Country Reports - Afghanistan through Costa Rica

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 7, 2012


A. Introduction

Afghanistan produces roughly 90 percent of the world’s illicit opium. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that Afghanistan cultivated 131,000 hectares of opium poppy in 2011, with a total yield of 5,800 metric tons (MT) of raw opium. This was a 7 percent increase in cultivation and a 61 percent increase in opium production from 2010, following a poppy blight the previous year which cut production roughly in half. Afghanistan remains involved in the full narcotics production cycle, from cultivation to finished heroin. Afghanistan is also believed to be among the world’s largest producers of hashish.

According to the United States Government’s (USG) 2011 assessment of the drug problem in Afghanistan, poppy cultivation dropped by 3 percent, from 119,000 ha. in 2010 to 115,000 ha. in 2011, while potential opium production rose by 38 percent, from 3,200 MT in 2010 to 4,400 MT in 2011. The USG and UNODC estimates differ due to dissimilar methodologies for estimating poppy cultivation and opium yields.

The southern and southwestern provinces of Afghanistan account for 92 percent of that country’s illicit poppy cultivation. Taliban insurgents are also active in this area. Narcotics traffickers provide revenue and material support to insurgents in exchange for protection to the growers and traffickers. Insecurity continues to be a problem, but improvements in Afghanistan’s infrastructure have helped to create some viable economic alternatives to poppy cultivation. While Helmand continues to be the largest poppy cultivating province, according to both UNODC and USG estimates, cultivation there was down between 3 and 19 percent this year, respectively. These reductions were the resultof improved security, a significant alternative livelihood program supported by the international community, and strong political will on the part of the governor.

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) generally relies on assistance from the international community to implement its counternarcotics strategy. Greater political will, increased institutional capacity, enhanced security, and more robust efforts at all levels of government are required to decrease cultivation, combat trafficking, and respond to a burgeoning domestic addiction problem. Afghanistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) is the lead agency responsible for coordination of narcotics control efforts. The MCN has direct responsibility for implementing Afghanistan’s National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS), which aims to disrupt the drug trade; develop licit agricultural livelihoods; reduce the demand for drugs; and build the capacity of GIRoA’s counternarcotics institutions. Despite the strong leadership of Minister of Counter Narcotics Osmani, the MCN has few resources, no enforcement mechanism, and limited capacity. MCN depends heavily on the support of other implementing government agencies as well as the international community to execute and fund counternarcotics policy initiatives.

The Good Performers Initiative (GPI) is a U.S.-funded, MCN-implemented program launched in 2007 to reward provinces for successful counternarcotics performance. Provinces that are found to be poppy free or where poppy cultivation has declined by at least 10 percent, receive funding for development projects proposed by Provincial Development Councils and Governors’ offices. In 2011, 20 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces qualified for a share of a total of $19.2 million in GPI funds. MCN also runs the U.S.-funded Governor Led Eradication (GLE) program, which financially supports governors’ eradication efforts in target areas verified by UNODC.

GIRoA’s Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) is a self-contained unit that consists of Afghan prosecutors, criminal investigators, and judges. CJTF officials receive salary supplements from the United Kingdom. Under Afghanistan’s 2010 Counternarcotics Law, the CJTF prosecutes all drug cases that reach certain threshold amounts before the Counter Narcotics Tribunal (CNT). From March 2010 to March 2011, the CJTF Primary Court handled 472 cases involving 649 suspects and more than 186.5 metric tons of illicit substances. The CJTF Primary and Appeals Court reported conviction rates of over 95 percent. Some 39 Afghan officials were convicted of involvement in narcotics trafficking by the task force in primary or secondary courts during this time period.

The Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA), established within Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) in 2003 as a specialized element of the Afghan National Police (ANP), is responsible for investigating narcotics cases and maintains offices throughout the country. The total staffing of CNPA in 2011 is approximately 2,500; however, the actual number of officers working regularly is smaller. Following basic ANP training, CNPA officers receive five weeks of specialized counternarcotics training and are deployed to the provinces, where they report to provincial and district police chiefs. Unfortunately, CNPA officers are frequently assigned duties that are unrelated to counternarcotics. The disproportionately small number of CNPA officers assigned to the leading opium producing provinces of Helmand and Kandahar is a serious deficiency.

Nevertheless, the CNPA, with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) training, mentoring, and support, continued to make progress in developing three specially vetted elite units that investigate high-value targets: the National Interdiction Unit (NIU), the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU), and the Technical Investigative Unit (TIU). The vetted units come from a wide variety of Afghan law enforcement agencies and have to pass rigorous examinations, including background checks and polygraph screenings (SIU and TIU only on polygraphs). These units are small, but provide significantly greater targeted capabilities than the larger CNPA force.

Afghan authorities made some progress in developing Afghan capacity to interdict large quantities of narcotics, and arrest and prosecute narcotics traffickers. However, counternarcotics efforts are continuously hampered by corruption within law enforcement and justice institutions, the absence of effective governance in many provinces and districts of the country, and poor security.

Afghanistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the UN Convention against Corruption. The Afghan government has no formal extradition or mutual legal assistance arrangements with the United States.

2. Supply Reduction

According to UNODC data, there was a 7 percent increase in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan in 2011, from 123,000 to 131,000 hectares, and a 61 percent increase in total opium yield, from 3,600 to 5,800 MT. A USG survey of poppy cultivation and potential opium production estimates cultivation at 115,000 hectares and production at 4,400 MT. Production increases follow a 2010 poppy blight that cut actual opium yield for a given field by one third to one half. Prices remained high as the 2011 planting season began, with the estimated farm-gate value of opium production at $1.4 billion.

Poppy eradication increased by 65 percent in 2011, going from 2,316 to 3,810 hectares, according to UNODC. This was due in part to a robust provincial outreach campaign by MCN Minister Osmani to governors. While eradication only eliminated about 3 percent of total cultivation in 2011, it serves to create a risk factor which can impact farmers’ planting decisions. The impact of these eradication efforts should be evident in next year’s cultivation levels.

There is also evidence of growing cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan. For Afghan farmers, cannabis is believed to produce a higher net income per hectare than opium due to lower labor costs. UNODC cannabis survey methods are still in development and estimates of total amounts of cultivation have a high range of uncertainty. According to the 2011 UNODC report, estimated production ranged from 1,200 to 3,700 MT of hashish, making Afghanistan the largest global producer of hashish. The estimated farm-gate value of Afghan hashish production varies widely from $85 to $263 million.

Primary narcotics trafficking routes out of Afghanistan are through Iran to Turkey and Western Europe; through Pakistan to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, China, and Iran; and through Central Asia to the Russian Federation. Traffickers do everything they can to increase their own profits while making it easier for farmers to supply them with raw opium gum. In some cases traffickers provide loans to farmers then purchase the raw opium directly from them, maximizing trafficker profits while eliminating the need for the farmer to transport the opium to market. In many provinces, local warlords control opium markets as well as the illicit arms trade and other criminal activities. Traders operate in the markets with little fear of legal consequences and pay remittances directly to corrupt officials and insurgent groups. Drug laboratories within Afghanistan process a large portion of the country's raw opium into heroin and morphine base. Markets and processing facilities are often clustered in areas that border Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. The USG and the international community are focused on developing GIRoA’s capacity to detect, interdict, classify, and confiscate narcotic drugs and illicit precursor chemicals at border crossing points and unpatrolled frontiers between borders.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

GIRoA acknowledges a growing domestic drug abuse problem, primarily related to opiates, but also increasingly related to cannabis/hashish. The most recent nationwide survey on drug use in 2009, estimated that Afghanistan has approximately 940,000 drug users including 230,000 users of opium and 140,000 users of heroin.

The 50 residential drug treatment centers throughout Afghanistan are inadequate to care for the estimated 780,000 men, women, and children who seek treatment. The residential capacity for the centers range from ten to sixty persons, with some centers providing home-based care for additional addicts. GIRoA has relied, almost exclusively, on international community funding to build, equip, and operate drug treatment centers.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, GIRoA does not encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, many Afghan government officials are believed to directly profit from the drug trade. Corrupt practices range from facilitating drug activities to benefiting from drug trade revenue streams.

The CJTF actively investigates and prosecutes public officials who facilitate drug trafficking. The CJTF has successfully prosecuted government officials, including members of the CNPA. Despite the CJTF’s efforts, impunity still remains a significant concern in Afghanistan with instances of charges being dropped for unclear reasons.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

In March 2010, the U.S. Government adopted a Counternarcotics Strategy that supports the Afghan NDCS. The strategy’s 10 objectives aim to help secure the Afghan populace by working with the GIRoA and coalition partners to restore Afghanistan’s agriculture economy, build Afghan institutional capacity, and disrupt the nexus between drugs, insurgents, and corruption.

Renewed U.S. efforts to support Afghan counternarcotics operations have enabled Afghan law enforcement and military forces, along with their allied partners, to make significant drug seizures. In the last 12 months Afghan and coalition forces seized 13 metric tons of heroin, 18.5 metric tons of morphine, 96 metric tons of opium, 4.4 metric tons of cannabis. Overall drug seizures have increased since 2010, but heroin seizures are down. This is primarily because heroin seizure rates in 2010 were unusually high due to one very large seizure that constituted a significant percent of that year’s total.

The DEA has 97 personnel in Afghanistan and continues to train and mentor specialized CNPA units. The Department of Defense/Central Command (DOD/CENTCOM) provides training to the regular CNPA and its vetted units; constructs CNPA facilities; and trains and equips the Air Interdiction Unit (AIU), an Afghan MOI unit that provides helicopter support for drug interdiction missions. The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (State/INL) provides operations and maintenance support for the vetted units’ facilities and the CNPA Headquarters, pays salary supplements to vetted unit members, and provides additional mentors to support institutional capacity building within the CNPA. INL’s Air Wing provides support for DEA and the vetted units during their operations.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has assigned five experienced federal drug prosecutors, supported by three criminal investigative advisors, to mentor the CJTF. The goal of the DOJ mentoring effort is to develop the CJTF’s capacity to investigate and prosecute mid- to high-level drug traffickers. The INL-funded Corrections System Support Program (CSSP) works closely with the INL-funded Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP), which has over 150 U.S. and Afghan justice advisors, to provide training, mentoring, and capacity-building for Afghanistan’s criminal justice system.

The U.S. Embassy Agriculture Team (USAID, USDA, and National Guard Agribusiness Development Teams) implement comprehensive programming to support stabilization and development throughout Afghanistan. The combined budget for FY2011 is in excess of $1 billion. U.S. agricultural programs are closely coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) and other related Afghan ministries. The programs provide training, increase farmers’ access to markets, support rural enterprises, and improve infrastructure in key poppy-growing provinces. Another USAID program provides high quality vegetable seeds to farmers in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces, helping farmers in these poppy-intensive areas to grow licit crops. Farmers in Helmand Province cultivated three percent less poppy in 2011 despite very high opium prices.

The U.S. funds a multi-faceted counternarcotics public information program, in coordination with MCN, which focuses on discouraging poppy cultivation and addressing drug demand reduction. A key implementing partner is the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program (CPDAP), an international organization specializing in drug demand reduction that works with MCN to conduct counternarcotics outreach events and media programming.

The U.S. is the largest donor to drug addiction treatment services in Afghanistan. State/INL funds 29 of Afghanistan’s 50 treatment centers. Of the 29 centers, fourteen treat adult males, six treat adult females, six treat children, two treat adolescent males, and one treats adolescent females. All but one of the centers are managed by Colombo Plan with operating assistance from local NGOs, the other center is managed by UNODC.

D. Conclusion

The overall counternarcotics effort this year was positive. GIRoA showed signs of improvement in building institutional capacity and political will. CNPA has increased its ability to conduct their own independent law enforcement investigations and operations against drug traffickers. Under the leadership of MCN and some key provincial governors, eradication efforts increased significantly. There was demonstrable success in alternative livelihood programs, with reduced poppy cultivation in Helmand province, which cultivates approximately 50 percent of Afghanistan’s poppy. Increased security and an impressive display of political will on the part of Helmand’s provincial governor also played a key role in these positive developments.

These gains remain fragile, however, as cultivation and trafficking levels are closely connected to broader economic opportunity, security and the ability of GIRoA to project the rule of law. As U.S. and NATO troop levels decrease, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will take on greater responsibility for security in key drug cultivation areas. Future counternarcotics efforts will be linked to ANSF success in carrying out these new responsibilities. Continued robust international assistance to the GIRoA will be required to maintain and build the institutional capacity of key ministries to address illicit narcotics cultivation and trafficking. The GIRoA’s willingness to pursue politically-connected major traffickers and cultivators is also crucial to Afghanistan’s future narcotics control efforts.


A. Introduction

Albania’s counternarcotics efforts continue to be mixed in 2011. Drug seizures and prosecutions remained consistent at last year’s rate, but the effort continues to be hampered by lack of resources, corruption and political will. Albania is primarily a transit country to Western Europe. Organized crime groups take advantage of Albania's strategic location, porous borders and uneven law enforcement. With the exception of cannabis, Albania is not a significant producer of illicit drugs. Albania is also not a producer of significant quantities of precursor chemicals or synthetic drugs. Due to other pressing issues, the GOA is unable to devote much time or resources to drug abuse. One result is that no clear picture of the extent of domestic drug abuse exists, although anecdotal evidence suggests growing usage, especially among younger Albanians.

There is some evidence that Albania is making modest progress in the counternarcotics arena. The main area of improvement is in anti-trafficking operations as better law enforcement and border controls led to an increase in arrests and seizures at points of entry through the first nine months of 2011. This can be attributable to increased use of risk analysis, community policing practiced in the target areas, and better use of donated equipment.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Albania works with its neighbors bilaterally and in regional initiatives to combat organized crime and trafficking, although progress is hampered by the factional political system and slow development of Albanian law enforcement institutions. Albania is a member of the Stability Pact and the Southeastern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI). Albania is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) and its protocols against migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons. Although an extradition treaty is in force between the United States and Albania, it is severely outdated (1933) and does not cover many crimes. However, the U.S. has applied the TOC and the 1988 UN Drug Convention in a few extradition requests to Albania, which resulted in the successful return of the fugitives to the U.S.

A 2005 speedboat ban on all of Albania's territorial coastal waters continues in force, inhibiting the movement of drugs and trafficking in persons- particularly to Italy. The Inter-ministerial Maritime Operations Center (IMOC), although not operating at full capacity or efficiency due to bureaucratic in-fighting, has provided assistance in the detection of illicit activity at sea, leading to the interception of vessels transporting drugs. The Albanian Coast Guard/Navy completed construction of a 143-foot Damen Class patrol vessel; its second, with two more scheduled to be built. The EU donated seven 12-meter patrol vessels to the Border and Migration Police and one to the Albanian Customs Service. These new vessels, combined with increased IMOC capabilities, offer enhanced capability to detect illegal maritime activities.

Albania entered into three joint border agreements with Kosovo in an effort to increase criminal detection and facilitate border crossing. Efforts at the Morine/Vermice Crossing Point led to increased detections of wanted persons, some of whom were associated with trafficking in drugs as well as organized crime. The agreements with Kosovo are already paying dividends and Albania is hoping to apply lessons learned with other neighboring countries.

2. Supply Reduction

In the first nine months of 2011 the Albanian State Police (ASP) is on track to roughly match last year’s total seizures. The ASP seized 14.45 kilograms of heroin compared with 25 kg through ten months in 2010. Since January 2011, the ASP has arrested or detained a total of 507 persons for drug trafficking with another 168 suspects at large. 96 of these arrestees were for heroin trafficking and 357 for marijuana trafficking or cultivation. The ASP seized 4728 kg of processed marijuana, down 30 percent from 2010 as the 2010 eradication and public awareness efforts cut production significantly. The ASP also seized 1.6 kg of cocaine and arrested 38 suspects, most if not all dealing at the street or consumer level.

Cultivation of marijuana decreased noticeably over the past two years with increased enforcement action against both the traffickers and the cultivators. There is no poppy cultivation or evidence of labs for the manufacture of synthetic drugs or precursor chemicals. The trade in synthetic drugs also remains virtually non-existent.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The GOA has taken some modest steps to address demand reduction; however the topic is still not widely discussed. Although the Ministry of Health acknowledges that drug use is rising, especially among the young, no statistics exist to define the scope of the problem. Albania has few regulations on the sale of benzodiazepines, which are sold over the counter, and the domestic abuse of these medications is believed to be rising. There are two NGO's currently operating in Albania focused on drug abuse and ICITAP sponsors a Drug Awareness/Demand Reduction project in the Tirana public elementary schools co-sponsored by the New Jersey National Guards Partners for Peace initiative.

4. Corruption

Corruption remains a deeply entrenched problem in Albania. Low salaries, social acceptance of graft and Albania's tightly knit social networks make it difficult to combat corruption among police, judges and customs officials. In 2010, the police and prosecutors were active in investigating government officials and law enforcement personnel for corruption. Although the total number of cases investigated declined 3.9%, prosecutors succeeded in getting 17.3% more cases referred to court. During 2010, the prosecutorial system registered 534 vs. 555 cases in 2009 for corruption-related offenses, and referred 142 cases vs. 121 in 2009. Despite the increase in court cases, the number of guilty verdicts returned fell from 211 to 162, a 23% decline. Some verdicts seemed questionable, giving the evidence, suggesting that judicial independence for unbiased, transparent proceedings continues to be a problem.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The GOA continues to receive assistance from the United States and EU countries. The U.S. offers judicial sector assistance programs for law enforcement and legal reform, equipment donations and training. This aid is hindered by the deep political polarization at all levels of government resulting in the absence of a strong civil service and top down decision making. Most government employees are subject to reassignment during times of political transition.

The State Department supported U.S. Department of Justice ICITAP and OPDAT conduct programs at the Ministry of the Interior, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Serious Crimes Court and Serious Crimes Prosecution Office with the goal of professionalizing the administration of justice, combating corruption and strengthening the GOA's ability to prosecute cases involving organized crime and illicit trafficking. ICITAP continued to offer the Anti-Narcotics and Special Operations Sectors full-time advisory support and advanced training (in cooperation with the FBI) in combating illicit trafficking. OPDAT continued to support the Economic Crime and Corruption Joint Investigative Units (JIU) to improve the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, especially money laundering and corruption.

Albania extradites its nationals to the U.S. even though they are not obliged to do so under the bilateral treaty.

The United States, through State/INL, provides assistance for integrated border management, a key part of improving the security of Albania's borders, through specialized advice, equipment and installation of the Total Information Management System (TIMS) at border crossing points. TIMS is now operational in all 24 major border crossing points. In 2011, in an effort to follow through on institutional reforms achieved in 2010, Integrated Border Management initiatives focused on standing up the Office of Risk Analysis and Cross Border Crime and encouraging Regional Border and Migration Police Director accountability. These efforts led to increased drug detections at crossing points as well as at lightly patrolled areas between crossing points. The Border and Migration Police are on track to increase the number of seizures made compared to 2010.

Other U.S., EU, and international assistance programs include support for strengthening the existing witness protection program, customs reform, judicial training and reform, improving cooperation between police and prosecutors and anticorruption programs. Albanian law enforcement authorities work closely with Italian police providing intelligence that has led to the arrest of drug dealers and organized crime figures, as well as the confiscation of heroin in Italy. Recently enacted agreements also allow Italian law enforcement officials to carry out narcotics raids inside Albania.

D. Conclusion

Albania continues to make progress with its counternarcotics effort, but it is constrained by its weak political, judicial and law enforcement institutions. Albania’s primary role in the global narcotics picture is as a transit route into Western Europe, and given its geographic position, it will continue to see trafficking activity. Integrating and improving criminal justice system institutions are having an effect, but progress is still slow due to political and bureaucratic impediments. The U.S., together with the EU and other international donors, will continue to work with the GOA to fight illegal drug trafficking and to promote systemic reforms.


Algeria is principally a transit point for drugs – especially hashish bound for Europe - rather than a center of production or consumption itself. The Government of Algeria (GOA) is actively working to address the problem with increased resources devoted to education, interdiction, and treatment. Although its security forces are primarily focused on ongoing counter-terrorism efforts, officials have become increasingly concerned about the link they say exists between al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and drug traffickers.

The bulk of the drugs transiting Algeria consists of Moroccan-origin cannabis (especially cannabis resin-hashish) and a growing quantity of South American cocaine. The majority of these drugs travel by sea to Europe, while some share is smuggled overland to Middle Eastern destinations. Algeria‘s borders stretch 6,000 kilometers, mostly across broad and sparsely-policed swathes of the Sahara. These long and porous borders with Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Tunisia make it difficult for Algerian security forces to detect and halt smugglers. Drug use is not generally a significant problem in Algeria, although the problem is on the rise. Marijuana is the most widely abused drug, but there is a small and growing consumption of hard drugs including cocaine and heroin. The government is expanding facilities for treating drug addiction, and this year aims to have an outpatient drug treatment facility in every province of the country. Some production of illicit drugs occurs in Algeria, principally cultivation of cannabis in the southeast and around Algiers, but not in large quantities.

The GOA has taken a number of steps to counter the drug problem, including increases in enforcement personnel, enhanced training, and the purchase of more modern equipment. The GOA is formulating a five-year strategy (2011-2015) to more effectively deal with drug problems. Algeria has tough laws against illegal drugs, with sentences of up to 2 years for use and 10 to 20 years for drug trafficking and distribution. Algeria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The GOA does not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production or transport of illegal drugs. Algeria has a large and capable security apparatus hardened by almost two decades of counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qa’ida-associated Islamic militants. The National Office for the Fight Against Drugs and Addiction (Known by its French acronym, ONLCDT) coordinates the GOA’s drug policies and produces its official reports on the drug problem in Algeria. The National Gendarmerie, Customs, and National Police (DGSN) are responsible for day-to-day enforcement. During the first nine months of 2011, Algerian authorities dismantled over 140 drug trafficking networks and seized over 38,141 kilograms of drugs. The statistics reported by the GOA cannot be independently verified and are occasionally at odds with open source reporting. The GOA indicated to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that in 2009 74 tons of hashish were seized along with barely more than a kilogram of cocaine and 700 grams of heroin. In 2010 hashish seizures dropped to 23 tons, while amounts of cocaine and heroin seized remained similar to 2009. Through the first nine months of 2011 the GOA reported to DEA that 31 tons of hashish were seized as well as almost two kilograms of cocaine and 200 grams of heroin.

A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and Algeria was signed in April 2010, and awaits U.S. Senate ratification. Algeria would benefit from stepped-up training to boost the counternarcotics capabilities of its security forces. The GOA has generally been receptive to U.S. training offers and assistance for law enforcement officers, with several successful training sessions held in the past year. In September, the Department of Justice provided an INL-funded Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT) program course on narcotics trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The GOA would likely be receptive to additional training offered to it.


Angola produces marijuana, known locally as liamba, and is a transit point for cocaine. Alcohol, liamba and cocaine are the most abused substances in the country. Though alcohol abuse occurs nationwide, it is particularly prevalent in the provinces, where there is a serious health problem with the abuse of homemade alcoholic concoctions that are at times laced with exotic herbs or battery acid. Officials reported that the majority of marijuana users are between the ages of 18 and 48 years old and either students or unemployed. Cocaine is largely consumed in the night-clubs of Luanda by the wealthy elite.

As a matter of government policy, the Government of Angola does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics and psychotropic substances, nor does it encourage or facilitate the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. The USG is not aware of any senior officials engaged in drug trafficking. Angolan officials have demonstrated a concern for the corrosive effects of narcotics trafficking and are improving their ability to control trafficking through the Luanda International Airport. However, seaports continue to serve as entry points for narcotics from abroad and trafficking from neighboring countries via the road network remains a challenge.

There is no indication that Angola produces synthetic drugs. Angolan officials have no capacity to classify and control dual-use chemicals, which could be diverted in Angola or elsewhere for illicit drug production. Among the most pressing challenges facing authorities is providing public health services to drug addicts, and educating youth on the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. Angola is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Angola is a party to the UN Convention Against Corruption.

The National Directorate for Criminal Investigation (DNIC) reported the following drug-related crimes from January to September 2011:

•  Detained for drug consumption: 1,115 individuals

•  Detained for drug trafficking: 115 individuals

•  Official statistics for seizures of powder cocaine: 13.5 kg

•  Official statistics for seizures for crack cocaine: 2.008 kg

No data was provided for seizures of marijuana or heroin.

DNIC also reported that most detained traffickers in 2011 were Angolan, but some Brazilian, South African, Nigerian, Portuguese and Congolese (DRC) nationals were also detained for trafficking in narcotics.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Fight Drugs (Comité Interministerial de Luta Anti-Droga, CILAD) is charged with coordinating the activities of government ministries to suppress narcotics trafficking and to warn the population about the dangers of drug abuse. The Ministries of Interior and Justice have indicated a strong interest in upgrading their equipment, and have added new canine units to their counternarcotics strategy.

Angolan officials have made regular public statements noting their commitment to antidrug efforts. There are numerous billboards in Luanda and other towns carrying a drug awareness message, although no active, national media campaign exists. Some NGOs engage in prevention, demand reduction, and rehabilitation programs. One of the largest is the Christian Center for Help and Rehabilitation, which provides drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation services, though its capacity is far less than the demand.

Angola sends government staff to workshops and meetings in order to train officials involved in the fight against drug trafficking. Angolan authorities have established contacts with INTERPOL and now make use of the I-24/7 INTERPOL tool that allows for the exchange of real-time intelligence on drug trafficking activities. Angola’s police work closely with their Brazilian and Portuguese counterparts in combating drug trafficking. Angola participates in the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO), which is currently organizing a joint project with other southern African countries and South American officials to enhance cooperative efforts against drug trafficking.


A. Introduction

While Argentina continues to be an important transit country for Andean-produced cocaine, domestic cocaine production and consumption are growing problems. Argentine officials believe there is increased transit of cocaine through Argentina as a consequence of intensive counternarcotics efforts in Mexico and Colombia, forcing drug traffickers to utilize other routes to market. Diminished drug interdiction capabilities in Bolivia also contribute significantly. In June 2011, the Security Ministry asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to significantly curtail or suspend most activities until further notice, pending an internal review of international cooperation programs as well as the development of new centralized coordination mechanisms.

Marijuana, the bulk of which is imported from Paraguay and used for domestic consumption, continues to be the most widely abused illegal drug in Argentina. However, the prevalence of cocaine use has risen sharply and the country has the second largest internal cocaine market in South America after Brazil. Cocaine remains by far the leading drug for which Argentines seek help at treatment centers, and the use of cocaine base, known locally as “paco,” is a growing problem among economically disadvantaged members of society.

Argentina is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Argentina created a new Security Ministry in December 2010, in part to increase the effectiveness of federal law enforcement agencies. While Security Minister Nilda Garre implemented numerous reforms designed to improve police performance, insufficient coordination among the various federal and provincial law enforcement agencies continues to hamper Argentina’s effectiveness in combating the illegal drug trade. Garre has nonetheless begun to implement several reforms designed to address this problem, including the October 2011 creation of a 60-person special intelligence unit within the Argentine Federal Police (PFA) to fight drug trafficking and other forms of complex organized crime. Prosecution of drug traffickers remains complicated by backlogs in the judicial system. Among the reasons for these backlogs is the still incomplete move from an inquisitorial system to an accusatorial system at the national level, and the lack of specialized alternative mechanisms, such as drug courts and diversion programs.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner launched a aerial detection plan called “Operation Northern Shield” in July 2011. When fully implemented, the plan could, for the first time, help to deter illegal flights and illicit drug trafficking by providing radar coverage of Argentina’s northern border air space. The center-piece of the effort is the installation of seven 3-D radars, the first of which became operative in October 2011.

Despite the Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling against imposing criminal penalties for the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana, Argentina’s Narcotics Law 23.737 has not been modified. Some Argentine officials continue to advocate legislation to decriminalize personal possession of small quantities of marijuana, arguing that such a measure would permit the shifting of scarce police and judicial resources away from individual users and toward drug trafficking organizations, as well as free up funds for substance abuse treatment. Six bills proposing varying formulas to decriminalize marijuana and in some cases other drugs were introduced into the lower house of the Argentine Congress in July 2011.

Argentina is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances; the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols; and the UN Convention Against Corruption. Argentina has bilateral narcotics cooperation agreements with many neighboring countries, as well as with Mexico, Spain, and the EU (COPOLAD). In addition, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France provide limited counternarcotics training and equipment to the Government of Argentina. The United States and Argentina are parties to an extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty. Argentina is also a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, Inter-American Convention of Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms, and the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, among others.

2. Supply Reduction

The Argentine Security Ministry began to publically release drug seizure statistics following Minister Garre’s December 2010 appointment. The Security Ministry estimates that Argentine security forces seized approximately 5.8 metric tons (MT) of cocaine from January through October 2011. The ten-month total represents a sharp decrease from the 12.7 MT of cocaine that we estimated, absent the availability of official figures, was seized by Argentine authorities in the first nine months of 2010. The UNODC, using data provided by the Government of Argentina, estimated that Argentina seized 12.1 MT of cocain in 2008 and 12.6 MT of cocaine in 2009. Argentine government constraints on DEA operations within Argentina for much of 2011 may have contributed to the reduction in cocaine seizures.

The vast majority of Andean cocaine transiting Argentina is smuggled across the Bolivian-Argentine border with diminished drug interdiction capabilities in Bolivia adding to increased flows. Cocaine transiting Argentina is primarily destined for international markets in Europe, particularly Spain. The seizure of increasing numbers of cocaine production facilities (36 in 2010 according to the 2011 UNODC World Drug Report), as well as the widespread availability of paco, a by-product of the base to cocaine hydrochloride conversion process, suggest that domestic production of cocaine in Argentina, though small, is increasing.

The increase in maritime container-based cocaine seizures by the government of Argentina noted in 2010 did not continue into 2011. Decreased seizures may be linked to the constraints imposed on DEA activities, as well as the Government of Argentina’s limited capabilities to mount complex, long-term counternarcotics investigations, rather than changes in the modus operandi of drug trafficking organizations.

The Security Ministry estimates that Argentine security forces seized over 87 MT of marijuana from January through October 2011, representing a significant increase from the estimated 66 MT seized during the first nine months of 2010. Most of the marijuana seizures occurred either in the tri-border region with Brazil and Paraguay, or along Argentina’s western border with Chile.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to the 2011 UNODC World Drug Report, Argentina had the highest prevalence of cocaine use (2.6 percent) in South and Central America among 15 to 64 year-olds. Based on UNODC estimates, Argentina is home to 25 percent of the cocaine users in South and Central America (675,000 users), second only to Brazil. In addition, the abuse of paco appears to be increasing. Paco is readily available on the streets, costs approximately USD $1.50 a “hit” and produces a brief, intense high when smoked in pipes or mixed with tobacco. Argentine law enforcement officials and local press report that a rise in street crime has been fueled by a corresponding increase in paco consumption. Protocols and techniques employed by Argentina’s substance abuse professionals are similar to those found in the United States and Europe.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Argentina does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions, and there is no evidence to suggest senior government officials are engaged in such activity. An independent judiciary and an investigative press actively pursue allegations of corrupt practices involving government authorities. In January 2011, a town councilman in Formosa Province was arrested following the discovery of 700 kilos of cocaine on one of his properties. In October 2011, a town councilman in Salta Province was arrested in connection with a 357 kilo cocaine shipment bound for Portugal. At the time of this report, both prosecutions were underway.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

In the aftermath of local polemics aired by Argentine officials about U.S. training courses for Argentine public security personnel and the February 2011 seizure by Argentine Customs of sensitive U.S. military cargo at the Buenos Aires international airport, the Government of Argentina moved to systematically reduce counternarcotics and security cooperation with the United States. The participation of Argentine officials in U.S. sponsored counternarcotics training was reduced significantly. The DEA and INL-funded Northern Border Task Force (NBTF), a joint law enforcement group comprising federal and provincial elements which operated along the Bolivian border, and the Eastern Border Task Force (EBTF), which acted against illicit drug smuggling activities in the tri-border area with Paraguay and Brazil, were shut down in March 2011. Their closure, and the Government of Argentina’s inability to immediately replace the counternarcotics resources, may have limited Argentina’s capabilities to interdict cross-border cocaine and marijuana shipments. The reduction of bilateral counter-narcotics cooperation also limited the U.S. Government’s ability to help facilitate Argentina’s counternarcotics coordination with neighboring countries. Several previously scheduled U.S. Government supported counternarcotics joint trainings and seminars in the region were cancelled during in 2011.

D. Conclusion

Though the newly created Ministry of Security has worked to improve aspects of Argentina’s drug control effort, the slow process of implementing operational reforms and re-allocating sufficient domestic resources, combined with the reduction of counternarcotics cooperation with the United States likely eroded Argentina’s narcotics interdiction capabilities in 2011. The reduction of cocaine seizures in containerized cargo may be linked to the constraints imposed on DEA information-sharing activities in Argentina. The Government of Argentina could focus its port-based and other interdiction efforts on targeted investigations supported by increased personnel levels and enhanced use of technology, such as x-ray scanning equipment, in order to reduce the amount of drug traffic currently escaping detection. Likewise, the Argentine government could complement its recent deployment of additional radars in the northern border areas with additional equipment and human resources to ensure that increased detection of air shipments of narcotics crossing the Bolivian and Paraguayan borders results in increased interdiction on the ground. In addition, the Security Ministry could continue its efforts to optimize cooperation among the various federal and provincial law enforcement entities in order to enhance Argentina’s effectiveness in combating the illegal drug trade. It could be particularly useful to further improve judicial efficiency in case processing of narcotics-related investigations and prosecutions.

Chemical Controls Section

Argentina is one of South America’s largest producers of precursor chemicals. The Government of Argentina (GOVERNEMENT OF ARGENTINA) has enhanced its precursor chemical regulatory framework as well as the effectiveness of its port and border controls and related criminal investigations in combating the traffic in precursor chemicals.

Argentina is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and has laws meeting the Convention's requirements for record keeping, import and export licensing, and the authority to suspend shipments. Argentine law 26045 placed controls on precursor and essential chemicals, requiring that all manufacturers, importers or exporters, transporters, and distributors of these chemicals be registered with the Secretariat of Planning for the Prevention of Drug Addiction and Drug Trafficking (SEDRONAR). Argentine law prohibits the transport of nonregistered precursor chemicals.

SEDRONAR employs a three pillar precursor chemical control system. First, all commercial entities that utilize these chemicals must register them in a National Precursor Chemical Register. Second, all entities must submit quarterly reports regarding the status/movement of registered chemicals. Finally, all registered chemicals are subject to audits by SEDRONAR’s Precursor Chemical Diversion Control and Prosecution Unit. SEDRONAR performed 481 audits between January and November 2011, resulting in the imposition of 319 administrative sanctions and 19 criminal prosecutions. In 2011, for the first time ever, audits were conducted in all 24 provinces of Argentina.

In March 2011, the Argentine judicial system obtained its first ever conviction for the diversion of non-ephedrine precursor chemicals for narcotics trafficking. SEDRONAR attributes the increase in precursor chemical-related prosecutions to its 2011 efforts to train over 400 judges and judicial system staff on Argentina’s precursor chemical control regime. SEDRONAR also reports that the prices of precursor chemicals as well as the production of counterfeit chemicals increased significantly during the course of 2011 and attributes both developments to its successes in limiting the diversion of such chemicals.

Argentina restricted the importation and exportation of ephedrine, both as a raw material and as an elaborated product, in 2008, resulting in a substantial decrease in legal ephedrine imports from 2009-11. In addition, the Government of Argentina took steps to implement United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Resolution 49/3. In August 2010, Argentina launched the International Narcotics Control Board’s online Pre-Export Notification (PEN) system. SEDRONAR is responsible for data input on precursor chemicals into the PEN system, but also inputs data on pharmaceutical preparations at the request of the Health Ministry, which does not have a PEN system terminal.

Argentina could more effectively combat the traffic in precursor chemicals by fostering greater inter-ministerial cooperation to improve the Government of Argentina’s understanding of the overall legitimate demand for such chemicals, thus facilitating efforts to isolate shipments being diverted for illegal narcotics production


A. Introduction

Armenia is not a major drug-producing country, and because of conservative social mores domestic abuse of drugs continues to be relatively modest. Because it lies along smuggling routes between Asia and Europe, Armenia continues to experience some use as a transit country for drug trafficking. However, since Armenia is landlocked and the two longest of its four borders remain closed, the resulting limited transport options make the country a secondary route for drug trafficking.

The Armenian Police have accumulated significant intelligence on drug trafficking sources, including routes and people engaged in trafficking. Scarce financial and human resources, however, limit the police's effectiveness. The Armenian government continues to reform its border control system, which falls primarily under the purview of the Border Guards (a unit of the National Security Service), Customs Service (a unit of the State Revenue Committee), and Police. With U.S. assistance, Armenia continues to develop and implement an integrated border management regime that should improve its ability to detect shipments of illegal drugs and other types of contraband.

Resources for treatment of drug addicts have increased in recent years, but the number of registered addicts has also increased, partly due to legislative changes that allowed abusers to seek help without fear of prosecution. Armenia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Domestic abuse of drugs continues to be modest with the majority of drug users using hashish or other forms of cannabis. Opiates, especially opium, are the second most abused drug group. Over the last decade there has been an increase in the abuse of heroin, but overall demand for both heroin and cocaine remains low. Anecdotal reports suggest that abuse of synthetic drugs is probably growing, primarily among the young. According to official information, 65 percent of registered drug addicts are age 35 or older while 26 percent are between the ages of 25 and 35. The vast majority of registered drug addicts are unemployed.

Drugs are smuggled into Armenia primarily from Iran (heroin and opiates) and Georgia (opiates, cannabis and hashish). Small amounts of opiates and heroin are smuggled from Turkey via Georgia. There have also been cases of small-scale importation from other countries, mostly by mail or by arriving airline passengers. Should Armenia's closed borders reopen, Police predict drug transit will increase significantly.

The financial, material, and human resources of the Police's Anti-Drug Department remain minimal and have not increased proportionally to the growing caseload. This is a systemic problem for law enforcement in general, but even within the Police, its Anti-Drug Department appears less well funded than some other departments.

In 2009, Armenia implemented new legislation to bring its drug laws closer into line with EU standards and focus enforcement efforts on trafficking while emphasizing prevention and treatment for drug users. These changes decriminalized the use of illegal drugs and the transfer of small amounts of drugs without purpose of sale. Previously, a person convicted of using drugs could be jailed up to two months for a first offense, a sanction which international experts found discouraged addicts from seeking treatment. Under the revised system, a first-offense user became subject to a fine up to 200,000 Armenian drams (approximately $540 U.S.), but that fine is waived for a user who voluntarily seeks treatment. In 2009, Armenia adopted a three-year national drug strategy and in 2010 created an interagency commission to oversee its implementation. In October 2011, as part of the national strategy, the Monitoring Center for Narcotic Drugs and Drug Addiction was established under the National Institute of Health. Armenia is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption.

2. Supply Reduction

Supply reduction efforts primarily focus on interdiction of shipments and the investigation and arrest of drug dealers. Seizures are often made at border crossing points, but some drugs are also seized from street-level dealers. Prosecutions against drug dealers are almost always successful.

The amount of drugs seized has continued to increase in recent years, with 33 percent more illegal drugs being seized in the first nine months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Additional research is needed to better assess the extent of this problem, however, since there is inadequate statistical data to gauge what approximate fraction of illegal drugs is being seized. Out of the total 108 kg of illegal drugs seized in the first nine months of 2011, a single seizure of heroin accounted for 89 kg. In contrast to 2010, seizure of methamphetamines decreased considerably, with 4 kg seized in the first nine months of 2011 in comparison with approximately 22 kg seized overall in 2010. It remains difficult to determine whether the amount of drugs seized reflects improved law enforcement or more drugs transiting Armenia. As for the number of criminal cases, they remain relatively small, having registered a 27 percent drop in the first nine months of 2011 compared with 2010.

Hemp and opium poppy grow wild in Armenia. There is some small-scale illegal cultivation of these crops, which police seek to locate and destroy, but this represents a fairly small part of Armenia's anti-drug efforts.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Armenia continues drug abuse prevention through awareness campaigns and treatment of abusers. The Drug Detoxification Center funded by the Health Ministry provides short-term treatment, and two new facilities which opened in 2009 helped augment long-term assistance to abusers. From mid-2010 to mid-2011, the Drug Detoxification Center provided methadone substitution treatment to approximately 120 registered addicts and plans to expand this treatment to Armenia's prison system in the future.

4. Corruption

While corruption remains a serious problem in Armenia, there is no evidence to suggest high-level corruption occurs in drug trafficking. Armenia does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, nor does it encourage or facilitate the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior officials have been reported to engage in these activities. The main form of drug-related corruption is alleged to occur when individuals found with drugs in their possession resort to bribes to avoid arrest. During the year, one prison employee was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for selling illegal drugs to prisoners.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The USG continues to work with Armenia to increase its law enforcement capacities. Current programs include the strengthening of the police's Anti-Drug, Cyber Crime, Irregular Migration, and Anti-Trafficking Departments, as well as the development of an independent forensic laboratory and enhancement of the Central Bank's counter-money laundering unit. Additionally, USDOJ’s Resident Legal Advisor continues to instruct officials on how to conduct narcotics investigations and prosecutions at Armenia’s Procuracy School. The USG also assists Armenia through the Export Control and Related Border Security program, where training and assistance efforts help enhance Armenia's ability to control its borders and to interdict all contraband, including narcotics. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is likewise helping the Border Guards improve their “green border” management capabilities. In addition, the USG helped fund a project that expanded Armenia's Border Management Information System to all border crossing points in 2008, centralizing immigration data and giving law enforcement agencies timely access to information to better assist drug interdiction efforts at Armenia's borders.

D. Conclusion

Government authorities appear genuinely committed to combating illegal drugs, and given the strong stigma attached to drug abuse, it remains a rare occurrence when officials engage in drug trafficking. The relatively low level of drug use and trafficking likely owes more to Armenia's strong social mores, its geography, and closed borders than to effective law enforcement. While police and border authorities are steadily improving their capabilities, they still suffer from structural deficiencies in personnel, training, equipment, intelligence collection, and interagency and international coordination. In order for Armenia to win the upper-hand in combating drug abuse and trafficking, law enforcement will need greater resources, more training and improved coordination. The Armenian government will also need to expand its awareness and treatment efforts.

The USG will continue aiding Armenia in its counternarcotics efforts through law enforcement capacity building and cooperation on operational drug trafficking issues. The USG works to promote reconciliation between Armenia and its neighbors, and pursues the re-opening of closed borders in the region. Continued assistance would help Armenia secure re-opened borders against narcotics trafficking as well as other forms of transnational crime.


A. Introduction

Azerbaijan is frequently used as a transit country along major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe due to its location. Portions of Azerbaijan’s border are also uncontrolled due to regional conflict. The quantity of drugs seized by the authorities in Azerbaijan, as well as the number of reported crimes related to drugs, have increased over the last decade. The Ministry of Interior leads domestic counternarcotics efforts while the Ministry of National Security leads international counternarcotics operations. The State Border Service and State Customs Committee also play significant counternarcotics roles.

Domestic drug cultivation includes both cannabis and opium poppy, but is not widespread, and is mostly for regional consumption. Few government-sponsored programs exist in Azerbaijan to address domestic drug use.

Azerbaijan was one of the first countries in the South Caucasus to become a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention in 1993. Azerbaijan also started one of the first police units that specifically targeted drug trafficking in the region.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

During the past year, Azerbaijan has sought to develop and implement a regional approach to addressing drug trafficking by actively participating in multilateral organizations and bilateral agreements. The government of Azerbaijan (GOAJ) continues an active role in the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC), which enhances the abilities of member states to combat the flow of illicit substances across the region. Azerbaijan continued its participation in the South Caucasus Integrated Border Management (SCIBM) program, primarily funded and implemented by the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In October 2011, the State Customs Committee hosted an International Counternarcotics Conference which included representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), CARICC, the World Customs Organization (WCO), and over two dozen country representatives. The event demonstrated high level GOAJ interest in counternarcotics and provided an opportunity for the DEA representatives in Ankara with responsibility for Azerbaijan to discuss cooperation with GOAJ counterparts.

Also during 2011, Azerbaijan began participating in the joint UNODC-WCO Container Control Program, the aim of which is to develop a network of border control cooperation units at various land and sea ports to stem the flow of drugs, precursors and other illegal goods. This program is significant in Azerbaijan as it encourages Azerbaijani interagency cooperation, an area where greater progress is needed.

Azerbaijan is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Azerbaijan also is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption, and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

2. Supply Reduction

Afghan opiates transit Azerbaijan by three primary routes: from Central Asia and across the Caspian Sea; from Iran through the south of the country; and through uncontrolled territories of Azerbaijan. While international attention is focused on the Iran-Azerbaijan border and Caspian routes, GOAJ officials regularly identify the uncontrolled territories as a more significant threat.

According to the UNODC, approximately 11 tons of heroin enter the Caucasus annually; 4 tons of that is either consumed or seized annually within the region. Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the State Committee for Anti-Narcotics Ali Hasanov stated to the press that in 2010, the Government seized 1,859 kg of illegal narcotics (1,200 kg by the Ministry of National Security, 359 kg by the State Border Service, and 300 kg by the State Customs Committee). In August 2011, Azerbaijani State Border Service Chief Elchin Guliyev expressed satisfaction that Azerbaijani border control has seen improved results despite the growth of attempts to traffic drugs through Azerbaijan in recent years. The infrastructure for border protection in Azerbaijan has been significantly improved by GOA efforts and by the U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program.

3. Demand Reduction

The annual prevalence rate for opiate use for persons aged 15 to 64 in Azerbaijan decreased from 0.3% in 2004 to 0.2% in 2008. The most recent data suggests that the prevalence rate for marijuana usage for that same age group was 3.5% in 2008. Current figures from an Azerbaijani NGO indicate that there are 25,489 drug addicts in Azerbaijan, with 4554 of those 29 years old or younger. In 2009, the GOAJ discontinued its anti-narcotics public service announcement program that used kiosks and billboards in downtown Baku to inform citizens about the dangers of drug abuse. The government has replaced this program with one designed to focus primarily on students. Azerbaijan has also funded NGOs to provide anti-drug training and advertisements on university campuses, as well as provide drug specialists to meet with college students.

Treatment centers for addicts in Azerbaijan are inadequate to meet the demand. Sensitivities in Azerbaijani society on the subject of drug addiction, and an overall lack of experience of policymakers and health professionals in dealing with the problems associated with drug addiction account in part for inadequate investment in drug treatment facilities. Though the GOAJ has expressed its desire to address substance abuse and drug addiction, the response so far has been inadequate.

4. Corruption

Azerbaijan does not encourage or facilitate the production or distribution of illicit substances, nor the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Unfortunately, corruption of government and law enforcement officials remains a serious concern.

Through its participation in the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development-GUAM, Azerbaijan has participated in discussions on assistance programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) aimed at detecting and prosecuting corruption. These assistance efforts, promoted law enforcement coordination and cooperation within the Black and Caspian Sea corridor and assist Azerbaijan in addressing government corruption problems. In 2011, a U.S. State Department funded Resident Legal Advisor from the Department of Justice arrived in Baku. The advisor is expected to increase U.S./GOAJ cooperation in the field of anti-corruption. Also in 2011, the Financial Monitoring Service under the Central Bank of Azerbaijan signed an agreement with UNODC to use new software designed to enhance Azerbaijan’s ability to track money laundering related to corruption and drug trafficking.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The GOAJ has demonstrated sustained interest in enhanced border control through joint initiatives with the U.S. and other international partners. Azerbaijan has worked closely with U.S. agencies to deploy new technology and to train and equip the appropriate government personnel to better secure its land and sea borders.

The State Border Service Coast Guard (SBS-CG) and the Navy of Azerbaijan continue to improve their ability to control Azerbaijani territorial waters through surveillance and interdiction assistance provided by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Most significantly, during 2011, SBS-CG took delivery of a decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard Cutter for operational uses. The GOAJ also continued its work with the U.S. EXBS Assistance Program to increase its ability to monitor the flow of goods and persons across its borders through enhancing border security infrastructure. With the arrival of the DOJ RLA and increased interaction with DEA Attachés in Ankara, even closer U.S.-Azerbaijani cooperation on counternarcotics issues is likely.

D. Conclusion

Opiate production in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan’s long border with Iran, and the instability and lack-of-control across some portions of Azerbaijan's borders combine to make Azerbaijan an attractive conduit for the illicit flow of narcotics and other controlled substances. While more progress is necessary, GOAJ continues to develop and implement measures, both unilaterally and with international partners, designed to secure its borders. Many of these measures – such as those implemented with the assistance of DTRA, EXBS and other U.S. agencies – are not specifically designed to stem the smuggling of drugs across the border, but these programs targeted on WMD enhance the ability of Azerbaijan to secure its borders and hinder international smuggling operations. Azerbaijan’s continued active participation in the CARICC and SCIBM programs further helps address regional narcotics trafficking activities.

The Bahamas

A. Introduction

The Bahamas archipelago, covering an area about the size of California, is home to several transit points for South American cocaine and marijuana and (mostly) Jamaican marijuana bound for the United States. The population of The Bahamas, estimated at about 350,000, enjoys a relatively high standard of living but is threatened by spillover issues from their southern neighbors, particularly those issues of narcotics smuggling and related criminal activity. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas has been a stalwart ally against illegal narcotics trafficking, primarily through Operation Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) led multiagency and international drug interdiction effort established in 1982 to stop the flow of cocaine and marijuana through The Bahamas to the United States. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas also cooperates to target Bahamian drug trafficking organizations and to reduce the Bahamian domestic demand for drugs.

Cocaine and marijuana are transshipped through The Bahamas’ many islands and cays. Drug Trafficking Organizations take advantage of the vast geography and many hidden inlets by utilizing small commercial and private conveyances, both marine and aerial, to avoid detection. The vigilance of U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement has served as an effective deterrent. An estimated 80 percent of cocaine smuggled into the United States that passed through The Bahamas during the 1980s has diminished to current estimates of approximately 5 percent through the entire Caribbean.

Bahamian law enforcement organizations continue to evolve and build their capacity. Improvements in the justice sector, particularly improved prosecution and extradition practices, would help the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to more effectively disrupt and dismantle narcotics trafficking networks and address the rise in drug and gang-related crime.

The Bahamas is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Royal Bahamian Police Force (RBPF) and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force (RBDF), as well as law enforcement personnel in the Turks and Caicos Islands participate in counter narcotics operations through the OPBAT partnership. These institutions partner with counterpart U.S. agencies for training, intelligence gathering, and operations that lead to the seizure of contraband and to the arrest of traffickers.

The Bahamian law enforcement bodies use their small but capable fleet of vessels prepositioned in strategic locations to conduct patrols and interdictions throughout the roughly 100,000 square miles of Bahamian land and waters. The RBDF operates a fleet of 14 vessels and various small boats out of New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Great Inagua. This fleet includes six interceptor “fast boats” donated under U.S. Southern Command’s Enduring Friendship program and two 60-meter vessels operated out of Nassau. The RBPF manages a fleet of 11 short-range vessels based in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Andros, and other islands depending on need. This fleet includes three “fast boats” donated under the Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) bilateral assistance program. The fleet is capably managed and maintained and is frequently utilized for interdictions and patrols. Given the Bahamas’ large geographic area and relatively small population, U.S. surface vessels and air support are vital for effective operations.

The Bahamas is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances; the 1988 UN Drug Convention; the 1990 U.S.-Bahamas-Turks and Caicos Island Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation in the Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs; and the Inter-American Convention against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms. The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is also a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption; the UN Convention against Corruption; and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols.

The United States and The Bahamas have both a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) and an Extradition Treaty. The United States and The Bahamas have an excellent mutual assistance relationship. The MLAT facilitates the bilateral exchange of information and evidence for use in criminal proceedings. DEA joint activities with the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have resulted in evidence from The Bahamas being used to prosecute traffickers in the United States. Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas prosecutors seek to fulfill U.S. extradition requests in the Bahamian justice system. Delays and legal hurdles, however, prevent a regular flow of extraditions. Defendants can appeal a magistrate’s decision and then continue appeals all the way up to Committee of the Privy Council in London. This process often adds years to an extradition proceeding. Some subjects of U.S. extradition requests are known to continue illegal drug smuggling activities while on bail awaiting the resolution of their cases.

The United States has a Comprehensive Maritime Agreement (CMA) with The Bahamas, which went into effect in 2004, replacing a patchwork of disparate safety, security, and law enforcement agreements. Among its provisions, the CMA permits cooperation in counternarcotics and migrant interdiction operations in and around Bahamian territorial waters, including the use of “ship riders” and expedited boarding approval and procedures.

As a response to a record murder rate and rising crime, the legislature is finalizing a new set of laws that target drug-related crime and illegal firearms. These measures will reinforce magistrates’ authority to hand down tougher sentences. The legislation will also permit an additional 200 police to be added to the force, particularly notable given the fiscal discipline the current government has demonstrated in its most recent budget. To reduce the number of illegal weapons on the street, the RBPF initiated a gun take-back program in October that included amnesty for the voluntary surrender of weapons. The program resulted in the removal of 74 weapons and various kinds of ammunition.

The National Drug Council (NDC) and the National Anti-Drug Secretariat (NADS) is currently revising the country’s expired National Drug Strategy, last released for the 2004-09 period.

2. Supply Reduction

The Bahamas is primarily a transit country for illegal drugs, though there is some local cultivation of marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU), the primary drug fighting institution in the Bahamas, cooperated closely with the United States and other foreign law enforcement agencies on drug investigations. Including OPBAT seizures, Bahamian authorities seized 176 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and 24 metric tons of marijuana. There are no official estimates of hectares of marijuana under cultivation in The Bahamas. Host country law enforcement, however, eradicated over 20,000 marijuana plants during 2011, a decrease from last year’s number but still nearly double the 2009 level. The DEU arrested over 80 people on drug-related offenses and seized over $938,521 in cash.

Contraband is smuggled through a variety of vessels, employing myriad strategies. Larger vessels are known to offload drugs on to small vessels before checking in with Bahamian Customs, and many vessels do not register at all when entering Bahamian waters. The DEU, in conjunction with the DEA, continued a program in Great Inagua to enforce Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas requirements that vessels entering Bahamian territorial waters report to Bahamian Customs.

Cocaine continues to transit The Bahamas via go-fast boats, small commercial freighters, containers, and small aircraft. Small sport fishing vessels and pleasure crafts move cocaine from The Bahamas to Florida by blending in with legitimate traffic that transit these areas. Larger “go-fast” and sport fishing vessels transport marijuana from Jamaica through The Bahamas and into Florida in the same manner as cocaine. Traffickers also skirt along the loosely monitored Cuban coast line, looking for opportune moments to break for Florida through Bahamian waters. During 2011, The Bahamas and U.S. law enforcement assets worked together on over 35 successful interdictions. U.S. antidrug-related agencies estimate that there are 12 to 15 significant drug trafficking organizations operating in The Bahamas.

Haitian and Haitian-Bahamian drug trafficking organizations continue to play a major role in the movement of cocaine from Hispaniola through The Bahamas. Investigations of these organizations are hindered by an enduring lack of Creole speakers within the DEU. Bahamian law enforcement regularly discovers drugs during inspections of Haitian sloops that continue to enter Bahamian waters despite being officially prohibited from doing so. Information acquired by host country law enforcement suggests that drug trafficking organizations have utilized air drops and remote airfields to deliver large cocaine shipments to the Turks and Caicos Islands and to The Bahamas from Venezuela and Colombia. Recent investigations reveal that Bahamian drug trafficking organizations are using the Turks and Caicos Islands as a transshipment point.

Although maritime means remain a significant method of drug transit through The Bahamas, the majority of cocaine seized in recent years has been concealed in containerized cargo transiting the Freeport Container Port on the island of Grand Bahamas. DEA believes that Colombian traffickers are utilizing containerized cargo as a means to thwart the efforts of law enforcement officials in The Bahamas. Approximately three metric tons of cocaine have been seized at the Freeport Container Port since 2007. Nevertheless, the amounts seized from containers have diminished in recent years, including 2011.

3. Demand Reduction

NADS coordinates the demand reduction programs of various governmental entities, such as Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, and of NGO’s such as the Drug Action Service and The Bahamas Association for Social Health. To increase effectiveness and avoid redundancy, the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will consolidate the NDC currently under the Ministry of Health, with NADS into one institution under the Ministry of National Security. The NDC and NADS will continue to focus on drug prevention efforts in schools and youth organizations on New Providence, Grand Bahama, and other population centers. They have also begun a civil society strengthening effort to build grass roots, sustainable activism for demand reduction efforts. DEA also participates in demand reduction programs targeting local schools and church groups.

4. Corruption

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs, or other controlled substances. It also does not support the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. No senior official in the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas was investigated for drug-related offenses in 2011. The RBPF uses an internal committee to investigate allegations of corruption involving police officers instead of an independent entity.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The Bahamas is partnering with the other nations of the Caribbean and the United States to combat the drug trade and other transnational crime. This shared security partnership has gained new momentum through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), a multi-year USG assistance program that focuses on supporting citizen safety programs and regional security institutions. The goals of CBSI relative to The Bahamas are to: stem the flow of illegal drugs through The Bahamas and into the United States; dismantle drug trafficking organizations; and strengthen Bahamian law enforcement and judicial institutions to make them more effective and self-sufficient in combating drug trafficking and money laundering activities.

During this reporting period, INL funded numerous tactical and intelligence-related training events as well as a new 41-foot aluminum interceptor that will enable DEU personnel to conduct operations farther, faster, and more safely. Funding will also support repairs for RBPF boats based in several other locations in The Bahamas; repairs which will dramatically improve the RBPF’s interdiction “end game” capabilities.

Computers and other equipment were procured to improve Bahamian law enforcement’s capacity to target trafficking organizations through better intelligence collection and more efficient interdiction operations. INL funds also provided tactical equipment and training to the RBPF; and supported the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas’ “Drug Free Schools” initiative and demand reduction program.

The USCG is moving forward with its plans to rebuild the OPBAT hangar on the island of Great Inagua. This two-year construction project will allow USCG to base helicopters flying in support of OPBAT on Great Inagua. Since Hurricane Ike destroyed the original Great Inagua hangar in 2008, USCG helicopters temporarily operate out of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the neighboring British Overseas Territory, as part of its participation in OPBAT.

In order to build regional safety and security capacity, the USCG utilized DoD and DOS funds to provide resident, mobile and on-the job training in maritime law enforcement, small boats operations, port security, engineering and maintenance, and professional development for the RBDF’s officer and enlisted corps. The DoD also provided two additional high speed interceptor boats to the RBDF under SOUTHCOM’s Enduring Friendship program.

The U.S. interagency team has identified and delivered the training needed by RBPF counterparts to combat organized crime and criminal violence in The Bahamas. These trainings have been formulated to systematically build skill sets. For example, members of the RBPF were trained by DEA in arrest techniques which provide the basic skills to conduct safe enforcement operations. The RBPF has also received training in combat life-saving to deal with situations that arise during high risk arrests. All these skills are in critical need based on the recent trends in criminal activity encountered by the RBPF.

D. Conclusion

The United States and The Bahamas remain steadfast partners in the fight against drug traffickers, and the strong working relationship between U.S. and Bahamian law enforcement agencies serves as an example for other joint operations in the region. The recently-launched CBSI framework will further improve this relationship.

Reducing the long delays in extradition requests will help transition the success of operations through to prosecutions and address the continuation of traffickers’ activities when they are out on bail. The overburdened Bahamian legal system may receive a reprieve once a newly announced expansion of the Prosecutors Office takes effect. More aggressive investigation and prosecution of money laundering will weaken drug trafficking networks and defend against the corrosive influence of drug money.

The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas will bolster their ability to fight smuggling from Haitian groups by more actively addressing the institutional barriers to integrating Creole speakers into the DEU and fostering appropriate information sharing between the RBPF, RBDF and the Haitian National Police. This approach would further develop an understanding of Haitian drug trafficking organizations operating in The Bahamas and prevent smugglers from exploiting information gaps as they pass between national jurisdictions.


Bangladesh was not a significant cultivator or producer of narcotics in 2011. Government of Bangladesh (GOB) officials charged with controlling and preventing illegal substance trafficking lack sufficient training, and equipment to address the growing precursor chemical trafficking situation and the influx of “yaba” (methamphetamine pills) from Burma. Law enforcement agencies nevertheless interdicted narcotics, from the Golden Crescent in South Asia and the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, smuggled into Bangladesh along its porous borders. GOB law enforcement agencies also continue to assist DEA in providing critical information related to (express parcel) shipments containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine that are sent to Mexican based methamphetamine trafficking organizations. There is no direct evidence that corruption in law enforcement agencies is hampering the country’s drug interdiction efforts in targeting significant precursor chemicals or yaba traffickers. Bangladesh is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the UN Convention against Corruption. On July 13, 2011, Bangladesh acceded to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Assessments conducted by several U.S. agencies in 2009 and 2010 confirmed numerous land, sea and air border security vulnerabilities in Bangladesh that could be easily exploited by narcotics traffickers. The Bangladesh Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) said it was unable to estimate the number of drug addicts in the country. The NGO community also does not have reliable numbers, with estimates ranging wildly between 100,000 to 1.7 million addicts out of a population of 160 million. Among classes of drug users where better estimates are possible, NGO sources estimate 20,000-25,000 injecting drug users and 45,000 heroin smokers. Other drugs used in Bangladesh were methamphetamines, marijuana, and the codeine-based cough syrup phensidyl. Most of the yaba circulating in Bangladesh is smuggled from neighboring countries such as Burma. The GOB considers the smuggling, diversion and abuse of pharmaceuticals originating from India one of the largest drug problems in Bangladesh. Poor, uneducated, unemployed youth are the group most under threat of drug abuse in Bangladesh. More than 20 percent of recent drug arrestees are under the age of 16. Street children, who sometimes come from a drug abusing milieu with close relatives abusing drugs, and who are lured into selling drugs, are under especially great risk of debilitating drug abuse. Among street children who inject drugs, high percentages (65 percent) share needles, and similarly high percentages engage in either risky sexual behavior or are abused sexually themselves. The resultant risk of HIV/AIDS transmission in this vulnerable group is obvious.

The International Narcotics Control Board estimated that small quantities of cannabis are cultivated in Bangladesh for local use. The DNC acknowledged that cannabis is cultivated in the hill tracts near Chittagong, in the southern silt islands, and in the northeastern region. The DNC also reported DNC officers, in coordination with other law enforcement officials, eradicated cannabis crops as soon as crops were located. According to Central American and United States law enforcement agencies, Pseudoephedrine shipped from Bangladesh was diverted to Central America for production of methamphetamine destined primarily for the United States.

The most frequently abused drugs in Bangladesh are low quality heroin, phensidyl (illegally smuggled from India) and cannabis. Heroin was smuggled into Bangladesh by couriers from Pakistan, by commercial vehicles or trains from India, by trucks or public transport from Burma and by sea via the Bay of Bengal. The Chittagong port appeared to be the main exit point for narcotics leaving Bangladesh. One report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security described a chaotic situation at Benapole, the main land border crossing between India and Bangladesh, which could easily be exploited by narcotics traffickers. The report noted examination of luggage items was cursory at best.

Bangladesh law enforcement officials believe that drug abuse, while previously a problem among the ultra-poor, is becoming a major problem among the wealthy and well-educated youth as well. The DNC ran treatment centers in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Jessore and Comilla. A drug addicts’ rehabilitation organization, Ashokti Punorbashon Nibash (APON), Bengali for the NGO, operates six long-term residential rehabilitation centers, including the first centers in Bangladesh for the rehabilitation of female addicts. APON says it is the only organization that includes street children in its drug rehabilitation program.

Drug trafficking to Bangladesh and diversion of medicine for abuse have contributed to a growing addiction problem, especially among the most vulnerable in society. Problems at Bangladesh’s ports make drug trafficking more difficult to control. The GOB and donors, including the USG, will need to focus on these problems to bring about improvements.


A. Introduction

In 2011, the United States added Belize to the list of Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries. Belize was susceptible to the transshipment of illegal drugs due to its position along the Central American isthmus between the United States, Mexico, and the drug-producing countries of South America. Large stretches of unpopulated jungles on its borders with Guatemala and Mexico, and a relatively unpatrolled coastline that includes hundreds of small islands and atolls, made controlling the territory difficult in 2011. The remote jungles of Belize provided a hospitable environment for growing cannabis. Drug trafficking and related crimes increasingly threatened the stability of Belize.

Belize generally tolerated the use of cannabis. Drug possession penalties included a $5,000 fine for first-time offenses and, albeit infrequently, a three-year prison sentence for second offenses. Crack cocaine was the second most abused drug in Belize according to a 2008 Central American Integration System (SICA) study, a finding re-validated by the National Drug Abuse Council in 2011. Synthetic drugs were not widely used or manufactured in Belize, although precursor chemicals transited Belize en-route to Mexico.

Despite enhanced efforts to monitor coastal waters, limited funds, equipment, and personnel hampered the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) and the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU). Belize’s counternarcotics efforts were limited by corruption and deficiencies in intelligence gathering and analysis, the judicial sector, and political will. Belize is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In an effort to provide greater security for its citizens, Belize instituted several legislative reforms in 2011. The government expanded its control of firearms by increasing the penalties for firearms offenses, increasing the minimum age for application for firearm and ammunition licenses from 16 to 21, and mandating the registration of bulletproof vests. Belize also passed the Interception of Communications Act to allow judicially-authorized wiretaps of telephones and other forms of communication. Following the passing of that legislation, the government required mandatory registration of all existing, prepaid cellular phones by March 15, 2012. Thereafter, all unregistered numbers will be deactivated.

In 2011, Belize launched an institutional reform of its police academy and police institutions. This project – responsible for the training of over 300 police officers in 2011 – will continue in 2012. Much of the training consisted of instruction in community policing philosophies and techniques.

The government readily assisted in the capture and repatriation of U.S. citizen fugitives. In 2011, 14 U.S. citizen fugitives have been repatriated back to the United States through mechanisms other than extradition. Although the United States and Belize have an extradition treaty, Belize’s response to formal U.S. extradition requests has been very slow, in part due to limited resources in its criminal justice system. Currently, there are two narcotics related extradition requests from 2006 pending with Belize.

The United States assisted the government of Belize in developing a protocol for the destruction of methamphetamine precursor chemicals, including criminalizing the trafficking of phenyl-acetic acid (PAA). Belize is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Belize is one of six countries (along with Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France, Guatemala and the United States) that ratified the Caribbean Regional Agreement on Maritime Counter Narcotics, which is now in force. Belize passed the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act in 2008, establishing money laundering as an autonomous offense. Belize is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.

In 2011, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) representatives assisted government personnel in mapping out an action plan to begin implementation of a national drug information system, which will share data with CICAD on the demand, use, and supply of drugs in Belize. Belize became a member state of the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) in May 2009, and CICAD provided training for Belize’s national project coordinator.

Bilateral agreements between the United States and Belize include a protocol to the Maritime Counterdrug Agreement that entered into force in April 2000, a bilateral Extradition Treaty that entered into force in March 2001, and the Inter-American Convention on Serving Criminal Sentences Abroad that entered into force in 2005. The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) entered into force in 2003. In 2011, the Belize Coast Guard for the first time participated in the Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which also included participants from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and most Central American countries.

2. Supply Reduction

The Belize Police Department’s (BPD) Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) maintains its headquarters in Belize City. The unit was often unable to promptly respond to unauthorized air traffic in remote parts of the country. Belize in turn used ADU to counter the spiraling violence in Belize City whose elevated murder rate contributed to the 5.8 percent increase nation-wide.

In 2011, Belizean authorities seized and eradicated 72 metric tons (MT) of cannabis. This is an estimate based on actual seizures of dried cannabis, and the number of plants removed from the ground. There were no seizures of heroin, but the government confiscated 14,981 doses of pseudoephedrine and 300 kilograms (kg) of cocaine. The cocaine seized in 2011 represents a small increase from the 28.3 kg seized in 2009. In November of 2010, a single joint United States-Belize operation seized 2.6 MT of cocaine. Belize did not produce cocaine, heroin or precursor chemicals. The government seized limited amounts of bulk cash in 2011.

There were no successful prosecutions related to large seizures of illicit drugs in 2011, though small scale drug possession convictions were relatively common. Many police prosecutors – responsible for prosecuting minor offenses – still lacked strong investigative and prosecutorial training, and a scarcity of staff and resources did not allow the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to manage each case efficiently. For example, three customs officers – arrested and charged in 2008 for facilitating the disappearance of a container of pseudoephedrine – went to trial in 2011, and two of the customs officers had their case dismissed due to lack of evidence. A second jury acquitted the third officer on two counts of forgery.

The government’s cases frequently relied on witness testimony instead of forensic evidence, or a combination thereof. Widespread victim and witness intimidation and lack of forensic analytical capacity prevented successful prosecutions. System wide, the conviction rate in Belize hovered around five to seven percent.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

In 2011, Belize updated its three-year National Anti-Drug Strategy to cover 2011 to 2014. The central coordinating authority in charge of demand reduction, supply reduction, and drug control measures remained the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC). Belize’s Ministry of Health provided funding for the NDACC. The council had 21 regular employees and a budget of approximately $150,000 USD for the year.

Belize operated two drug rehabilitation centers for its own citizens. The primary facility operated within the Belize Central Prison. It was run by a non-governmental organization, the Kolbe Foundation, which also managed the prison. The 120-day residence program, started in 2006, was open to inmates and members of the public willing to overcome addiction. A total of 163 persons graduated from the program in 2011, including 19 women. The second rehabilitation center – named Remar – was run by a religious organization and had approximately 35 patients in treatment at any given time.

In 2011, the Ministry of Health personnel from the Schools and Community Programs Unit conducted demand reduction education when invited by a specific school. NDACC worked with the Ministry of Education to implement prevention programs in the school curriculum.

4. Corruption

The Belizean government did not, as a matter of government policy, encourage or facilitate illicit drug production or distribution. The government of Belize was not involved in laundering proceeds of illicit drug sales. Combined with a lack of resources and weak law enforcement institutions, Belize’s ineffective judicial system and inadequate compensation for civil service employees and public safety officials allowed illegal activities to continue at various levels within the government. Belize lacked laws that specifically address narcotics-related corruption. Its Prevention of Corruption Act – passed in the year 2000 – includes measures to combat corruption related to illicit monetary gains and the misuse of public funds while holding public office and it also provides a code of conduct for civil servants. Belize is the only country in Central America that is not a party to the UN Convention against Corruption. While some low-level government officials were arrested for corruption, no senior or high-level officials were arrested or charged with corruption-related offenses in 2011.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Through equipment, training, and technical assistance, the United States bolstered Belize’s own efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and narcotics trafficking. Through the Central American Citizen Security Partnership, the United States worked with Belize to disrupt and decrease the flow of narcotics, weapons, and illicit proceeds generated by sales of illegal drugs, and to confront gangs and criminal organizations. U.S. support included infrastructure upgrades, training, and the provision of equipment for the Belize Defense Force (BDF). This included the donation of four new maritime vessels to boost the government’s counternarcotics interdiction capacity. Other support from the United States helped to modernize and enhance law enforcement capacity, support police academy reform, improve prison management, and assist in anti-gang initiatives. In an effort to improve the Belize Coast Guard’s (BCG) capacity to deny drug traffickers the use of its territory, the United States Coast Guard continued to provide the BCG with training in maritime law enforcement, engineering and maintenance, leadership and management, port security, and incident command systems. The United States worked with the governments of Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala to develop a strategy to strengthen security along their shared borders in order to inhibit the trafficking of illicit substances.

In 2011, Belize created an official strategy plan, called the Restore Belize Strategic Plan 2011-2015, to improve civil society and Belize’s overall citizen security situation.

D. Conclusion

In 2011, Belize took incremental steps to address the growing threat of narcotics-related crime within its borders. It must make greater strides toward improving citizen security and disrupting the flow of illegal drugs if it is to reverse the new wave of corrosive criminal activity. Without action and redress, Belize’s security environment will continue to deteriorate. Reports indicate that drug trafficking and drug-related violence rose in Belize, and that those figures will continue on an upward trend. The United States encourages Belize to strengthen its public security and law enforcement institutions through more effective anti-corruption legislation, comprehensive background checks and vetting for new and existing personnel, and better training and continuing education programs. Belize should strengthen its border security through better management and leadership, increased training, and augmenting the border management staff. Belize’s criminal justice system will be more effective when the government provides adequate funding and training for prosecutors in the DPP’s office, as well as police prosecutors. Belize will be more capable of successfully confronting illegal drug trafficking by placing a greater emphasis on institution and capacity building. The United States will maintain its strong partnership with Belize, and assist in its fight against DTOs and other criminal organizations.


Benin is a transit country for drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, with related laundering of trafficking proceeds. The volume of drugs transiting Benin is unclear, but cocaine and heroin transit West African countries, including Benin, en route to Europe. Cannabis is cultivated in central Benin for local consumption and regional sale.

There are indications that large cocaine shipments originating from South America and heroin from Southwest Asia enter Benin via maritime vessels and cargo containers for further distribution in West Africa and to Europe.

In April 2011, U.S. government officials assisted local law enforcement to seize a shipping container filled with used clothes that concealed 200 kilograms of heroin. The shipping container originated in Pakistan and was destined for Europe. On June 7, French law enforcement separately assisted in the seizure of 400 kilograms of cocaine originating from South America destined for Niger; the cocaine was concealed inside large irrigation system valves. Methamphetamine has been seized in Belgium, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam from couriers and in air cargo originating in Cotonou. In November 2011, methamphetamine secreted in motor parts was seized at Liege Airport in Belgium. The drugs originated in Benin, with a final destination of Malaysia. Drug traffickers reportedly launder drug proceeds through purchase and import of second-hand vehicles from the United States and Europe.

The Government of Benin (GOB) Central Office for Repression of Illicit Trafficking of Drugs and Precursors (OCERTID) is the national lead agency for combating narcotics trafficking. OCERTID supports and coordinates anti-drug activities of the police, Gendarmerie, customs, forestry service and other offices. However, the effectiveness of this coordination is limited since many positions in OCERTID remain unfilled. OCERTID responds to reports of illicit drug trafficking and maintains enforcement offices in the city of Cotonou, including Benin's international airport and the Port of Cotonou. The airport has been used as an entry point to bring drugs into and through Benin. President Boni Yayi visited the Cotonou airport in late 2011 to ensure that proper security measures are put in place to combat drug trafficking. Recent drug seizures have primarily included cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. OCERTID's reported seizures from January to September 2011 were: 246.5 kilograms of cannabis; 424.4 kilograms of cocaine; and 200.2 kilograms of heroin. As a matter of policy, the Government of Benin does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Benin's Law on Control of Drugs and Precursors, the Criminal Code, and the Code of Criminal Procedure criminalizes narcotics-related money laundering, and provides penalties of up to 20 years in prison and fines up to CFA 5 million ($10,000, at current exchange rates) for trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances. Benin is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption. The GOB has established an Inter-ministerial Committee for Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (CILAS) and drafted a National Anti-Drug Policy (POLUDRO) to address drug abuse and trafficking.

The UNODC is assisting the GOB to draft an Integrated National Program to curb drug abuse and trafficking. UNODC and other development partners, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation, are assisting the GOB to increase security at the Port of Cotonou, including improving shipping container inspections. The GOB coordinated a nationwide drugs awareness campaign as a key activity of its observance of the 2011 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. In May and June 2011, CILAS conducted drug awareness training with students and local government in eight departments of Benin. The GOB continues to address drug abuse and trafficking through education and enforcement of anti-drug legislation.


A. Introduction

Bolivia is the world's third largest cocaine producer and a significant transit zone for Peruvian-origin cocaine. Existing reports indicate that most Bolivian-origin cocaine exports flow to other Latin American countries, especially Brazil, for domestic consumption or onward transit to West Africa and Europe. U. S. government surveys estimate that approximately one percent of the cocaine seized in the United States and submitted for testing originates from Bolivia.

On September 15, 2011, the President of the United States determined for the fourth consecutive year that the Government of Bolivia “failed demonstrably” to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under counternarcotics (CN) conventions. This Presidential determination was based, in part, on evidence that Bolivia had yet to reverse the increases in net coca cultivation of the past several years, although in 2010 it appeared that production had stabilized; however, without the ability to conduct yield studies previously conducted by the Drug enforcement Administration (DEA), there is no assurance that production has not risen. The 2010 U.S. government estimate of pure cocaine production potential remained at the 2008-2009 levels of 195 metric tons, 70 percent higher than in 2006, and potential export quality cocaine production at 240 metric tons

The National Drug Control Council, chaired by the Ministry of Government, is the Bolivian government’s central policymaking body for CN. The mandate of Vice Ministry for Social Defense's (VMSD) is to combat drug trafficking, regulate coca production, and advance coca eradication and drug prevention and rehabilitation. The Special Counternarcotics Police Force (FELCN) comprised of approximately 1,700 personnel, an increase from 1,500 personnel in 2010, reports to the VMSD. The Joint Eradication Task Force conducts coca eradication with approximately 2,300 military, police and civilian personnel, an increase of 300 since 2010.

Bolivian President Evo Morales remains the president of the coca growers’ federation in the Chapare region of Bolivia, one of the two major coca growing areas in Bolivia. His administration maintains a "social control" policy for illicit coca eradication in which the Bolivian government negotiates with coca growers to obtain their consent for eradication. In 2011, Bolivia intensified coca eradication efforts, reporting the eradication of more than 10,000 hectares for the first time since 2002, even as eradication forces continued to meet resistance from coca growers. However, illegal coca cultivation for drug production remains high, and the Bolivian government maintains inadequate controls to prevent diversion of licit coca to illicit cocaine production.

The Government of Bolivia’s ability to identify, investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and follow actionable law enforcement leads developed in Bolivia remains diminished following the expulsion of all U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel from Bolivia in January 2008. Colombian, Brazilian, Peruvian and other foreign nationals in Bolivia engage in financing, producing and exporting drugs and laundering drug proceeds. The Bolivian government denies that foreign drug cartels are present on Bolivian soil.

According to the Latin American Center of Scientific Investigation (CELIN), illegal drug use is a growing problem in Bolivia.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments. Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Bolivia's 2011-2015 counternarcotics plan is unpublished. Felipe Caceres, the Vice Minister of Social Defense stated that the plan will enact new legislation to increase licit national coca cultivation levels from 12,000 to 20,000 hectares. (The Government of Bolivia passed Law 1008 in 1988 permitting coca cultivation on 12,000 hectares in the traditional coca growing area of the Yungas). The recently proposed legislation was delayed throughout 2011 pending release of a European Union-funded study on traditional coca consumption originally scheduled for completion in 2005.

In 2010, the Government of Bolivia prepared legislation to replace existing laws affecting wiretaps, money laundering and asset forfeitures, drawing on technical assistance provided by the United States in 2008. These bills remained under review in a Bolivian congressional committee and were not enacted in 2011.

The Bolivian government budgeted $20 million in 2011 for the second consecutive year for CN operations through the Executing Unit for the Fight against Narcotics (UELICN) under the Ministry of Government. UELICN took over responsibility for some expenses as routine operational support was reduced in 2011.

FELCN’s Director General stated that its 2011 operations focused on money laundering cases and leads from law enforcement counterparts from neighboring countries. Bolivia continued to seek counternarcotics support from other countries, including law enforcement cooperation, especially with Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. In 2011, Bolivia and Brazil signed the third two-year law enforcement cooperation agreement and an agreement between their defense ministries on border security. Bolivia and Brazil’s multiagency commission on drugs met for the seventh time to continue work on implementing its plan of action.

The United States, Bolivia and Brazil continued negotiations on a pilot project that will enable Bolivia to eradicate illegal coca more efficiently, detect the re-planting of eradicated coca, and improve the credibility of Bolivia's reported eradication results. Approval of the pilot project is expected in 2012.

Agreements and Treaties. Bolivia's efforts in 2011 to amend the United Nations' 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs through removal of references to traditional uses for coca leaf including coca leaf chewing. Based on a denunciation presented to the United Nations Bolivia will withdraw from the Convention effective January 1, 2012. Bolivian government officials say Bolivia will immediately rejoin the Convention, with the reservation that it does not recognize the Convention ban on chewing coca leaf. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) officials indicate that Bolivia will effectively remain outside the Convention through the end of January 2013.

Bolivia is a signatory to the 1988 UN Drug Convention and the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Bolivia is also a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling, UN Convention Against Corruption, and Inter-American Convention against Corruption; however, Bolivia lacks many of the legal and enforcement mechanisms necessary to fully implement these agreements. Bolivia signed, but has not yet ratified, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, and although ratified the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance to Criminal Matters remains unsigned.

The Government of Bolivia and the United States signed a bilateral extradition treaty in 1995, that went into effect in 1996, permitting the extradition of nationals for most serious offenses, including drug trafficking.

2. Supply Reduction

The 2010 U. S. government coca cultivation estimate for Bolivia of 34,500 hectares was slightly lower than the 2009 estimate of 35,000 hectares. UNODC surveys estimated 31,000 hectares of cultivation for 2010, a slight increase over its 2009 estimate of 30,900 hectares. The Government of Bolivia, expected the results to show a net decrease in coca cultivation after increased eradication at the end of 2010, and delayed publication of the UNODC's 2010 coca survey for several months to review the data. The Bolivian government has stated its intention to reduce net coca cultivation to 20,000 hectares by 2015 or earlier.

The Bolivian government reported eradication of over 10,509 hectares of coca in 2011, a significant increase over the 8,200 the government reported eradicated in 2010, and meeting President Morales' goal of 10,000 hectares. Success was due, in part to strict adherence to weekly targets and accepting U. S. government recommendations aimed at greater efficiency.

During 2011, there was evidence of decreased governmental tolerance of illegal coca cultivation, in particular in the national parks, but also in the traditional coca growing regions of the Yungas and the Chapare. The government took significant steps to control coca production in the Chapare. Under an agreement with the Bolivian government, Chapare federations of coca growers began implementing a “coca zero” policy which pressured growers to comply with the one-cato rule. In October 2003, the Government of Bolivia and Chapare coca producers signed an agreement legalizing a “cato” (40 x 40 sqm) of cultivation per family in the Chapare. Because many farmers were growing two or more catos, the Federations have since implemented an “auto-control” policy whereby growers voluntarily eradicate coca in excess of one cato. The Bolivian government began eradicating replanted coca immediately rather than waiting two to three years to eradicate in the same areas. The European Union-funded Social Control Project completed a biometric registration of Coca Grower Federation members in the Chapare, adding impetus to social control efforts there.

USAID’s Integrated Alternative Development (IAD) program provided support to help diversify the economies of Bolivia’s coca growing regions, reduce communities’ dependency on coca, and complement the Bolivian government’s coca eradication efforts. USAID provided assistance in communities selected jointly with the Bolivians and focused in the Yungas region. In Fiscal Year 2011, assistance provided to farm communities and businesses helped generate nearly 2,000 new jobs and $12.5 million in sales of USAID products that directly benefited 30,144 families.

The FELCN achieved numerous high-profile successes during 2011, including the shutdown of a large Colombian cocaine laboratory in the Isiboro Sécure National Park. While the lack of DEA or other international law enforcement personnel working with FELCN in the field made it difficult to independently verify figures, according to the Bolivian government, FELCN seized 28.35 metric tons of cocaine base and 5.61 metric tons of cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) in 2011. FELCN also destroyed 25 large scale cocaine HCL processing labs, one more than in 2010, and 5,252 cocaine processing labs, 11 percent decrease from 2010 levels.

The Bolivian government arrested and charged 3,930 persons on narcotics-related offenses during 2011, an increase of 5 percent over 2010. Prosecutors won 430 CN convictions in the first none months of 2011, more than double the 185 convictions in all of 2010. (Prosecutors recorded 326 successful CN convictions in 2009). In Bolivia, after making initial charges, prosecutors have six months to move most cases to trial. The CN conviction rate from 2008-2011 was approximately 20 percent

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The CELIN study entitled “Drug Use in Bolivia 1992-2010” showed a steady increase in drug use among the population throughout the country. Urban marijuana consumers increased from 0.2% in 1992 to 2.54% in 2010, cocaine HCl consumers rose from 0.1% in 1992 to 1.59% in 2010, and cocaine base users grew from 0.2% in 1992 to 1.44% in 2010. CELIN also released a study in 2011 on student drug use that showed an increase in marijuana consumption from 0.8% in 1993 to 4.4% in 2011, in cocaine HCl consumption from 0.2% in 1993 to 0.9% in 2011, and in cocaine base consumption from 0.3% in 1993 to 2.9% in 2011.

4. Corruption

The Government of Bolivia enacted an Anti-Corruption Law on March 31, 2010, that applied to all public officials retroactively with no statute of limitations. However, the law does not specifically refer to narcotics-related corruption. The new law was used in 2011 by government prosecutors to bring corruption charges and to indict some judges for dismissing charges in CN and other criminal cases.

As a matter of policy, the Bolivian government does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. Nevertheless, there were arrests of corrupt senior CN officials, both inside and outside Bolivia, for facilitating drug shipments. For example, Rene Sanabria, who was then head of the Information and Intelligence Generating Center (CIGEIN) and former Bolivian Police Commander pled guilty to U.S. Federal cocaine trafficking charges in June 2011. CIGEIN, a CN intelligence organization under the Ministry of Government, was disbanded after Sanabria's arrest. In 2010, the FELCN Director General launched an initiative to deter corruption that included polygraph exams for all of its CN officers.

In 2011, the Bolivian National Police (BNP) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for internal investigations absorbed FELCN's independent OPR. The OPR investigates all cases and may sanction law enforcement for minor infractions. The BP’s Disciplinary Tribunal is responsible for reviewing cases and determining punishment, if appropriate, for police officers involved in misconduct and other integrity-related violations. Cases involving violation of Bolivian law are referred to the Attorney General's Office for prosecution.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Under a 2006 bilateral Letter of Agreement, U. S. government programs seek to enhance the capabilities of the Bolivian government to reduce coca cultivation; arrest and bring traffickers to justice, promote integrated alternative development; disrupt the production of cocaine within Bolivia, interdict and destroy illicit drugs and precursor chemical moving within and through the country, reduce domestic abuse of cocaine and other illicit drugs, institutionalize a professional law enforcement system, and improve the Bolivian population’s awareness of the dangers of illicit drugs. To achieve these aims, the U. S. government provides administrative, logistical, financial and training support to Bolivian CN programs and to work productively with the Bolivians at the policy implementation and technical level.

In 2011, the United States supported the training of 4,424 police officers, prosecutors and other Bolivian government and NGO officials through 63 training courses, seminars and conferences. This included training for Bolivian police officers in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

During 2011, the U. S. government funded six drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation projects. These included family-based drug prevention programs in Cochabamba and Tarija and drug prevention education programs with Bolivia's most renowned youth soccer academy.

D. Conclusion

Although Bolivia’s eradication program is meeting its stated targets, when taken as a whole, Bolivia's eradication and interdiction results have not been sufficient to adequately reverse high coca cultivation and cocaine production levels. Bolivia's policy to consider 20,000 hectares of coca cultivation as licit, its intention to enact legislation to legalize the entire 20,000 hectares, and its withdrawal from the 1961 Convention contribute to the international view that Bolivia's efforts to meet its international CN obligations were insufficient.

The Bolivian public, media, and experts widely perceive that the challenge to Bolivian institutions from designated terrorist organizations (DTOs), corruption, and citizen insecurity from drug trafficking and other crimes, increased during 2011. For the near- term, drug traffickers will continue to exploit opportunities to process abundant coca leaf into cocaine, suborn more Bolivian institutions and increase their influence in Bolivian communities.

The Government of Bolivia is encouraged to strengthen efforts to achieve tighter controls over the trade in coca leaf in order to stem diversion to cocaine processing in line with international treaties, achieve net reductions in coca cultivation, and protect its citizens from the deleterious effects of drug trafficking. To diminish Bolivia's appeal to drug traffickers, further action is required to improve security and through the justice sector effectively combat drug production and trafficking, money laundering, corruption, and other transnational crime, and bring criminal enterprises to justice through the rule of law. Bolivia is encouraged to provide more of its own resources for this effort as the USG transitions from providing direct operational support for the mature CN assistance program in Bolivia, to focusing on training and law enforcement capacity building. Enacting new asset forfeiture legislation and other CN measures would provide Bolivian law enforcement agencies with necessary resources. Members of the international community most directly affected by Bolivian cocaine exports are encouraged to share more responsibility and increase their support to Bolivia.

Chemical Controls

The FELCN Chemical Substances Investigation Group (GISUQ) searches for chemicals used in the traditional cocaine process, such as sulfuric acid, kerosene, diesel oil and limestone. Beginning in 2011, GISUQ found traffickers using new chemicals, such as isopropyl alcohol, liquid ethyl acetate and sodium bisulphate, and cement to produce cocaine. These chemicals are not among the precursor chemicals controlled under the Bolivian CN law. In 2011, GISUQ seized 747 metric tons T of solid substances and 2,634,906 liters of precursor chemicals, a 23 percent decrease and 10 percent increase respectively, over 2010.

The Bolivian government does not have control regimes for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia is not a major narcotics cultivator nor a significant narcotics producer, consumer, or producer of precursor chemicals. Bosnia is still considered primarily a transit country for drug trafficking due to its strategic location along historic Balkan smuggling routes and its strategic position between drug production and processing centers in Southwest Asia and markets in Western Europe. Bosnian authorities at the state, entity, cantonal, and municipal levels require further capacity to combat the transit of illegal migrants, black market commodities, and narcotics, but state-level institutions have improved their ability to stop the flow of illicit narcotics in the country. Bosnia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. A 1902 extradition treaty between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Serbia applies to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a successor state.

Weak state institutions, lack of personnel in counternarcotics units, and imperfect cooperation among the responsible authorities also contribute to Bosnia’s vulnerability to narcotics trafficking. Cooperation among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors is primarily informal and ad hoc, and serious legal and bureaucratic obstacles exist to the effective prosecution of criminals remain. The political will to improve narcotics control performance exists in many quarters of the Bosnian government, at the state, entity and district levels. However, faced with competing demands, the government has focused its limited law enforcement resources more on such problems as investigating and prosecuting war crimes, counterterrorism, and combating trafficking in persons. It has not developed comprehensive antinarcotics intelligence and enforcement capabilities.

Bosnia has a state-level counternarcotics coordination body and a commission for the destruction of illegal narcotics. The counternarcotics coordination body adopted a counter-narcotics strategy and action plan. Bosnia has limited financial resources, but with USG and EU assistance, it is attempting to improve its ability to combat narcotics trafficking and organized crime and to achieve compliance with relevant international conventions. Bosnia has increased its cooperation with regional and international law enforcement agencies. The Border Police (BP), the Indirect Taxation Authority (the Bosnian customs service), and the State Investigative and Protection Agency (SIPA) have improved counternarcotics efforts, but continued underfunding, lack of staffing, and an ill-equipped BP and SIPA remain a challenge. Telephone hotlines, local press coverage, and public relations efforts have focused public attention on smuggling and black-marketeering, encouraging an enforcement response and improvements.

As a matter of government policy, Bosnia does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

The BP is responsible for controlling the country's three international airports, as well as Bosnia's 55 international border crossings covering 1,551 kilometers. The BP has been considered one of the more effective border services in Southeast Europe and is one of the best functioning multi-ethnic state-level institutions in Bosnia. However, there are sustained personnel shortages in the BP. There are still a large number of illegal crossing points, including rural roads and river fords, which the BP lacks capacity to patrol. In-ground sensors have been deployed to close some of these gaps, but response times to sensor alerts are also affected by lack of equipment such as vehicles. Moreover, many official checkpoints and crossings remain understaffed. SIPA is supposed to be a conduit for information and evidence between local, state, and international law enforcement agencies. However, cooperation between local law enforcement agencies and SIPA is often less than optimal.

Despite structural challenges, law enforcement agencies, often in cooperation with neighboring countries, have succeeded in making narcotic-related arrests and seizures. Through September 2011 (latest available statistics), law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including the State Investigation and Protection Agency, the Border Police, Federation Ministry of Interior, Republika Srpska Ministry of Interior, and Brcko District Police) report having seized 1.3 kg of heroin, 26 g of cocaine, 113.5 kg of marijuana, 2,298 cannabis plants, and 3,357 cannabis seeds.

While most drugs entering Bosnia are being trafficked to other destinations, primarily to Western Europe, indigenous or regional organized crime groups are engaged in the local distribution of narcotics to the estimated 105,000 drug users in the country. There is evidence of links and conflict among Bosnian criminal elements and organized crime operations in Russia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and increasingly from South America. Organized crime, working with a few corrupt government officials according to anecdotal evidence, uses the narcotics trade to generate revenue. There is no credible evidence linking senior government officials to the illicit narcotics trade.

Strengthening state-level law enforcement and judicial institutions, promoting the rule of law, combating organized crime and terrorism, and reforming the judiciary and police in Bosnia remain top USG priorities. The USG will continue to focus its bilateral program on related subjects such as public sector corruption and improved border controls. The USG will continue to work closely with Bosnian authorities and the international community to encourage Bosnia to proceed with the full implementation of its national counternarcotics strategy. Bosnia recognizes the 1902 extradition treaty between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Serbia; the level of cooperation between the parties is good even in the absence of a formal mutual legal assistance treaty.


A. Introduction

As the largest nation in South America, with over 16,000 kilometers of land borders, over half of which are shared by the region’s major cocaine and marijuana producing countries, Brazil recognizes drug trafficking, border security, and drug prevention matters of national concern. Brazil is the world’s second largest consumer of cocaine and a major consumer of marijuana, produced both domestically as well in Paraguay. As such, Brazil places significant emphasis on drug abuse awareness, demand reduction and treatment polices. It is also a primary trafficking and transit country for cocaine destined for international markets, primarily in Europe.

Brazil’s federal law enforcement and narcotics institutions are highly professional and committed to combating the illegal drug trade. However, the scale of the drug problem and the size of the border present special challenges to law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking.

Brazil is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Government of Brazil’s lead agency for counternarcotics is the Federal Police (DPF), a multi-mission agency with responsibilities ranging from investigating federal crimes and countering international drug trafficking to providing border control and immigration services. The DPF is a highly professional law enforcement organization and reports to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). However, with less than 8,000 agents possessing arrest powers, the DPF is vastly under-resourced to police a continent sized country of nearly 200 million people that also borders 10 of 12 South American countries. The DPF suffers from a severe shortage of criminal investigators and, considering the Brazilian government’s 2011 hiring freeze, it does not appear the situation will improve in the near term. In addition, 40% of DPF employees will be eligible for retirement by 2015.

The DPF’s lack of manpower underscores the importance of inter-agency cooperation, which the Brazilian government made a priority in 2011. The DPF successfully partnered with the National Secretariat of Public Security’s (SENASP) National Force, the Secretariat of Federal Revenue, the armed forces, and state police forces in border security operations leading to multi-ton seizures of marijuana and cocaine.

Brazil has signed bilateral narcotics control agreements with the United States and every country in the region. The agreements provide a framework for exchanges of intelligence on criminal organizations, chemical diversion, capacity improvement, joint investigations, enforcement operations, and maintaining secure channels of communications. Brazil has also signed counternarcotics agreements with countries outside the Western Hemisphere, such as Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Portugal, and Spain. Brazil maintains formal alliances with UNODC, OAS/CICAD, and INTERPOL and is a signatory to the main UN and regional drug, corruption, and transnational crime conventions. In addition, the DPF has increased its overseas offices to 14 countries and maintains Liaison Officers in another dozen.

In 2011, the National Drug Policy Secretariat (SENAD) was relocated from the President’s cabinet to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) in order to better implement Brazil’s 2010 Plan to Confront Crack and Other Drugs. The MOJ now houses the DPF, SENASP, and SENAD, providing a more consolidated and coordinated platform from which to fight narcotics, organized crime, and address drug consumption. Additionally, the Brazilian Congress’ Chamber of Deputies created the Special Committee for Public Policies to Combat Crack & Other Illicit Drugs. The Committee is charged with developing new public policies aimed at preventing the use of crack and other drugs, treatment and social reintegration of drug users, and revision of current legislation.

As a federal republic, Brazil’s state police forces also contribute to the fight against illegal narcotics; civil police units investigate local crimes, and patrolling military police units which utilize a military organizational structure but are not members of the armed forces, also aid in the fight against drug trafficking. As the first line of defense against crime, these local forces play an integral role in the effort against illegal narcotics. For example, Rio de Janeiro’s Pacifying Police Units (UPPs), elements of the state police, have been successful in reducing drug trafficking and gang presence in seventeen of the city’s “favela” (shanty town) communities. However, professionalism and capacity vary widely among state agencies.

In addition to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, Brazil is also a party to the 1971 UN Convention Against Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol; the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols; the UN Convention Against Corruption; the Inter-American Convention against Corruption; the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its Optional Protocol; the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism; Inter-American Convention On International Traffic In Minors and the Inter-American Convention against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms. The United States and Brazil are parties to a mutual legal assistance treaty and a mutual assistance agreement on customs matters. Brazil cooperates with the United States in the extraditions of non-Brazilians. The United States and Brazil cooperate in extradition matters under a 1961 extradition treaty. Brazil’s constitution prohibits extradition of Brazilian nationals, but allows for extradition of naturalized Brazilians for certain drug-related crimes committed prior to naturalization. The Brazilian Supreme Court will agree to extraditions only if the MOJ receives assurance that extradited individuals will not be subject to sentences longer than 30 years.

2. Supply Reduction

Brazil continues to be a major conduit to world markets for illegal drugs produced in the Andean region. Bolivian cocaine has historically dominated the domestic market, especially in heavily populated urban centers. It enters Brazil across a 3,423-kilometer border on commercial trucks using cover loads, privately owned vehicles, and commercial buses. Small aircraft loaded with multi-hundred kilogram quantities of cocaine transport the drug into Brazil and either conduct air drops to awaiting ground teams, or simply off-load after landing on privately owned or clandestine airstrips. The DPF estimates that 75% of the cocaine entering from Bolivia is transported by air. Bolivian cocaine also enters Brazil via Argentina and Paraguay’s tri-border area and northern Uruguay. Once within Brazil, cocaine is transported in cargo or passenger vehicles to urban centers, primarily Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and prepared for consumption and/or international shipment, primarily to Africa and Europe. Some Peruvian cocaine also enters Brazil via Bolivia using similar methods. The DPF reports that during 2011, 15 crude cocaine laboratories used to convert cocaine base into crack were found in Brazil. State military police units seized five crack labs in the State of São Paulo, finding in one lab alone, 660 kilograms of cocaine base, eight kilograms of crack, 1,100 kilograms of marijuana, and various solvents and equipment used to manufacture crack.

Colombian and Peruvian cocaine is smuggled into Brazil via the vast Amazonian river system which serves as the primary route for cocaine bound for the ports of Manaus and Belem. Once in these Amazonian port cities, it is consolidated into multi-ton shipments are then containerized and shipped to Africa and Europe via commercial freighters. Smaller pleasure crafts are also used to rendezvous with cargo freighters to transfer large quantities of cocaine for export.

Colombian and Peruvian cocaine is frequently off-loaded in the many river towns in the Amazon region and taken inland to Brazil’s international airports for courier transport to Africa and Europe. Couriers use luggage, body-carry, and ingestion as means of transporting illegal narcotics. At São Paulo’s international airport in July and August 2011, the DPF arrested 46 Nigerians who were carrying ingested cocaine capsules.

The majority of DPF drug interdiction resources are focused on the state of São Paulo, the largest drug consuming and transit state in the country. Additionally, the states of Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Parana, which border Brazil’s cocaine and marijuana producing neighbors, are focal points for law enforcement. These seven states are responsible for 76% of the cocaine seized in Brazil by the DPF and 78% of all marijuana seizures.

On June 8, 2011, the Brazilian government introduced the Strategic Border Plan, a permanent multi-agency initiative involving the DPF, SENASP’s National Force, the Secretariat of Federal Revenue, the armed forces, and state police forces. The plan prioritizes strengthening security at 34 highest-risk locations along 7,363 kilometers of land border and 9,523 kilometers of land along rivers, lakes, and canals. The strategy aims to facilitate greater enforcement of laws against drugs, arms, and human trafficking, financial crimes, environmental crimes, and homicides. The chief elements of the plan are Operation Sentinela, a DPF intelligence based initiative with federal, state and military involvement, and Operation Agata, a similar multi-agency effort coordinated by Brazil’s armed forces. These two operations resulted in the combined seizures of 62 tons of marijuana and cocaine from June to September 2011, more than eight times the amount seized in the preceding five months. The two operations also resulted in the destruction of various clandestine airstrips.

The DPF conducts quarterly marijuana eradication campaigns in the Northeastern states of Bahia and Pernambuco. In 2011, the DPF destroyed 380 plantations and over one million plants. Brazil’s domestically cultivated marijuana is considered to be of a lower grade than the preferred Paraguayan marijuana smuggled into Brazil. The Paraguayan and Brazilian bilateral agreement allows for security forces of both countries to conduct joint marijuana eradication operations in Paraguay called Operation Nova Aliança IV. The DPF provides intelligence, helicopters, and advisory assistance on the ground during eradication operations. An estimated 80% of marijuana production in Paraguay is destined for the Brazilian market.

Synthetic drugs, ecstasy/MDMA and LSD are shipped to Brazil through the postal system or by air cargo and are generally consumed by upper and middle-class youth. Often, European couriers transport synthetic drugs into Brazil and return to Europe carrying cocaine. In June 2011, the DPF dismantled a courier organization that transported cocaine to the Netherlands and synthetic drugs to Brazil, arresting a Dutch citizen and 14 Brazilians. Methamphetamine trafficking and consumption is uncommon in Brazil, but is believed to be on the rise. As of October 2011, there have been four airport seizures of methamphetamine and one in São Paulo. In a June 2011 seizure, a Brazilian male arriving from Brussels was arrested at São Paulo’s International airport in possession of 9 kilograms of methamphetamine, 27,000 LSD dotted stamps, and a kilogram and a half of hashish. No methamphetamine labs were discovered in Brazil this year.

The Brazilian government’s focus on inter-agency cooperation and border security resulted in significantly improved interdiction efforts in 2011. As of October 2011, the DPF reported overall seizures of 15.2 metric tons (MTs) of cocaine, 87.4 MTs of marijuana, 194,776 dosage units (DUs) of Ecstasy, 72,492 DUs of LSD, and 42,000 DUs of methamphetamine. During this period, there were 3,018 arrests and/or indictments on drug related charges as well as $21.5 million dollars in asset seizures.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Brazil is considered to be second only to the United States in terms of the gross number of users of cocaine and its various forms including crack and unrefined cocaine base products. Brazil’s major cities have serious problems with crack users consuming the drug openly in “cracolandias” (cracklands), areas with corresponding high incidences of user-related crime.

The Brazilian Government recognizes the scope of the substance abuse problem, especially with respect to crack consumption. Accordingly, as part of the 2010 Integrated Plan to Confront Crack and Other Drugs, President Rousseff announced in February 2011 a plan to place 49 Reference Centers on Crack and Other Drugs in federal universities in 19 states to train health professionals and social workers to help drug users and their families.

SENAD has invested significantly on distance learning in partnership with other ministries and public universities. Several on-line drug prevention and drug related courses were given to government and private sector professionals in 2011, including 25,000 educators and 15,000 municipal officials from various sectors such as health, education and social assistance. SENAD plans to continue emphasizing distance learning by providing additional on-line courses to community therapists. Distance learning will also be offered to legal professionals and those working in Special Criminal Courts and Childhood and Youth Court Divisions.

In 2011, the Brazilian Government expanded its drug prevention and assistance projects for drug users and their families by financing 985 positions in 78 communities in 13 states. Successful programs were expanded to additional cities, such as Project “Lua Nova” (New Moon) which served addicted pregnant women with children, and project “Consultório de Rua” (Street Office) which provides psychological and medical assistance to homeless adults and children. In addition, Collaboration Centers were opened in Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre in 2011, providing 80 new beds for adult treatment, 24 new beds for children, and capacity for 200 daily outpatients.

Despite the new emphasis on drug abuse awareness, demand reduction, and treatment, Brazil’s programs as currently structured are not yet commensurate with the size of the addict population. A promising sign is the December 2011 announcement that the Brazilian government, through the Ministry of Health will invest more than $2.2 billion dollars into a program to curb the spread of crack use. This program will include the expansion of health networks dedicated to treating addiction, creating some 300 medical treatment facilities in mostly urban areas.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Brazil does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking and there has been no evidence to suggest that senior government officials are engaged in such activity. Narcotics related corruption is not considered to be a severe problem in Brazil. However, other forms of government corruption, such as misuse of public funds, are widely reported in the national media, and in 2011 President Rousseff removed six of her ministers amidst allegations of corruption.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Brazil on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement established various projects designed to enhance the capacity of Brazilian federal and state agencies to address illicit drug trafficking, chemical diversion, organized crime, and drug abuse awareness and demand reduction. The MOU serves as the foundation to pursue the shared U.S.-Brazilian goals of combating drug trafficking and disrupting the flow of illicit profits that enrich and empower transnational criminal enterprises. Brazilian partners under the MOU include the DPF, SENASP, the National Prison Department, SENAD, and the Council for Financial Activities Control.

In 2011 the United States completed twenty training courses for Brazilian law enforcement personnel, including Incident Command Systems, Emergency Command Center & Incident Response, Canine Explosives Detection, Undercover Tactics and Informant Handling, and Interviewing and Interrogation techniques. These courses were well received and contributed to the U.S. goal of increasing the capacity of Brazilian law enforcement.

U.S. support to DPF Special Investigation Units (GISEs) facilitates the agency’s collection and sharing of intelligence throughout DPF offices nationwide. In particular, this support facilitates the production and analysis of tactical intelligence that drives enforcement actions carried out by DPF drug units as well as Operations Sentinela and Agata. The GISEs, in coordination with the DEA, conduct complex criminal investigations intended to lead to major seizures of illegal drugs, such as the 2011 dismantling of an international trafficking organization and 34 arrests, including Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian nationals that annually smuggled multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Brazil to Italy and Croatia. Assets valued in excess of $10.6 million USD, three metric tons of cocaine, and $1.6 million USD in cash were seized during this operation.

The DPF is responsible for passenger control at ports of entry, interdiction of narcotics and other contraband, and security at each of Brazil’s 67 commercial airports. In 2011, the United States donated six Body-Scan x-ray detection machines to augment four previously donated units. These units continue to prove instrumental at airports in the detection of drug couriers who ingest cocaine filled capsules, including the 46 Nigerians arrested by the DPF in July and August.

In 2011, the United States donated 28 detection dogs to the DPF Canine Program raising the total number of dogs donated to 47. Canine units seized more narcotics in the first seven months of 2011, 1620.6 kilograms, than the 924.2 kilograms seized by canine units in all of 2010.

A 2010 law aimed at strengthening Brazil’s capacity to fight drug trafficking granted enforcement authority to each of Brazil’s three military services. The military is now authorized to detain persons, vessels, vehicles, and aircraft suspected of criminal activity. The Brazilian Navy (BRANAV) is engaged in a substantive dialogue with the U.S. Coast Guard on ways to develop its maritime law enforcement capability. In 2011, the USCG conducted 12 trainings in incident command systems, emergency operations center procedures, and maritime law enforcement. Additionally, the USCG conducted a subject matter exchange with BRANAV and several law enforcement entities to aid in the development of the legal framework for BRANAV’s newly acquired law enforcement authority.

Brazil currently serves as the deputy chair of the OAS/CICAD Demand Reduction Expert’s Group and in that role has been instrumental in the creation a program to produce guidance for the nations of the hemisphere on four key issues: community-based prevention, drugged driving, prescription drug abuse, and demand-related data collection. Brazil will assume the chair of the Experts Group in 2013.

D. Conclusion

Brazil’s commitment to all phases of the drug control effort is impressive, especially when compared with the scope of the challenges. Brazil’s efforts in 2011 demonstrate positive returns both in terms of capacity building and supply and demand reduction. However, the physical size of Brazil, and especially the large Amazon basin with its extensive river system, provides an ideal environment within which drug trafficking organizations can operate and elude law enforcement. Brazil is moving forward to confront these challenges with the Strategic Border Plan, but without significantly increased law enforcement capacity, especially in the Amazon basin area, Brazil will remain highly attractive to drug traffickers and criminal organizations.

Chemical Controls. Brazil’s chemical industry has grown for the past several years. Increased exports of manufactured products and the growing domestic market have both increased the demand for chemicals. The Brazilian government recognizes that the chemical industry is interrelated to various sectors of the licit economy, as well as to the illicit drug trade. As one of the world’s ten largest chemical manufacturers, the leader in Latin America, and the only country that borders all three Andean cocaine producing countries, chemical controls represent a particular challenge.

Brazil is a member state of the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and related protocols and aggressively works with other countries to foster international cooperation for the control of chemicals. Brazil passed its first chemical control law in December of 2001 (Law 10.357/2001), which established norms for the licensing, control and inspection of essential and precursor chemical products that directly or indirectly may be destined for the illegal production of narcotic substances. The Brazilian Justice Ministry issued a decree in 2003 imposing strict control on 146 chemicals that could be used for illegal production of narcotic substances.

The Brazilian Federal Police (DPF) established regulatory guidelines for all chemical handlers in the country. The DPF Chemical Control Division (CCD) controls and monitors chemical products in conjunction with 27 DPF regional divisions and 54 satellite offices. The CCD originally had both regulatory responsibilities as well as mandate to investigate the criminal diversion of controlled chemicals. In 2011, the CCD was divided into two units; the Chemical Control Division, which is subordinate to the DPF Executive Directorate, and the Criminal Diversion Investigations Unit which now falls under the Organized Crime Division.

Regulatory guidelines require all companies handling chemicals to register with authorities and receive a license to engage in commercial activities such as manufacturing, storing, transporting, commercializing and distributing chemicals. Yearly licensing fees are levied for all registered handlers. As of September, 2011, authorities collected $13.6 million reais (US$ 8 million) in both fees and fines for regulatory infractions. There are 19,303 companies actively registered in 2011, 9,242 of which are licensed to import and export chemicals.

The DPF implemented the National Computerized System of Chemical Control (SIPROQUIM) in 2008, which is used to monitor all movements of chemicals in the country, including imports/exports, and licensing. This system requires all companies to use an on-line system for registration and to report all activity being conducted, including the submission of mandatory monthly reports of all chemical related movements. Based on analysis of activity reports, the DPF conducted inspections of suspect companies, and in 2011, seized 35.5 kilograms of chemical products for administrative irregularities.

According to the DPF, strict restrictions on ether and acetone shipments have caused traffickers to use substitutes for cocaine processing, such as cement and lime. Exports of ether, acetone, kerosene, and gasoline to Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, considered essential for cocaine production, are controlled by Brazil. However, these same substances are not controlled by Brazil for domestic usage.

The DPF adheres to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs - Resolution 49/3 on strengthening systems for the control of precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing of synthetic drugs. Brazil reports its annual estimates of legitimate requirements for ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenyl-2-propanone (P2P). This is done through the UN automated Pre-Export Notification System (PEN-Online). The DPF routinely uses PEN in coordination with member states to alert importing countries with details of export transactions. The PEN Online System enables easy electronic exchanges of information between member states on international shipments (export and import) of chemicals used to manufacture illegal drugs. Such coordination and exchange strengthens the ability of law enforcement to raise alerts and interdict suspect shipments prior to their reaching illicit drug manufacturers.

Potassium permanganate, an oxidizer that has widespread legitimate uses, is imported by Brazil; none is produced domestically. Brazil controls potassium permanganate as well as acetic anhydride. Currently, controls on both allow for the commercialization of either product without restrictions on quantities of up to one kilogram for potassium permanganate and one liter of acetic anhydride. Brazil is currently in the process of drafting new regulations whereby both potassium permanganate and acetic anhydride will be more strictly controlled for any quantity that is for commercial use.

The DPF Chemical Diversion Investigations Unit participates in the multilateral chemical control initiative “Operação Sem Fronteiras,” (Operation Without Borders); a regional program to combat illegal chemical diversion through border planning meetings and interdiction operations. Law enforcement personnel from the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela participate in pre-scheduled enforcement operations.


A. Introduction

Bulgaria is a transit country for heroin, as well as a minor producer of illicit synthetic narcotics. Bulgaria's location astride Balkan heroin transit routes makes it vulnerable to international trafficking organizations transporting narcotics into the European Union. Organized crime groups operating in Bulgaria have increased their influence and involvement in the international narcotics trade. These groups are sophisticated, well-financed, and entrenched within Bulgarian society. Bulgaria’s Black Sea ports continue to be exploited by drug traffickers to smuggle cocaine from South America to Europe and heroin from Turkey and Iran to Europe.

The only illicit drug crop known to be cultivated in Bulgaria is cannabis, primarily for domestic consumption. Bulgaria continues to be a source of some synthetic drugs, though production has declined in recent years.

Counternarcotics efforts are primarily the responsibility of several specialized police services within the Ministry of Interior (MOI), and the Customs Agency under the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The MOI continues to strengthen institutional capacity, with its General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) taking an increasingly effective lead in counternarcotics investigations and operations. The Customs Agency continues to implement reforms and registered a slight increase in drug seizures over last year.

Bulgaria is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In June, Parliament passed legislation delegating the authority to modify the list of controlled substances to the Council of Ministers. This greatly increased the ability of the Government of Bulgaria (GOB) to effectively combat the increasing presence of designer drugs. This year the GOB added 40 unique substances to the list. Parliament also established a specialized criminal court to hear cases involving organized crime, including drugs. A lack of effective asset forfeiture legislation complicates government action against organized crime and narcotics distributors. Recent efforts to strengthen forfeiture legislation failed.

