Latin American illicit drug business

Colombia hopes for cocaine anti-narcotics win

On 12 August, Colombian President Gustavo Petro shared some of his thinking on his country’s evolving anti-drug policies on X (formerly Twitter). He argued that market geography and cocaine smuggling routes are beginning to change as a result of the rise of fentanyl consumption in the United Sates. In the past, he said, the geography of coca cultivation and the location of cocaine laboratories was primarily defined by patterns of US demand. As a result, the main drug-trafficking routes lay to the north of his country, leaving Colombia either through the Pacific or the Caribbean. The president said these were now “progressively changing” and up to a point swinging around to the south. The cartels, he claimed, “are abandoning the coastal areas and instead penetrating the eastern slopes of the Andes and into the Amazon”.

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