andean region and South America more broadly building on Colombian and Brazilian efforts. Equally increased co-operation is needed across regions through which cocaine is transited, including West Africa, and regions with high levels of users including the EU.
Reducing consumption is also a critical element of the policy response with increased efforts focused on prevention, including messages to youngsters, and treatment of users.
The film ‘Sniffing the Rainforest’, a documentary by Margarita Martinez, was shown, highlighting the shared responsibility between those in producing and consuming countries in tackling this multi-billion dollar business. Law enforcers, it was argued, should also continue to follow the money and increase deterrence efforts, and pursue extraditions.