Over the past year Customs has continued to implement reforms, which appear to place an increased priority on the search for taxable contraband (i.e., cigarettes) at Bulgaria’s borders and reduce the priority for narcotics. This trend is illustrated by two years of historically low narcotics seizures and an updated Customs Mission Strategy which no longer includes counternarcotics as a goal.

Bulgaria is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols. A 2007 U.S.-Bulgarian Extradition Treaty allows the extradition of Bulgarian nationals to the U.S. for a variety of offenses, including drug trafficking charges.

2. Supply Reduction

The MOI continues to aggressively combat domestic narcotic production and from January to November closed eight synthetic laboratories, two deemed significant. On October 21, the MOI seized 5,600 cannabis plants in what is believed to be one of the largest indoor cannabis operations in Europe. The efforts of Bulgarian law enforcement have led to significant narcotics seizures and arrests both in Bulgaria and outside the country. Of special note is GDBOP’s assistance in developing a case that led to the seizure of 460 kg of cocaine in France and 290 kg in Greece.

Overall MOI seizures of heroin registered only a slight increase from last year. This is due to a number of factors including less heroin moving towards Europe as a result of a poor poppy crop in Afghanistan, the increasing use of alternative trafficking routes, and the economic crisis. Significant gains were made in seizures of marijuana. From January to November MOI seized 129 kg of heroin, 4.6 kg of cocaine, 228 kg of amphetamine substance, 6,506 tablets of ecstasy, 173 kg of marijuana, 1,018 kg of dry cannabis, and 4,903 kg of green cannabis.

Bulgarian Customs seizures increased slightly over last year, but are still historically low. From January to November, the Customs Agency seized 246 kg of heroin, 0.6 kg of cocaine, 17 kg of synthetic drugs, 15.6 kg or marijuana, 2.5 kg of opium, and 16.8 kg of hashish.

The only illicit drug crop known to be cultivated in Bulgaria is cannabis, primarily for domestic consumption. Historically a small portion of the crop has been exported to Greece. MOI’s October seizure was the first large domestic cannabis clearly destined for export to Western Europe. Domestic cannabis cultivation has spread from its traditional base in the southwest to include most of the country. Bulgarian law enforcement report that the domestic manufacture of synthetic stimulants continues to decrease as illegal laboratories relocate to Serbia, eastern Turkey, Armenia, and the Levant.

Bulgaria’s membership in the European Union makes it a desired target for drug trafficking organizations supplying narcotics to consumer markets in Western Europe. In terms of heroin trafficking, Bulgaria remains a transit country along the Balkan route between the golden crescent and European consumer markets. Chemicals used for making heroin move through Bulgaria to Turkey en route to Afghanistan.

Bulgarian law enforcement reports a surge in the import and use of “designer drugs,” which are often shipped from China disguised as innocuous chemical products. These drugs are difficult to combat due to the ease with which their chemical structures can be modified to a nearly identical, but not yet controlled substance. Bulgaria has introduced one of the best control mechanisms in Europe for rapidly responding to such modifications.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to the Bulgarian Institute for Addictions, there are approximately 300,000 drug addicts in Bulgaria, of which 30,000 are heroin addicts. Marijuana continues to be the most widely used narcotic with statistics from the National Center for Addictions (NCA) suggesting 22 percent of teenagers try marijuana at least once.

The Bulgarian national healthcare system includes methadone maintenance as a heroin treatment option. In 2011 there were 31 program centers with the capacity to treat 5,310 patients, 1,200 of which are cost-free to the addict. There are also inpatient clinics capable of treating 5,000 patients with psychological conditions, of which 170 spaces are expressly reserved for drug addicts. None of these facilities have separate units for juvenile patients. There are 11 social rehabilitation programs, with a capacity for 240 participants. The NCA conducts drug prevention campaigns. National drug prevention policy is implemented by 26 regional councils at the local level.

4. Corruption

Corruption remains a serious problem in the police, customs, and judiciary. Despite reforms, the judiciary (which includes prosecutors and judges) consistently receives poor scores in public confidence and opinion polls. Complicated judicial procedures and legal loopholes result in excessive case delays which make it difficult to effectively prosecute high-profile organized crime and corruption cases. Often, officials discovered to be corrupt are reassigned or pressured to quit, rather than fired and prosecuted.

As a matter of government policy, Bulgaria does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

U.S. DEA operations in Bulgaria are currently managed from the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, however, DEA has been authorized by congress to open a country office in Sofia. DEA serves as the primary liaison with the GOB on counternarcotics matters. DEA's current emphasis in Bulgaria is on conducting and coordinating joint international investigations with MOI counterparts and providing technical and legal expertise. DEA also arranges counternarcotics training for select Bulgarian law enforcement personnel.

In the past year, the U.S. Embassy provided State-INL-funded equipment and training to a Joint Organized Crime taskforce, which investigates and prosecutes many of the high profile drug cases in Bulgaria. The goal of U.S. funding is to increase the operational capabilities and effectiveness of these specially-vetted units.

D. Conclusion

The GOB should continue efforts to strengthen its anti-corruption laws and should consider reintroducing legislation to implement some form of Non Criminal-Based confiscation. The GOB continues to make significant gains in counter narcotics enforcement against drug production and trafficking. Bulgaria’s law enforcement has actively contributed to international investigations resulting in considerable seizures and arrests in both Bulgaria and the region.

The GOB should continue efforts to strengthen its asset forfeiture legislation and anti-corruption laws. While some progress has been made, further reform of the police and judiciary is necessary. The opening of the new specialized court for organized crime, if implemented properly, should be an effective tool in addressing administrative issues hampering the prosecution and sentencing of high-profile drug traffickers. Continued improvements to Customs Agency reforms are needed to ensure that counternarcotics efforts remain a priority.

Burkina Faso

Cannabis, amphetamines, and diverted licit medications remain the three principal drugs abused in Burkina Faso. There are also a very limited number of cocaine and heroin addicts. Toxic inhalants are used by the poorest drug addicts, especially street kids. Natural herbs with reported psychoactive effects are utilized in some traditional ceremonies. Illicit drug production in Burkina Faso is limited to cannabis cultivation. Cannabis cultivation has been reported across Burkina Faso, but is more prevalent along the southern borders, the outskirts of Ouagadougou, near Bobo Dioulasso, and close to Boromo.

Burkina Faso borders six countries, making it a natural transit point for drugs moving from coastal West Africa across the Sahel to Europe. Its porous, largely unmonitored borders and lack of trained border control personnel and inspection equipment make it hard for Burkina Faso enforcement to counter all types of trafficking. Burkinabe officials, however, believe that Burkina is not a West African drug hub and that there are no established networks or distribution centers in Burkina Faso. The interdiction of drugs remains a low priority for the Government of Burkina Faso when compared with other economic, social, and political issues.

Hard drugs are not imported into Burkina for local consumption, and Burkina Faso does not manufacture any hard drugs to export to other markets. The Ouagadougou airport is neither known to be a hub for drug couriers nor an important drug transshipment point. Although some Burkinabe citizens are employed in the drug industry and profit indirectly from the transiting drug trade, they are not producers, organizers, financiers, or major players. Instead, they are organized, frequently as drug mules or small-scale street pushers, by criminals from Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Guinea Bissau.

Drug shipments and couriers in Burkina Faso are sometimes intercepted by the national police, gendarmerie, and customs officials. Interdiction of these couriers is the source of most of Burkina enforcement’s drug seizures. Over the last two years, a number of drug traffickers intercepted in Burkina Faso have ingested drug-filled pellets or have had cocaine or cannabis hidden on their bodies. Ouagadougou airport security officials have limited technical equipment and training to detect and interdict the drugs, but they have received basic training in drug courier profiling and know how to look for particular passenger behavior such as nervousness and late, hasty check-ins. France provided drug scanning equipment in 2011, although the materials have not been fully integrated into the airports operations due to ongoing construction. AFRICOM provided drug testing kits in 2011. Airport security officials are particularly vigilant with passengers on those airlines that have historically been favored by traffickers in Africa.

The National Gendarmerie was successful in intercepting a number of significant cannabis and Indian hemp shipments in 2011. In March the Gendarmerie seized nearly 800 kilograms of hemp and cannabis, and another 1,055 kilograms in July, both near the economic capital of Bobo Dioulasso. The shipments were transported by numerous couriers on bicycles and are thought to have originated in Ghana and destined for Mali. In July, 145 kilograms of hemp were seized on the Burkina Faso-Mali border. From January to June the Customs office in Nako (10 kilometers from the Ghana border) reported they had seized 6.8 metric tons of drugs, up from 4 tons in all of 2010. In September, police intercepted more than 100 kilograms of cannabis in Houndé, not from from Bobo-Dioulasso. All drugs seized are catalogued, photographed then destroyed.

Although customs officials at border posts and airports are financially rewarded for detecting and seizing undeclared goods, receiving 25 percent of the overall value of undeclared goods, this is not the case for drugs, which are considered "unproductive goods." While funding to provide customs officials with bonuses for drug seizures has been used in the past, budget shortfalls have stymied these efforts. Drug seizures declined in parallel with the loss of these bonuses. Predictably, customs officials prefer to focus on interdicting the smuggling of non-narcotic goods since it brings them financial rewards.

Burkina Faso's overall drug policy is directed by the National Committee to Combat Drugs. The Committee has asked for additional resources, and for its transformation into a National Drug Office; this proposed reorganization has yet to be addressed by the Government of Burkina Faso. All laws applicable to drugs are included in the "Code des Drogues." Burkina Faso has received funding and technical assistance from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and in-country drug experts are occasionally invited to attend European Union or ECOWAS conferences. France has provided drug/chemical detection kits as well as training, as has AFRICOM.

As a matter of government policy, Burkina Faso does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

Burkina Faso is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.


A. Introduction

Burma continues to be a major source of opium and also produces and exports heroin, in large quantities, second only to Afghanistan. Since 1996, Burma has also become a regional source for amphetamine type stimulants (ATS). Production of these narcotics is often co-located and occurs primarily along Burma’s eastern borders in areas controlled by ethnic armed groups beyond Government of Burma (GOB) immediate jurisdiction. The 2011 Joint Burma-UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) illicit crop survey reported that for the fifth year in a row, opium poppy cultivation increased. The total area under opium poppy cultivation was estimated at 43,600 hectares, an increase of 14% compared to 2010 (38,100 hectares). Opium production is now at its highest level since 2004. In addition, UNODC estimated that during 2011 the potential production of opium increased by 5% to 610 metric tons. Methamphetamine production in Burma is also a major concern with estimates of production and trafficking increasing, though there is no reliable method to determine the levels of methamphetamine production. The last U.S. government joint opium yield survey occurred in 2004, though the GOB agreed in December 2011 to restart this survey shortly before the Secretary of State’s visit to Burma.

Officers from the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) remained ready to enforce Burma’s narcotics laws, though lack of training, resources and obstacles such as coordination with the Burmese Army (BA) and ethnic Border Guard Forces (BGFs) prevented many significant anti-trafficking actions. The GOB underfunds its police force, including the CCDAC. The GOB considers drug enforcement secondary to security and is willing to allow narcotics trafficking in border areas in exchange for cooperation from ethnic armed groups. The GOB policy of folding ethnic armed groups into quasi GOB-controlled BGFs complicates anti-narcotics efforts as BGFs are often complicit, if not active protectors, of illicit drug production and trafficking. Loosely-controlled remote territories and GOB bureaucracy forces CCDAC officers to work with the BA and BGF; in this process actionable intelligence is often leaked by the BA or BGF to the targeted traffickers.

Further, conflicts with ethnic armed groups such as the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Shan State Army (SSA), and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) have put vast swaths of territory beyond GOB control. Despite recent reforms by the GOB and its calls for a negotiated settlement to conflicts along Burma’s borders, GOB negotiators fail to reach meaningful solutions and ceasefires are constantly broken and renegotiated. Ceasefires when reached, such as the August 2011 renewed ceasefire with the UWSA perpetuate the status quo of large tracts of land of this notorious trafficking group remaining beyond GOB control.

Burma was once again judged by the U.S. government in 2011 as one of three countries to have “failed demonstrably” to meet its international counternarcotics obligations.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Burma’s official 15-year counternarcotics plan, launched in 1999, called for the eradication of all narcotics production and trafficking by the year 2014, one year ahead of an ASEAN-wide plan of action to make the entire region drug-free by 2015. In pursuit of this goal, the CCDAC, under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, led all drug-enforcement efforts in Burma, including the operation of 26 anti-narcotics task forces throughout Burma, most located in major cities and along key trafficking routes. With opium and methamphetamine production on the rise since 2006, Burma is not on track to meet its goal to be narcotics-free by 2014 and, as is the case with most Burmese government entities, the CCDAC suffered from a crippling lack of funding, equipment, and training to support its law-enforcement mission. The BA and Burmese Customs Department support the police in drug enforcement, though that support is uneven, especially when strategic considerations related to ethnic insurgent groups conflict with drug enforcement priorities. Burma cooperated with its neighbors on drug control with varying levels of interaction. This ranged from regular positive cooperation with China and Thailand, to infrequent contact with India and Bangladesh. U.S.’ policies limit direct assistance to the Government of Burma.

Burma is a party to all of the UN drug conventions and the 1972 Protocol. Burma is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling and has signed, but has not ratified the UN Convention against Corruption.

Burma did not begin any major policy or operational initiatives during 2010; the applicable legislation remained unchanged and enforcement efforts followed longstanding patterns.

2. Supply Reduction

Aggressive domestic efforts over the past 15 years accompanied by some international assistance have yielded a generally downward trend in Burma’s opium cultivation from a 1996 estimated apex of 163,000 hectares. However, since 2006, Burmese farmers have increased opium poppy cultivation each year through 2011 with a significant increase from 2010 to 2011. The December 15, 2011 joint UNODC-GOB survey estimated 43,600 hectares were devoted to opium cultivation. This represents a 14 percent increase from 2010 levels (38,100 hectares). UNODC estimated that during 2011 the potential production of opium increased 5 percent from 2010 levels to 610 metric tons due to increased hectares under cultivation. During 2011, the opium yield was estimated at 14.0kg/ha compared to 15.1 kg/ha in 2010 and 10.4 kg/ha in 2009. UNODC estimates that the average farm-gate price of opium, weighted by the estimate of the area under cultivation was approximately $450/Kilogram in 2011 compared to $305/Kilogram in 2010. This translated into an overall potential value of $275 million for Burma's opium crop in 2011, a 55 percent increase over 2010. According to the UNODC, the large increase in opium prices from 2010 is due to strong demand for opium from neighboring countries as well as the appreciation of the Kyat against the US$ (by some 14% over the past year). According to GOB statistics, law enforcement officers destroyed 7,058 hectares of opium poppies in 2011 compared to 8,268 hectares in 2010 and 4,087 hectares in 2009.

The GOB again failed to provide sufficient suitable alternative development opportunities targeted at opium cultivators, though in December 2011 the CCDAC outlined an alternative development plan. This coupled with decades of economic mismanagement by Burma’s military regime left some rural farmers with few options other than continued opium cultivation. Shan State continued to be the center of opium poppy cultivation in 2011, accounting for 91 percent of Burma's opium cultivation, with approximately half occurring in southern Shan State. Kachin state accounted for most of the remaining land used to grow opium poppies, approximately nine percent. During 2011, UNODC estimated the annual income of a poppy-cultivating household at approximately $1,030, a 24 percent increase from 2010. UNODC attributes this increase to an increase in yields and hectares under cultivation. During 2011, UNODC estimated the annual income of a non-poppy cultivating household at approximately $1,180, a 39 percent increase from 2010.

There has been a sharp increase in production, consumption, and export of synthetic drugs, especially amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) since 1996. A 2011 UNODC ATS survey reports that South-East Asia has experienced significant increases in the seizures of methamphetamine pills originating from Burma. Seizures of ATS are estimated to be ten percent of production levels; and the quantity of methamphetamine pills seized in Southeast Asia increased drastically from 32 million pills in 2008 to 94 million pills in 2009 and 133 million pills in 2010. UNODC reports that ATS are manufactured in the Shan State and are trafficked along new routes to Thailand, China and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The Mekong River is a vital trafficking route, due to Thailand’s stricter controls aimed at suppressing drug trafficking and use. The report also cites growing signs of new routes to the western part of Burma and for onward trafficking to South Asia. Reports from India, Nepal and Bangladesh in 2010 and 2011 indicate that South Asia is also increasingly affected by the trafficking of methamphetamine pills.

Though under-resourced and hampered by political constraints, the CCDAC continued drug interdiction efforts during 2011, though seizures lagged far behind estimated levels of production. Overall, seizure numbers significantly decreased during this reporting period for the second year in a row for reasons which remain unclear.

In 2011, Burmese police seized 5.89million ATS tablets and 33 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine ”ice”. During the same period, Burmese authorities seized over 828 kilograms of high-quality opium, approximately 282 kilograms of low-quality opium, and over 52 kilograms of opium oil. Heroin seizures totaled 42 kilograms. Marijuana seizures totaled 196 kilograms. Seizures of Specosia, a form of hallucinogenic mushroom, totaled almost 969 kilograms. During the reporting period Burmese law enforcement made two notable seizures, not so much in terms of quantity, but due to CCDAC efforts to continue investigations past the initial seizure with positive results:

On September 8th, 2011, police discovered 140,600 methamphetamine pills on a 10 wheel truck at an established checkpoint. When the driver of the truck called his boss to “solve the problem,” the boss arrived and a search of his vehicle resulted in the seizure of approximately one million Thai Baht. Police then searched the boss’s residence and discovered 8 kilograms of methamphetamine/”ice”, 515 kilograms of caffeine powder (used as an adulterant in meth pills), 2 firearms with ammunition and 24.8 Million Thai Baht among other illegal items. Officers then searched the home of the boss’ brother and seized 9,900 methamphetamine tablets and a firearm; officers then searched a rubber plantation owned by the boss and confiscated 39 kilograms of caffeine powder, a large amount of laboratory equipment used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and three more firearms.

Burma police utilized intelligence gathered from communications infrastructure as well as legitimate and underground banking systems to conduct five separate seizures totaling over 700,000 methamphetamine tabs from that single narcotics trafficking group.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The overall level of drug abuse is low in Burma compared with neighboring countries, in part because most Burmese are too poor to be able to support a drug habit. Traditionally, farmers use opium as a painkiller and an antidepressant because they lack access to other medicine or adequate healthcare. There has been a shift in Burma away from opium smoking toward injecting heroin, which has contributed to Burma having one of the highest rates in the world of HIV infection attributable to intravenous drug use. Extremely difficult economic conditions will likely continue to stifle substantial growth in overall drug consumption. However, an increasing incidence of injecting drug and ATS use was a cause for concern.

The GOB maintains that there are only about 65,000 registered addicts in Burma. This number cannot be confirmed and, while considerably higher than the number of registered addicts reported by GOB sponsored rehabilitation clinics, surveys conducted by UNODC, as well as Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), suggest that the addict population could be as high as 300,000. NGOs and community leaders report increasing use of heroin and synthetic drugs, particularly among disaffected youth in urban areas and by workers in mining communities in ethnic minority regions. If there are indeed 300,000 addicts in Burma, they would represent roughly one-half of one percent (.005) of the Burmese population.

Burmese demand reduction programs are in part coercive and in part voluntary. Addicts are required to register with the GOB and could be imprisoned from three to five years if they failed to register and accept treatment. Demand reduction programs and facilities are limited. There were six major drug treatment centers under the Ministry of Health, 49 other smaller detoxification centers, and eight rehabilitation centers. The Ministry of Health in 2006 began to treat heroin addicts with Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) in four drug treatment centers.

In 2011, UNODC continued to support over 15 drop-in centers that provided support and counseling to drug users. The GOB conducted narcotics awareness programs through the public school system and limited public awareness campaigns. The activities of several international NGOs, working in collaboration with the GOB, focused on addressing injected drug use as a key factor in halting the spread of HIV/AIDS.

4. Corruption

Burma has signed but not ratified the UN Corruption Convention; the nation has no laws targeted at corruption. Many inside Burma assume some senior GOB officials benefit financially from narcotics trafficking, but these assumptions have never been confirmed through arrests, convictions, or other public revelations. There were credible reports that mid-level military officers and government officials were engaged in drug-related corruption, however, no military officer above the rank of colonel has ever been charged with drug-related corruption.

The Burmese government often monitors the travel, communications, and activities of its citizens to maintain tight control of the population. GOB officials are likely aware of the cultivation, production, and trafficking of illegal narcotics in areas they control. The government of Burma does not, as a matter of policy, encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of drugs, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

n 1988 direct State-INL-funded U.S. counternarcotics assistance to Burma was suspended. However, the USG maintained limited engagement with the Burmese government through the U.S. DEA attaché office in the U.S. Embassy Rangoon. Through this mechanism, DEA continues to share drug-related intelligence with the GOB and conducts joint drug-enforcement investigations with Burmese counternarcotics authorities. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 these joint investigations led to several seizures, arrests, and convictions of drug traffickers and producers. In December 2011, the GOB agreed in principle to a restart of the joint opium yield survey.

There are no longer any U.S. funded or supported alternative development programs aimed at opium poppy growers. No U.S. counternarcotics funding directly benefited or passed through the GOB. The GOB has not taken direct action against seven UWSA leaders indicted by U.S. district court in January 2005.

D. Conclusion

Burma’s transition in 2011 from a military led junta to a civilian government has led to a series of positive political reforms and reengagement with the United States culminating in the visit of the Secretary of State in December 2011 and the subsequent announcement on January 13, 2012 that the United States would restore full diplomatic relations with Burma and exchange Ambassadors. Since the last INSCR report was published, the GOB has made a concerted effort to be more open and transparent. The GOB has also demonstrated a strong desire to cooperate with the United States as part of its reform process. This regengagement has also extended to the fight against drugs. Prior to the visit of the Secretary of State, the GOB agreed to a restart the U.S.-led joint opium survey. During a meeting in December 2011, for the first time, CCDAC invited foreign participation. During this meeting, CCDAC outlined an alternative development plan to combat the cultivation of opium poppy and directly requested financial and material assistance from the United States. While it is clear that the GOB must do more to meet its counternarcotics obligations, it is also evident that without international assistance the GOB lacks sufficient resources to be fully effective in its counternarcotics efforts. As a result both opium crop production and ATS production have continued to increase. In order to combat this issue, the GOB must continue its focus on obtaining ceasefires with its ethinic minorities. In particular, the GOB must directly address the prolific narcotics trafficking activities of the United Wa State Army whose leadership is under U.S. indictment. Furthermore, the GOB must, address official corruption and dedicate more resources to the enforcement of their existing counternarcotics laws. However, as we continue U.S. engagement with Burma, our narcotics policy should also reflect our broader policy of reciprocal action in response to sustained GOB reform.


