Though not a major narcotics producing or transit country, Uruguay’s strategic location renders the country vulnerable to efforts by Colombian, Mexican, Bolivian, and Eastern European traffickers to smuggle cocaine through its territory. There is also some spillover effect from the tri-border area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, an area linked to trafficking in all manner of contraband. There is also increasing local consumption of the highly addictive and inexpensive cocaine base in Uruguay.
The U.S. strategy is to help Uruguay repel attempts at infiltration by traffickers and to resist becoming a major narcotics transit and consumption country and our support complements the Government of Uruguay’s (GOU) counternarcotics efforts. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) funds Demand Reduction and Counternarcotics Enforcement program development and training. In 2009, USG programs also provided training in maritime law enforcement leadership, port security including container inspection, and border security training to the Uruguayan Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines.