US allocates more money to Colombia and Mexico to fight anti-crime

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US allocates more money to Colombia and Mexico to fight anti-crime!

USAID spends about $ 180 million to that country and between 50 to 60 million dollars to Peru, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala

MIAMI, Feb. 8. – Latin America and the Caribbean received U.S. assistance for more than one billion dollars annually for programs in various sectors and Haiti is a priority in the region following the devastation caused by the earthquake of January 12, 2010 , said a U.S. official.

The administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mark Feierstein said in Miami that after the Caribbean country, Colombia, Mexico, Central America and Peru are on the list of priorities of the agency.

The agency provides assistance in education, agriculture, security, judicial, health and the strengthening of democratic institutions, among other areas.

“The priority is Haiti in terms of budget, the biggest budget we have. We have implemented a major program and Congress approved additional funds,” said Feierstein.

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web
united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

The U.S. government has sent to the Caribbean nation nearly $2 billion 200 million is USAID about a $1.3 billion dollars since 2010 to present, according to figures from the government agency.

Haiti was hit by a powerful earthquake of 7 degrees on the Richter scale that killed 300 000 people, many injured and 1.2 million homeless.

Property damage was estimated at 7.9 Billion$ and reconstruction costs about 11.5 Billion $, according to data from the Haitian government.

“We are very” happy “with the progress being made in Haiti, said Feierstein to mention that the number of people living in tents down from 1.5 million to 500 thousand, but considered that this figure is still” too high. “

“In the area of ​​agricultural production, where USAID has been working with farmers, we could double or even triple the production in the last two years,” the official said.

Showed much enthusiasm for an industrial park to open in northern Haiti soon and is expected to be the largest private employer in the Caribbean country with the generation of about 65 000 jobs.

This is a joint project of the United States, the Haitian Government and the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), said.

With regard to Colombia and Mexico said that USAID provides assistance in security issues.

In Mexico, he said, the battle being waged against drug trafficking, while highlighting the efforts of Colombia to strengthen their security gains.

“These issues now have become priorities for USAID. And the reason for this is twofold: one, because the impact may be great potential for the United States when there is instability by criminal violence. But also because to consolidate gains in the development is essential to address the issue of security, “he said.

USAID spends about $ 180 million in Colombia and from 50 to 60 million dollars in Peru, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

A very important sector for the agency is related to democracy and therefore implements programs to strengthen institutions in almost all countries of the region.

In the case of Venezuela are allocated five million dollars in technical assistance to “promote and protect democracy and human rights.”

Feierstein also stressed that Latin America, compared to other developing regions, “has evolved much more economically and politically is more advanced,” and the matter said: “As a result, programs that one usually associate more with USAID are much less common in Latin America.”

In fact, the agency plans to close its office in Panama this year “in recognition of the progress we (the country) has had on economic and political terms in the last 20 years.”

“We’re 20 years devoting $ 400 million to Panama and now will drop to zero,” he added.

Most cocaine produced in Colombia; upto 95.5%

 

Cocaine trafficking routes
Cocaine trafficking routes

Almost all cocaine is produced in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. The UNODC estimates the global cocaine trade is worth $88 billion per year. Afghanistan produces roughly 75% of the world’s opiates, with Mexico and Myanmar contributing most of the balance. The UN estimates the international drug trade to be worth $65 billion per year. Of the $35 billion in profits made from selling cocaine to Americans, only $500 million were realized by coca farmers, while dealers within the U.S. made more than $29 billion. In 2009, the US Cocaine Signature Program chemically analysed approximately 3,000 cocaine samples and found that 95.5% had originated in Colombia (down from 99% in 20023), with less than 2% coming from Peru, and the rest of indeterminate origin.

No similar profiling program exists in Europe, but seizures indicate a more heterogeneous profile. Between 2008 and 2010, about 25% of the volume of cocaine seized in Europe could be traced back to Colombia, with 6% traceable to Peru and 2% to the Pluri-national State of Bolivia. In the rest of the cases, only the transit countries could be identified. If cocaine that could be traced back to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama were added to the cocaine from Colombia, the ‘Colombia-linked’ cocaine seizures in Europe would rise to 69% of the total (2008-2010 period). Cocaine produced in Colombia is mainly destined for consumption in overseas markets.

Cocaine produced in Peru and the Pluri-national State of Bolivia, in contrast, are used more within South America, notably in countries of the Southern Cone. Even though Cocaine produced in Peru seems to be playing a growing role in Europe, the criminal Groups organizing the trafficking of cocaine from South America to Europe are still Primarily Colombian. Unlike in the United States, the Mexican cartels seem to have limited involvement in the European market.