A. Introduction

Cambodia has a significant problem with narcotics consumption, trafficking, and production. Cambodia continues to be targeted by drug criminals as a location for synthetic drug production and as a transshipment point due to its porous land, maritime, and air borders.

Asian and West African traffickers transship Ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine, heroin, precursor chemicals, and cocaine to international markets via Cambodia. Drugs produced in Cambodia are both consumed locally and exported to other markets. Criminal networks use Cambodia to illegally produce and export natural sassafras oil, which can be used as a precursor for MDMA.

The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) declared narcotics to be the country’s top law enforcement priority in 2011 and committed to increasing drug seizures. Corruption, limited resources, and lack of capacity and coordination, however, hampered government efforts. The availability and quality of drug treatment centers is inadequate to cope with demand, and government rehabilitation centers lack trained professionals, resources, and standards of care.

Cambodia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Cambodian government is concerned about the rise of drug trafficking, manufacturing, and abuse, and remains dedicated to eliminating narcotics-related crime. Corruption, low education levels, low salaries, limited budgets, hierarchical decision-making processes, and limited information sharing between agencies, however, all contribute to poor institutional law enforcement capacity.

The current drug law provides for a maximum penalty of a $25,000 fine and life imprisonment for drug traffickers and allows proceeds from the sale of seized assets to be used towards law enforcement and drug awareness and prevention efforts, but it has been criticized as too complex to be used effectively by Cambodia’s judiciary. In 2011, the RGC released two drafts of an amended drug law, in a joint RGC-UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) effort to strengthen penalties and eliminate procedural loopholes in the current law. Observers expect the RGC to enact the amended legislation in late 2011 or early 2012.

Border officers are asked to implement a modern system of border controls but must do so with poor facilities, insufficient training and preparation, and limited budgets. Criminal networks take advantage of these weaknesses to smuggle drugs and dangerous chemicals as well as human beings and wildlife products. In response, the RGC collaborated with the UNODC to establish 12 Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) along Cambodia’s land borders. The program provides communication and transportation equipment in addition to skills training to border officers.

Cambodia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Cambodia is a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against migrant smuggling and illegal firearms manufacturing and trafficking. Cambodia is also a party to the UN Convention against Corruption. Cambodian counter-narcotics authorities cooperate closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), regional counterparts, and the UNODC.

2. Supply Reduction

Drug seizures and arrests increased in the first eight months of 2011 compared to 2010. Drugs seized during the first eight months of 2011 included 217,475 methamphetamine tablets, 14.4 kg of methamphetamine powder, 2.1 kg of heroin, 1,378 ecstasy tablets, 565 grams of cocaine, 600 liters (557 kg equivalent) of sassafras oil, 3.1 kg of ephedrine, and 6.2 kg of pseudoephedrine. Authorities destroyed 9.81 kg of dried cannabis and 206 cannabis plants. The National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) reported 754 criminal cases resulting in 1,820 arrests during the first eight months of 2011. The majority of the arrests were for abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and often involved foreigners.

3. Demand Reduction

Although the exact number of drug users in Cambodia is not known, the NACD estimates 6,000 users. According to NGOs and law enforcement experts working in the field, the actual figures are likely much higher – the UN estimates that there may be 500,000 drug users in Cambodia (ca. 4 percent of Cambodia’s population), spreading from Phnom Penh into the rural areas, with the highest usage in the provinces bordering Laos and Thailand.

ATS is the most prevalent narcotic in Cambodia, accounting for nearly 85 percent of drug use. Both ATS tablets, known locally as yama, and crystal methamphetamine are widely available. Heroin addiction remains limited to a small number of users concentrated in Phnom Penh. Cocaine, ketamine, and opium are also available. It is a common practice among the homeless population to sniff glue or similar inhalant products, particularly among minors.

Drug addicts have historically been treated as criminals. Consequently, there has been an over-reliance on law enforcement and prosecution at the expense of demand reduction efforts. Cambodia has 14 treatment centers (11 state-owned, 3 private) treating 1,274 users as of October 5, 2011. Given the number of drug users in Cambodia, the need for drug treatment services far outstrips the available supply. There are no separate treatment centers for women, although some allow both sexes. Government drug treatment centers are run by several different ministries with no single unified standard of care. They are primarily compulsory military-style boot camps that emphasize detention and control, providing very little in the way of addiction programming, with the exception of one community-based pilot treatment center in Banteay Meanchey. The UNODC designed the pilot center to deliver drug treatment services at a low cost through a referral system at provincial health centers. According to the UNODC, the center had a successful first year and may serve as a model for an expanded treatment program.

The World Health Organization (WHO) piloted a methadone maintenance program for heroin users in Phnom Penh in 2010, which continued to operate throughout 2011.

In partnership with international donors and NGOs, the NACD attempts to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse among Cambodians through the use of community outreach, pamphlets, posters, and public service announcements. The government relies on NGOs to provide a range of services for high-risk and vulnerable populations, including health services related to drug use, outreach/peer education, and HIV prevention. Most of these NGOs do not specifically target drug users but identify drug use as a significant risk factor for the populations they serve, such as street children, youth, and sex workers.

4. Corruption

The Cambodian government does not as a matter of government policy encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, but senior government officials are suspected of being engaged in such activity. On January 12, Moek Dara, the Secretary General of the NACD, was dismissed and charged with receiving $70,000 in bribes from drug dealers in exchange for their release. The charges remain pending.

The Penal Code includes penalties for offenses such as misappropriation of public funds, bribery of civil servants, willful destruction and fraudulent embezzlement, and witness tampering. On August 1, the RGC amended the Anti-Corruption Law to empower the National Council Against Corruption to establish the structure of the Anti-Corruption Institution and to fund it with an independent budget and resources.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The goal of U.S. narcotics and crime control engagement in Cambodia is to improve Cambodian law enforcement’s capacity to disrupt and reduce international narcotics trafficking. In the first eight months of 2011, 87 law enforcement officials received investigative and drug-related training at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok. Bangkok-based DEA agents provided investigative leads, technical assistance, training, and limited equipment resources to the Cambodian National Police Anti-Drugs Department. The Joint Interagency Task Force-West (JIATF-West) conducted four training missions for a total of 155 police and gendarmerie officials on financial crimes, evidence and crime scene management, and interview techniques.

The U.S. Coast Guard continued to provide U.S. Department of Defense funded maritime law enforcement training by conducting Joint Boarding Officer and Curriculum Development courses for 25 students and instructors from the Royal Cambodian Navy, further developing their interdiction and instructional capabilities.

D. Conclusion

Cambodia is making progress toward more effective law enforcement against narcotics trafficking. Its capacity to implement a satisfactory, systematic approach to counter-narcotics operations remains low, however. Instruction for mid-level Cambodian law enforcement officers at ILEA and for police and gendarmerie officials by JIATF-West has partially addressed Cambodia’s dire training needs. After training, however, these officers return to an environment of scarce resources and pervasive corruption.

Recommendations for Cambodia include expanding cooperation with UNODC, specifically its community-based treatment program for demand reduction; expanding the WHO-piloted methadone treatment program; continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of drug abuse, particularly in schools; continuing to prioritize counter-narcotics in law enforcement and prosecution; continuing to actively participate in USG and other donor-provided training; and passing an updated Law on Drug Control in a transparent manner in full cooperation with UNODC.


A. Introduction

In 2011, the Canadian government continued its robust efforts to combat the production, distribution, and consumption of various illicit drugs. Canada is a substantial producer of ecstasy (MDMA) for domestic use and is the primary supplier of ecstasy to the United States. Canada is also a significant producer of marijuana, most of which is intended for domestic markets. Marijuana and cocaine are the most widely used illicit drugs in Canada and Canadians are among the top illicit users of pharmaceutical opiates worldwide.

Canada is in the fourth year of its five-year National Anti-Drug Strategy (NADS), which aims to prevent illegal drug use, treat those with drug dependencies, and combat the production and distribution of illicit drugs. As part of the NADS, Canada has recently rolled out new initiatives specifically intended to fight the trafficking of marijuana and synthetic drugs.

In September, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a supervised injection site in Vancouver could continue operating, despite the federal government’s previous refusal to grant it a permit to operate. The Quebec government has since announced that it will also allow safe injection sites to open in its major cities.

Canada and the United States cooperate extensively in counternarcotics efforts by sharing information and conducting joint operations. Canada, a resolute partner with the United States in international counternarcotics policy fora, is a member of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs and a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In September, the Government of Canada (GOC) introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act (C-10), which would increase the penalties for serious drug crimes. The proposed legislation would amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to include mandatory prison terms for drugs listed in Schedule I, such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and in Schedule II, such as marijuana. In general, mandatory minimum sentences would apply where there is an aggravating factor, including where the production of the drug constitutes a potential security, health, or safety hazard. Currently, there are no mandatory minimum penalties under the CDSA. Also, the maximum penalty for production of Schedule II drugs, including marijuana, would be increased from seven to 14 years.

The bill also calls for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), flunitrazepam, and amphetamines to move from Schedule III to Schedule I, which would trigger higher maximum penalties for crimes involving these drugs. The GOC says it proposed C-10 to combat illicit drug production and distribution and to help disrupt criminal enterprises by targeting drug suppliers, consistent with the NADS. Introduced in 2007, the NADS involves 12 federal agencies and departments led by the Department of Justice. NADS has three action plans: preventing illicit drug use; treating those with illicit drug dependencies; and combating the production and distribution of illicit drugs. The strategy has a five-year, C$578 million budget.

On September 21, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launched the Marijuana Grow Initiative (MGI). The MGI renews the RCMP’s commitment to combating marijuana production by organized crime groups. The initiative has three key components: awareness, deterrence, and enforcement. The first component, awareness, focuses on partnering with other governmental and nongovernmental organizations, as well as the public, to inform Canadians about the deleterious effects that the marijuana industry has on Canada's society and its economy. The second component, deterrence, promotes and supports legislative changes that discourage illegal production, sale, and use of marijuana. The third component, enforcement, calls for enhanced collaboration between law enforcement agencies and other governmental organizations while also developing intelligence capacities through training, technology, and other resources. Finally, the MGI also introduced, on the RCMP’s website, a centralized database of residences where marijuana cultivation operations or clandestine labs were dismantled under the authority of a search warrant.

In March, Parliament enacted Bill C-475, “Tackling Crystal Meth and Ecstasy.” The legislation prohibits a person from possessing, producing, selling, or importing anything with the knowledge that it will be used to produce or traffic in methamphetamine or ecstasy.

Canada is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol. Canada is a party to the UN Convention against Corruption and to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Canada is also a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials, and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

2. Supply Reduction

Canada is the primary foreign source of ecstasy to the United States with production occurring primarily in British Columbia, and to a lesser extent in Ontario and Quebec. Canada also supplies ecstasy to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Precursor chemicals for the production of ecstasy are smuggled into Canada from source countries such as China and India. Ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Eastern European, and outlaw motorcycle groups are involved in ecstasy manufacturing and trafficking to the United States.

Marijuana is the most widely used drug in Canada. Cultivation of cannabis is extensive in Canada, mostly in the form of high-potency, indoor-grown marijuana destined for domestic consumption or export to the United States. Significant cultivation has been identified primarily in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. Similar to ecstasy production, Asian criminal groups and motorcycle gangs like Hells Angels are involved in the cultivation of marijuana. Most exported Canadian marijuana is destined for the United States.

The centralized database of marijuana seizures posted on the RCMP’s website as a part of the MGI (see above) lists 221 marijuana grow operations or clandestine labs that were dismantled by the RCMP pursuant to a search warrant in 2011. A clear majority of these operations were in British Columbia.

Cocaine remains one of the most significant illicit drug markets in Canada. Although most cocaine destined for Canada originates in South America, the United States is the predominant transit point for cocaine smuggled into Canada. However, recent smuggling patterns suggest that traffickers may be increasing their efforts to ship cocaine directly to Canada via air and maritime conveyances. Crack cocaine remains relatively concentrated in urban centers across Canada.

In Canada, the shrinking heroin market has partially given way to the use of pharmaceutical opiates. Canadians are among the heaviest consumers of pharmaceutical opiates globally, according to Canadian government reports, but organized crime involvement in this market remains small when compared with other drugs. The most commonly trafficked pharmaceuticals are: Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Ritalin, Talwin, OxyContin, and steroids.

Domestic production of methamphetamine remains steady, but it continues to be exported to the United States and other countries. Methamphetamine is also used in Canadian-produced ecstasy as it is cheaper to produce and increases the profit margin. Canada remains a transit country for the precursor chemicals used to produce methamphetamine. Canadian-sourced pseudoephedrine has been discovered in some clandestine United States methamphetamine labs.

While there were no overall drug seizure statistics available from the GOC for 2011, Canadian law enforcement seized a total of 34,391 kilograms (kg) of marijuana and 1,845,734 marijuana plants in 2009. Domestic cocaine seizures for 2009 included 2,373 kg of cocaine and 15.6 kg of crack. Nationwide seizures of MDMA in 2009 totaled an estimated 955,000 tablets and 166 kilograms.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

According to Health Canada’s Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS 2010), the prevalence of past-year cannabis use among Canadians (15 years and older) decreased from 14.1 percent in 2004 to 10.7 percent in 2010, the year for which the most current data is available. The prevalence of past-year cocaine or crack use decreased from 1.9 percent in 2004 to 1.2 percent in 2010 while ecstasy (0.9 percent), methamphetamine (0.4 percent), and hallucinogen (0.7 percent) use was comparable to the rates of use reported in 2004.

For Canadian youth (ages 15 to 24 years), the prevalence of marijuana use in the past year decreased from 37.0 percent in 2004 to 25.1 percent in 2010. The same study reported that, among youth, past-year use of at least one of five illicit drugs (cocaine or crack, methamphetamine, hallucinogens, ecstasy, and heroin) decreased from 11.3 percent in 2004 to 7.0 percent in 2010.

The rate of drug use by Canadian youth remains much higher than that reported by adults 25 years and older: three times higher for cannabis use (25.1 percent versus 7.9 percent), and almost nine times higher for use of any drug excluding cannabis (7.9 percent versus 0.8 percent).

The rates of psychoactive pharmaceutical use and abuse in 2010 remain comparable to the rates reported in 2009: 26.0 percent of respondents aged 15 years and older indicated that they had used an opioid pain reliever, stimulant, sedative, or tranquilizer in the past year while 0.3 percent reported that they used any one of these drugs to “get high” in the past year.

Canada has six drug treatment courts (DTC) in operation: Toronto (started in 1998), Vancouver (2001), Edmonton (2005), Winnipeg (2006), Ottawa (2006), and Regina (2006). According to government officials, DTCs encourage the offender to deal with the addiction that motivates his or her criminal behavior. If the offender completes the program, the court generally suspends or reduces the sentence. The GOC says DTCs “aim to reduce crime committed as a result of drug dependency through court-monitored treatment and community service support for offenders with drug addictions.”

On September 30, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal Minister of Health must grant the supervised injection site, Insite, in Vancouver, British Columbia “an extended exemption” from the application of federal criminal laws in the CDSA. Insite, part of Vancouver’s “harm reduction” drug strategy, allows users, ages 16 and over, to bring narcotics on site where clean injection equipment is provided for their use. Nurses and other staff monitor injections and provide medical attention if necessary. Because federal law prohibits possession and distribution of controlled substances, Insite requires an exemption from Canada’s drug laws to operate legally. The federal government, after previously granting an exemption, refused to extend it in 2008. In the ensuing litigation, the Court found that the federal government’s withholding of the exemption, which would force Insite to close, infringed upon the rights of both the staff and clients of Insite under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees all Canadians the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Authorities in Quebec have announced that they will also permit the operation of safe injection sites in Quebec City and Montreal.

There have been no changes in policy since the UN International Narcotics Control Board’s (INCB) 2007 Report noted that the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s approval of “safer crack kits” contravened Article 13 of the 1988 UN Drug Convention, to which Canada is a party. The INCB called upon the GOC to eliminate drug injection sites and drug paraphernalia distribution programs, stating that they violate international drug control treaties.

4. Corruption

In December 2011, Transparency International ranked Canada as the tenth least corrupt country in the world, based on its annual ranking of international perceptions of corruption. The GOC has strong anti-corruption controls and holds its officials, including law enforcement personnel, to a high standard of conduct. The GOC zealously pursues malfeasant civil servants and subjects them to prosecution. Investigations into accusations of wrongdoing and corruption by civil servants are thorough and credible. Government policy and law prohibit, and no senior government officials are known to engage in, encourage, or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Canada cooperates actively with international partners. The United States and Canada exchange forfeited assets through a bilateral asset-sharing agreement and exchange information to prevent, investigate, and prosecute any offense against U.S. or Canadian customs laws through a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. Canada has ratified 50 bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties and 66 extradition treaties, including with the United States. Judicial assistance and extradition matters between the United States and Canada operate under a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT), an extradition treaty, and related law-enforcement protocols.

As in past years, Canada and the United States focused their bilateral cooperation through the Cross-Border Crime Forum (CBCF) and other fora. During the November 2010 CBCF, led by the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security and their Canadian counterparts, Canada and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding on currency seizures at the border that will assist both countries in fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

In 2010, the United States and Canada furthered their joint efforts to combat illicit drugs by signing an agreement to allow U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) law enforcement personnel to embark on Canadian forces aircraft and ships. This agreement will serve as a force multiplier for countering drug smuggling in the maritime transit zone. Additionally, Canada joined the North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) through the signing of a new tri-lateral Letter of Intent with Mexico and the United States. NAMSI provides a forum to review cases and to identify areas where the maritime forces of Mexico, Canada and the United States may be able to improve cooperation through standard operating procedures and sharing best practices.

In 2009, the United States and Canada signed the Framework Agreement on Integrated Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Operations (ICMLEO). If Canada passes implementing legislation, the ICMLEO ShipRider program will enable the RCMP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), USCG, and other law enforcement agencies to cross-train personnel, share resources and capabilities, foster information sharing, and utilize each other’s vessels within the territorial waters of both countries. ICMLEO ShipRider will diminish the ability of drug traffickers to use the international border as a way to evade pursuit by either U.S. or Canadian law enforcement officers.

Canada and the United States also cooperate through the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBET) and Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST) on integrated cross border law enforcement. IBETs operate in 24 locations along the border, including four locations where Canadian and American intelligence analysts are co-located. The BEST is an investigative task force model that incorporates personnel from ICE, CBP, USCG, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), RCMP and other key U.S. and Canadian Federal, state, provincial, local, and tribal agencies to identify, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal organizations.

In general, the DEA, CBP, ICE, USCG, and representatives from U.S. state, local, and tribal entities interact cooperatively and effectively in the field and at the management level with CBSA, RCMP, and Canadian provincial authorities to ensure that our two countries meet shared objectives in combating illegal drugs.

D. Conclusion

Canada’s continued role as a source country for ecstasy and marijuana to U.S. markets highlights the need for greater bilateral engagement. The United States will continue to engage with Canadian officials to enhance both enforcement capacity to stop the two-way flow of narcotics at the border and regulatory frameworks to prevent the diversion of precursor chemicals and lab equipment for criminal use.

The United States acknowledges the extensive bilateral efforts as well as the strong and consistent anti-drug message from Canada’s federal government. The United States is concerned, however, that drug injection sites and drug paraphernalia distribution programs undermine that message and violate international drug control conventions. The United States also believes that joint programs, like a fully implemented ShipRider agreement, could not only help combat drug trafficking across our shared border, but also serve as models for cooperative enforcement for other hemispheric partners

Cape Verde

A. Introduction

Cape Verde is an important transit country for narcotics headed for Europe from South America by way of Africa. Narcotics enter Cape Verde by commercial aircraft and maritime vessels, including yachts. Cape Verde is not a significant producer of narcotics. There is some illegal drug use in Cape Verde although there are no reliable statistics on the number of people consuming or the overall trends. Cape Verde has two separate law enforcement agencies that fight narcotics trafficking: the Judicial Police (PJ) and the National Police (PN). Cape Verde is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends:

1. Institutional Development

The drug problem in Cape Verde can be traced to the country's strategic position astride major commercial and illicit shipping routes. The country is seen by European law enforcement agencies as one hub in the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe. The ratio of sea borders to land area is among the highest in the world, adding to the challenges of border control and law enforcement in territorial waters.

While local production is believed to be a relatively minor problem, the trafficking of drugs through Cape Verde has had a great impact. Local partners are sometimes paid by international traffickers in "product," which has been seen to contribute to the growth of the local market in illegal narcotics and the growing development of a domestic market. The local institutions are thereby primarily focused on the issue of transit/trafficking but are also designed to address local production and abuse of drugs.

The National Commission for Combating Drugs (CCCD), under the Ministry of Justice, is responsible for coordination of Cape Verde’s counternarcotics programs. The CCCD gathers statistics, disseminates information on narcotics issues, and manages government treatment programs for narcotics addiction. In addition, El Shaddai, a local NGO, runs a drug rehabilitation shelter located on Santiago Island.

Since 2006, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Commission have maintained a partnership with the Government of Cape Verde to administer the Cape Verde Integrated Crime and Narcotic Program.

The two main law enforcement institutions in Cape Verde, referenced above, are the Judicial Police (PJ) and the National Police (PN). The PJ is a unit of the Ministry of Justice and is primarily responsible for major crimes but also controls sea and air borders.

Cape Verde’s national drug control strategy, in place from 2006 to 2010, was due to be updated by the end of 2011 with a new 4 year strategy being developed in conjunction with the UNODC. Revision consultations continued into 2012. The Financial Information Unit (FIU) in place is deficient in terms of its regulatory framework, without the money and adequate staff to function effectively. This diminishes the country’s ability to fully comply with its AML responsibilities, and is the reason why the government has proposed new legislation to restructure the FIU which should be approved by Parliament before the end of the year.

Cape Verde is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention Cape Verde is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols and the UN Convention against Corruption.

Because of its small size and relative importance in combating international drug trafficking, Cape Verde receives considerable attention from many international partners, including the United States, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

2. Supply Reduction

Cape Verde’s numerous beaches, extensive territorial waters, and an inadequately-monitored economic zone allow drugs to pass through and enter the country. Cocaine is the most trafficked narcotic, mainly coming from Colombia and Brazil, but crack cocaine, “cocktail” (a mixture of cannabis and crack, called “cochada” in Cape Verde), and locally-cultivated marijuana are also trafficked. There are also reports that hashish and ecstasy are trafficked through Cape Verde from Europe. Cape Verdean authorities are concerned about drug abuse within the prison system, as well as drug-related crime like assaults and robberies.

Since the start of the 2011 calendar year, the PJ has detained 76 individuals for drug possession, from several countries including Cape Verde, Senegal, Nigeria, the Netherlands, and Portugal. As of the end of October 2011, authorities had seized 1,541.6 kilograms (kg) of cocaine, 13.5 kg of cannabis, and 53.9 kg of hashish. Most of the cocaine was seized on October 8 in waters off Praia, when the PN made the largest single seizure of narcotics in the country’s history, seizing a ton and a half of cocaine. Police apprehended a “go-fast” boat, a coastal vessel carrying product off-loaded from a freighter that had come from South America. Three Cape Verdean-Dutch dual nationals were arrested. In addition, police later seized weapons and several luxury cars in an affluent neighborhood in Praia. Local news media carried extensive coverage of the seizure.