Evolution of trafficking routes

The shifts in demand have clearly informed transnational cocaine trafficking. In the late1990s, the bulk of the world’s cocaine was still shipped to the United States. Over time, this route came to be dominated by Mexican groups. The Caribbean, which was the preferred transit zone when the Colombian cartels dominated the market, saw decreased trafficking as a growing share was moved via the Pacific through Mexico into the United States. The displaced Colombian traffickers increasingly focused on the growing European market. Traditionally, there have been several parallel streams of cocaine flowing into Europe. Commercial air couriers, sometimes directed by West African groups, have flown to Europe from various intermediate countries in the Caribbean. Colombian groups also made use of commercial air carriers, often in cooperation with groups from the

Dominican Republic, with whom they have a longstanding relationship. Larger maritime consignments were often stored on board ‘mother ships’ and transported to shore by smaller vessels from the coast. The primary maritime points of entry were Spain (due to proximity and cultural links) and the Netherlands (due to the large ports). These vessels typically transited the Caribbean.

For many years, the Netherlands was Europe’s second largest entry point of cocaine after Spain, reflecting inter alia the importance of Rotterdam as Europe’s largest port as well as cultural ties with a number of islands in the Caribbean. Seizures in the Netherlands have, however, declined sharply in recent years, from 15 tons in 2005 to 5 tons in 2009. Although this was still the third largest cocaine seizure total in Europe (after Spain and France), it was the lowest Dutch cocaine seizure total since 1995.

The decline seems to have been at least partly due to growing efforts to stop shipments before they leave their ‘origin.’ For example, in 2008 the National Crime Squad arrested several people suspected of planning to transport 2.6 tons of cocaine from a warehouse in Sao Paulo to the Netherlands, before the shipment actually took place. In addition, the ‘100% control’ strategy in the Antilles and Schiphol airports appears to have deterred the use of air couriers.

Large amounts of cocaine continue to be seized by the coastguards of the Dutch Antilles and Aruba. Out of 6.8 tons seized in 2008, 4.2 were taken by the Dutch navy from a cargo vessel sailing under a Panamanian flag from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Europe. Another factor may be diversions to Belgium, notably the port of Antwerp. Thus cocaine seizures reported by Belgium – in contrast to the overall trend in Europe – increased from 2.5 tons in 2007 to 4.6 tons 2009, giving Belgium the fourth largest cocaine seizure total in Europe in 2009.

In 2008 and in 2009, the second largest annual cocaine seizure total in Europe was reported by France, even though French cocaine seizures fell from 10 tons in 2006 to 6 tons in 2009. The bulk of French cocaine seizures was made at sea, mostly close to West Africa or close to the French overseas territories in the Caribbean. In 2009, the largest source country for cocaine shipments to France was the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (35% of the total).

drug cartels’ robust drug networks operating in Peru!

cocaine in Peru

cocaine in PeruImage via Wikipedia

The drug cartels‘ robust drug networks operating in Peru, “he said today at a hearing in U.S. Congress intelligence chief U.S. drug agency, the DEA, Rodney Benson.

“Mexican traffickers have forged a role in the drug trade in Peru, and are increasingly involved in coordinating large shipments of drugs,” said Benson, to testify before a Senate committee.

The drug trafficking organizations in Colombia are also involved in money laundering activities, he said.

Peru has surpassed Colombia in cocaine production, which the DEA attributed to the demand in emerging markets in Europe, Asia and Australia, where prices are more competitive, said Benson.

He added that eradication has been complicated by the presence of Sendero Luminoso, considered a terrorist by the United States in key areas of culture, particularly in the Upper Huallaga Valley and Valle del Río Apurimac and Ene (VRAE).

Also participated in the hearing the secretary of state for narcotics control, Willliam Brownfield, Assistant of State for Western Hemisphere, Kevin Whitaker, and assistant defense against narcotics, William Wechsler.

Responding to questions from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, Brownfield said in the audience the importance of addressing the drug problem as a “package” that includes interceptions, supply and demand, rehabilitation and treatment.

You should also consider the eradication of coca leaf, the seizure of precursor chemicals and the location of laboratories, combating money laundering and the arrest of drug traffickers.

He added that efforts under Plan Colombia have achieved results, Peru has sent messages “mixed”, Bolivia has rejected cooperation with Venezuela, and efforts are not working.

He noted that Honduras has indicated that it lacks the resources to confront the drug cartels and the need to strengthen efforts throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

Feinstein said that the problem of drug production in the Andean region is fueling the violence in other nations.

“Despite the impressive progress in security in Colombia, the country produces more than 90 percent of the cocaine seized in the U.S.,” he said.

The hearing also addressed more opportunities for U.S. cooperation with Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela, as well as the increasing use of submarines and speedboats to transport cocaine to the U.S. market.