3. Demand Reduction

On average, the consumption use of illicit drugs in Cape Verde has been low, concentrated in urban areas, and augmented, albeit slightly, by narcotics trafficking through Cape Verde. Statistical tracking mechanisms are nascent and reliable data are not yet available. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that drug abuse among the prison population is relatively high and growing.

There is one government-run drug treatment facility in the archipelago, as well as El Shaddai, the previously mentioned NGO that coordinates a drug treatment shelter on the island of Santiago. International religious organizations, such as the Protestant and the Evangelic churches, have expressed concern about the population of untreated drug addicts in the country and are reportedly seeking to develop new drug treatment facilities.

The most recent data available are from a study done in 2011 by the CCCD, a part of the Ministry of Justice. Of the 896 drug users surveyed, 84.5 percent were males, 66 percent were under 29 years old, and 33 percent were in prison. The study shows that the most consumed drugs are: cannabis (94 percent); cocaine (55 percent); hashish (19.3 percent); and heroin (12.5 percent). The most common introduction to drugs is at age 17. The study recommended that a national campaign of prevention and education be carried out in schools, prisons, and within families.

4. Corruption

The government of Cape Verde neither encourages nor facilitates the production or distribution of illicit drugs, nor the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. However, as in other countries, instances of official corruption do occur.

In June 2011, for example, four NP officers suspected of diverting over 3 kilograms of cocaine seized in a drug bust were immediately suspended from duty. Both the NP and the PJ have conducted internal investigations and charges are expected against the four.

Cape Verde is considered among the three best-governed countries in Africa, according to the Ibrahim Corruption Index. Former President Pires won the 2011 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. He was awarded a 5 million dollar prize for his contribution to Cape Verde as a “model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity.”

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Bilateral cooperation with partner countries in 2011 was marked by several initiatives designed to build Cape Verdean capacity, increase information sharing, and enhance the rule of law.

In August 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) sent a 10-day African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership mission to conduct joint training, surveillance, and law enforcement operations. A law enforcement team from Cape Verde utilized a USCG cutter during the mission. Although there were no seizures, the cooperative operations improved the maritime domain awareness for Cape Verde and their ability to conduct law enforcement boardings.

In 2010, the United States and Cape Verde inaugurated a Counter Narcotics Maritime Security and Interagency Fusion Center (CMIC) on the island of Santiago. The $2.5 million facility was donated by the United States to help coordinate maritime security and law enforcement efforts among various Cape Verdean agencies and international partners. The United States also provided a new $1 million interdiction vessel to the Cape Verdean Coast Guard. Also in 2010, the United States and Cape Verde signed a Letter of Agreement on Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement to support projects designed to strengthen the rule of law.

Other partner country efforts in 2011 included:

-- French authorities participation in joint search and rescue exercises with their Tribauquet aircraft in March;

-- Portuguese joint P-3 Orion surveillance operations in June, and ship-board training on the naval vessel “Sagres” in July;

-- A Spanish Naval joint operation in December.

D. Conclusion

Cape Verde's narcotics problems stem from its location and extensive maritime borders. International trafficking through the country remains the primary concern. Corruption levels remain low, law enforcement is improving. Cape Verdean courts have convicted several drug traffickers and the state has effectively confiscated drug-funded assets.

Cape Verdean authorities acknowledge the problems they are facing and proactively seek international assistance to combat drug trafficking. Although progress continues to be made, vigilance is still needed in the areas of maritime monitoring and judicial efficiency. The domestic authorities generally lack the capability to effectively control the entirety of their territorial waters. The judicial process is relatively slow. The growing caseload in the courts hampers enforcement, and effective prosecution of drug cases remains an area of concern.

While the government of Cape Verde demonstrated a strong political commitment to combat both money laundering and terrorist financing, more needs to be done to investigate and prosecute cases in a timely, consistent manner. The main government entities watching for money laundering and terrorist financing are understaffed and could not respond if Cape Verde were to become a true destination for money laundering and terrorist finance.


Chad is not a significant producer of organic or synthetic drugs. However, due to extremely porous borders, Chad’s territory is susceptible to exploitation by drug traffickers. Most drugs entering Chad arrive from Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic, and transit the country en route to Sudan, Egypt, and Libya. Chad is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Chad is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Chad imposes significant penalties for the illegal use or trafficking of illicit narcotics. In May 2010, the GOC created the Directorate of National Drug Control within the Chadian National Police to oversee all anti-drug operations. This unit's mandate includes reducing illegal production, trafficking, and use of drugs. A key challenge for the Directorate in curbing the trafficking of drugs is controlling Chad’s porous and poorly controlled borders. A secondary challenge is inadequate funding for training and equipping the unit’s staff. A lack of effective communication among law enforcement and security agencies also hinders reporting and tracking of drugs trafficking through Chad. Due to lack of communication among its various law enforcement and security elements and/or formal reporting mechanisms on seizures, specific data on overall drug seizures is impossible to obtain. Occasional seizures have been reported during 2011 at more than 100 kg for cocaine. Total seizures of cocaine and other drugs are likely to have been even higher. Large shipments of hashish and other drugs, for example, have been seized in the northern Chadian region of Bourkou, Ennedi and Tibesti (B.E.T). The drugs transiting this area follow centuries old trade and smuggling routes traversing northern Sudan and into Egypt. Seizures in this area are a result of Chadian military efforts to monitor the most commonly travelled paths through the B.E.T. These drug shipments are mostly destined for Egypt for eventual transit to the Middle East.

In late 2011, the government of Chad (GOC) prohibited the sale of pharmaceutical products in local markets as a measure against diversion and licit drug abuse. Subsequently, the National Police conducted an operation against pharmaceuticals being sold openly and illegally in three of the capital’s main markets. Pharmaceuticals being offered for sale were confiscated by the police and destroyed. This resulted in a skirmish in one market between law enforcement officials and merchants, which ended in the death of at least one Chadian law enforcement official.

The Director General of the Pharmaceuticals Department, under the Ministry of Health, is responsible for ensuring that hospitals, pharmacies etc., make use of appropriate safeguards to control the storage and dispensing of all licit narcotic medicines. Abuse of synthetic licit and illicit pharmaceuticals such as tranquilizers and stimulants occurs mostly among the young adult community. Inhalants are also abused to some degree as they provide a cheaper form of intoxication for some. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are widespread; most counterfeit pharmaceuticals are illegally manufactured in Nigeria and smuggled into Chad; other pharmaceutical preparations are legally imported into Chad, but then diverted and sold on the black market.

Many seizures, both large and small, are a result of vehicle accident investigations. Police report that they often discover the root cause of automobile or motorcycle accidents to be drivers trying to operate vehicles under the influence of drugs.

Some Chadian schools participate in anti-drug campaigns, with primary and secondary school students receiving annual anti-drug education. Additionally, all Chadian National Police, Gendarmes, and Army recruits receive drug awareness training as part of their basic induction courses. While Chadian society generally condemns drug abuse, society supports government efforts to provide treatment programs for those who become addicted. Near the capital city of N'Djamena, the GOC operates a hospital for the treatment of addicted persons. The program is rudimentary, but those participating voluntarily are not prosecuted for narcotic offenses by the authorities.

The GOC makes a serious effort to control drug production, reduce trafficking, and curb illegal use of drugs. The most positive element of this campaign has been the creation of the Directorate of National Drug Control within the police system specifically tasked to tackle these issues. The system for regulation of legitimate drugs dispensed by hospitals and pharmacies is also well-designed and administered, but in a poor country with few doctors, it is hard to keep dangerous drugs under prescription control. Government-funded drug treatment and drug awareness programs, while basic, are available.

In order to more effectively stem the flow of drugs trafficked through Chad, the GOC must better equip the anti-drug Directorate and other enforcement units such as customs and border inspection, as well as ensure more standardized and coordinated reporting of seizures, so progress can be measured, and enforcement resources used to best effect. Officers inspecting vehicles entering Chad from Cameroon do not have basic narcotic detection tools, such as field test kits or drug-detection dogs, to help identify and test suspicious substances-a clear need for them to be effective. Additional constraints include a limited number of officers to control vast and sparsely populated border areas, and insufficient professional training and equipment. As a matter of government policy, the government of Chad does not encourage or facilitate illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions.


A. Introduction

Chile is not a major producer of organic or synthetic drugs. It is, however, a significant transit country for Andean cocaine shipments destined for elsewhere, particularly Europe. Chile is a source country for precursor chemicals used for cocaine production in Peru and Bolivia, as well as a source for Mexico-bound ephedrine, a critical ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine. According to the 2011 UN World Drug Report, Chile is the second largest consumer of marijuana and cocaine per capita in South America.

Due to its long and difficult-to-monitor borders with Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, Chile faces a special challenge in combating drug trafficking. Furthermore, inspection restrictions established by the treaty ending the War of the Pacific require Chilean authorities to seek permission from the Government of Bolivia to inspect cargo originating in that country and transiting Chile. These inspection restrictions impede efforts to interdict shipments of illegal narcotics, allowing some cargo to pass through Chilean ports without inspection.

The Government of Chile considers counternarcotics one of its top priorities and has a national strategy for combating narcotics trafficking and demand reduction. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for Chile’s institutional drug control efforts, overseeing the Carabineros (uniformed police), Policia de Investigaciones (investigative police, known as the PDI), and SENDA (Chile’s national drug control commission, formerly CONACE).

Chile is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Chile recognizes the threat posed by illicit narcotics and has 1,215 officers dedicated exclusively to anti-narcotics units nationwide. This includes personnel from all public agencies commissioned to investigate drug crimes or seize narcotics. In May, the Piñera government launched a three-year national strategy with the goal of reducing marijuana and cocaine use among students and vulnerable population groups. The plan includes a focus on prevention programs in schools and the community, treatment and rehabilitation, and ultimately reintegration into society.

On October 4, the Interior Minister launched Plan Frontera Norte (“Northern Border Plan”), a three-year plan with a budget of over $70 million to combat narcotics trafficking in Chile’s northern border and coastal regions. The program, which incorporates land, air, and maritime elements, focuses on control and observation, mobility and reaction, and intelligence. It also calls for the use of new technologies such as high-resolution cameras, surveillance antennae, and specially-equipped vehicles. Plan Frontera Norte furthers the efforts of Plan Secure Chile, Chile’s public security initiative launched in 2010, which itself includes a drug control strategy developed in consultation with international law enforcement organizations.

Chile is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 UN Drug Convention. Chile is also a party to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols against trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, as well as the UN Convention Against Corruption. The U.S. - Chile Extradition Treaty of 1900 is still in force. However, a new treaty was signed in January 2010 and awaits ratification by both countries. Chile has also signed, but not yet ratified, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition.

2. Supply Reduction

Through June 2011, Chilean government officials seized approximately 1,467 kilograms (kg) of cocaine; 3,776 kg of cocaine paste; 6,127 kg of processed marijuana; and 211 marijuana plants. Statistics were not available for heroin, ecstasy, or LSD. According to host-nation counterparts, there was a 12% increase in seizures of cocaine and a 48% increase in seizures of marijuana from January – June 2011 as compared with this same period in 2010.

According to Chilean counterparts, the most significant trend is the increase in Bolivian cocaine production and the influx of Bolivian drug trafficking organizations operating within Chile. There has been an increase in containerized shipments of cocaine transiting Chile from Bolivia. Many of these shipments employ extremely sophisticated concealment methods, such as disguising narcotics in ceramic tiles, machine equipment and even scrap metal. However, wood products such as flooring and furniture, were the concealment methods most commonly used.

Between January and July 2011, there were 12 documented cocaine seizures totaling approximately 1.9 metric tons, seized either in Chile proper or while transiting Chilean territory en route to an international destination. With the exception of two seizures, all of the containerized cargo involved originated in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and transited Arica, Chile. Eight of these 12 seizures involved cocaine embedded in wood products in a sophisticated fashion. An additional trend is concealing cocaine within a very small percentage of a large volume of cargo, making detection by law enforcement authorities extremely difficult.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness Demand Reduction and Treatment

Chile is the second largest consumer of marijuana and cocaine per capita in South America, according to the 2011 United Nations Report on Drugs and Crime. SENDA’s latest report on drug consumption, published in July, covers the period of 2008 to 2010. The report shows that marijuana consumption in the total population was down from 6.4% to 4.6%, with a drop of nearly 4% among the teenage population. Cocaine consumption was also down, from 1.8% to 0.7%.

In May the government launched a three-year national strategy aimed at reducing marijuana and cocaine use among students and vulnerable population groups. This strategy builds upon the many prevention and treatment programs already in operation. SENDA has offices across the country and offers a wide variety of drug prevention and treatment programs for the general population, including programs targeting adolescents, women and their children, and prisoners. It also has an extensive website with online resources to support its mission. Together with the Ministry of Education, SENDA offers four anti-drug programs in schools, each targeting a specific age range.

Chile offers free drug abuse treatment for citizens who are part of the public health insurance system (FONASA). There are nearly 200 drug treatment facilities in Chile which have agreements with SENDA. Additionally, special treatment programs exist for mothers and juveniles convicted of other legal infractions, and prisoners.

4. Corruption

The Government of Chile does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal transactions. Narcotics-related corruption among police officers and other government officials is not considered a major problem in Chile, and no current Chilean senior officials have been accused of such activities. Swift action is taken in cases where police are discovered to be involved in drug trafficking. Chile is traditionally considered one of the least corrupt countries in the Western Hemisphere and ranked as the least corrupt country in South America in the 2010 Corruption Perception Index Survey released by Transparency International.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The United States works closely with Chile to strengthen Chilean institutions’ capacity to confront drug trafficking, and the Piñera administration has been very active in fostering bilateral cooperation with the United States. Two Letters of Agreement (LOA) were signed in September between the United States and Chile addressing various bilateral and trilateral law enforcement initiatives. Specific U.S. goals include: enhanced interagency cooperation among Chilean law enforcement agencies, an increase in Chile’s ability to conduct international drug investigations, and an increased allocation of resources to anti-narcotics efforts in northern Chile. The majority of U.S. assistance supports law enforcement training, specifically in the areas of container inspection and advanced drug interdiction techniques. Additionally, the United States provides funding for Chilean officials to travel to the United States to observe first-hand methods used by U.S. law enforcement entities to conduct counternarcotics operations. In October 2011, for example, U.S. funding supported a trip to El Paso, Texas for Chilean officials to observe best practices for patrolling and securing expansive borders. In November 2011, with U.S. assistance, Chile hosted an international seminar concentrating on maritime investigations and the value of multidisciplinary task forces in combating maritime threats. In FY11, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted one training related to maritime security and one resident course in law enforcement, professional development, port security and command and control.

D. Conclusion

While not a source country, Chile’s vast coastline, shared borders with Bolivia and Peru, and free transit agreement with Bolivia continue to make it vulnerable to narcotics traffickers. The Piñera administration has worked to address all phases of the drug control effort, including Chile’s domestic consumption problems. In May the government launched a national drug strategy aimed at reducing marijuana and cocaine use among students and vulnerable population groups and in October, the Interior Ministry launched Plan Frontera Norte to combat drug trafficking in Chile’s northern border areas.

Chile should continue its work to increase the capacity of its anti-narcotics units, especially with respect to their efforts to interdict containerized cargo shipments transiting Chile’s port cities. Also, Chile must work to commit sustained resources, financial as well as human, to support interdiction efforts. Additionally, more advanced equipment like x-ray scanners, canine units, and more sophisticated radar should be employed to combat drug trafficking organizations infiltrating Chile’s northern borders with Bolivia and Peru. The United States stands ready to continue its partnership with Chile as it continues to undertake efforts to combat narcotics trafficking.


A. Introduction

China is a growing transit and destination country for illicit drugs, and a major producer of precursor chemicals. Heroin from Southeast and Southwest Asian countries bound for international markets transits China, including heroin entering northwestern China from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Southeast Asian heroin that enters China from Burma transits southern China to various international markets by maritime transport.

Precursor chemicals produced for legitimate use are frequently diverted by organized crime syndicates to manufacture illicit substances such as cocaine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine. The country’s close proximity to the Golden Triangle, and its numerous coastal cities with large and modern port facilities, such as Qingdao, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, make it an attractive transit venue for illicit drugs.

As the Chinese economy has become more integrated in the world economy, drug crimes and drug users in China have increased. In 2010, 611 cases were uncovered with the seizure of more than 1,500 kg of drugs, representing a 50% increase compared with 2009. Large-scale organized criminal groups traffic drugs to certain major cities in northern and southeastern China.

Chinese authorities continue to take steps to integrate China into regional and global counternarcotics efforts. However, corruption in drug-producing and drug transit regions of China and lack of transparent regulations limit what dedicated law enforcement officials can accomplish. China is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The National Narcotics Control Commission (NNCC) through the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) implements China’s national drug control strategy called, “The People’s War Against Drugs.” This comprehensive strategy focuses on prevention, education, illicit crop eradication, interdiction, rehabilitation, commercial regulation and tough law enforcement.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), within the MPS, headquartered in Beijing, is the primary national narcotics enforcement entity and works in conjunction with provincial public security bureau officials. The General Administration of Customs’ Anti-Smuggling Bureau is responsible for the enforcement of narcotic control laws that traffic in drugs using China’s seaports, airports and other border points of entry/exit. The State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) and the State Food and Drug Administration (SDA) share regulatory responsibilities, which impact narcotics control. The MPS Border Control Department (BCD) is also tasked with interdicting narcotics shipments crossing China's maritime and land borders. The US Coast Guard coordinates with DEA and the BCD to provide information, targeting shipments of cocaine from South America.

As part of the “The People’s War Against Drugs,” the MPS directed all regions to coordinate their drug control efforts with the provinces and municipalities such as Guangdong, Yunnan, Sichuan, and Chongqing, targeting high risk groups such as migrant workers, the unemployed, university students, and entertainment industry employees. Efforts range from mobilizing the public through educational campaigns raising awareness of the harmful effects of drug abuse to regulating the manufacture and sale of precursor chemicals to curb diversion of a licit chemical for illicit use.

China continues to build on Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) currently in place with Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and the United Nations Drug Control Program and regularly participates in a variety of drug conferences and bilateral meetings, including the annual International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) and regional targeting meetings. In response to the growing trend of South American cocaine transshipment to China, the Chinese have begun to establish closer cooperation with South and Central American law enforcement officials as well as the U.S. DEA based in Beijing.

2. Supply Reduction

According to NNCC statistics for 2010, 234 precursor chemical cases were investigated resulting in the seizure of 869 metric tons of precursor chemicals. In Meishan and Sichuan provinces, four drug laboratories were dismantled, 71 suspects arrested, 12 tons of ephedrine and 68kgs of methamphetamine (powder, tablets and liquid form) were seized.

Also, in 2010, the MPS and the Ministry of Industry and Information technology (MIIT) along with the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) and the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) jointly regulated online sales of precursor chemicals, resulting in 331 illegal websites being shut down, more than 100 cases investigated, 46 drug syndicates dismantled, and 580 suspects arrested. Inspections were conducted on 200 manufacturers, 10,000 wholesalers and 10,000 retailers of ephedrine compound preparations in an effort to deter diversion of licit precursor chemicals for illicit use. Introduction of the online application and certification processes for precursor chemicals and dissemination of information via internet on the harmful effects of illicit drugs raised drug abuse consciousness among chemical industry managers the issuance of 674 pre-export notifications indicated enhanced compliance with anti-diversion regulations. Of these, 78,000 tons of precursor chemicals passed international checks and 27 shipments were suspended. Through use of satellite remote sensing and field surveys, experts estimate that China recorded a 17.7% increase in illicit poppy cultivation in tribal areas north of Burma.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

By the end of 2010, the number of registered drug users had reached 1.545 million, which included 1.065 million heroin addicts. The number of registered synthetic drug users reached 432,000 amongst which 119,400 were new drug users mostly under age 25. Illicit drug abuse and drug-related crime was detected mostly in entertainment venues, and in some instances at restaurants, hotels and private property.

The NNCC, Ministry of Culture, and the General Administration of Industry and Commerce organized a number of education and training programs for managers and employees in entertainment venues to help increase awareness of drug activity. To help promote drug prevention in schools, communities, workplaces, at public places, and villages, the Film Bureau of the State Administration, the Ministries of Public Security, Public Health and Justice jointly launched a national education campaign. The Ministry of Education continues to conduct drug prevention programs targeting primary and high school children.

Mandatory detoxification centers were set up jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice to support HIV-positive patients in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Community-based drug rehabilitation programs developed in Yunnan Province to treat addiction and help former addicts reintegrate into society were replicated nationwide. More than 700 treatment clinics and mobile van clinics were set up in regions with a large number of drug users.

4. Corruption

Despite central government efforts to stem corruption and punish corrupt officials, illicit drugs continue to be trafficked in and out of China, and organized drug-related criminal networks continue to operate in certain regions of China. In addition, China’s continued support of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Burma which engages in narcotics-related criminal activities, sends a mixed message to drug law enforcement officials and emboldens criminal networks.

No senior official of the PRC government is known to engage in, encourage, or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances. Similarly, no senior official is known to launder proceeds from drug transactions. MPS takes allegations of drug-related corruption seriously, launching investigations when it deems appropriate. Most cases appear to involve lower-level district and county officials. Currently, the U.S. government is not aware of any specific evidence indicating senior-level drug-related corruption.

At the recently concluded 9th U.S.-China bilateral Joint Liaison Group (JLG) for Law Enforcement Cooperation under which there is an Anti-corruption Working Group (ACWG) meeting, both sides agreed to share information on ways to combat domestic corruption and stated that government-industry interaction on foreign bribery and compliance programs is a priority.

A centralized procurement system approved by the different government agencies helped limit the incidence of commercial bribery during official drug procurement processes. Under this system, provincial level officials procured drugs on behalf of the hospitals from the most suitable pharmaceutical supplier.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Chinese President Hu Jintao has acknowledged the importance of drug control, emphasizing that it is a long term task requiring consistent efforts in the areas of publicity and education, strict law enforcement, treatment, rehabilitation and international cooperation.

The United States and China are parties to a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement and Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement. The U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and their Chinese counterparts participate in the Counternarcotics discussion group of the China-U.S. Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation. The DEA and the NNCC are parties to a memorandum to establish a bilateral drug intelligence working group (BDIWG) to enhance cooperation and the exchange of information. The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and NNCC are parties to a memorandum to increase cooperation in combating drug trafficking and abuse.

China is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 UN Single Convention and its 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the UN Convention against Corruption. China is a party to UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and has signed but not yet ratified its protocol on trafficking in firearms. On February 8, 2010, China acceded to its protocol on trafficking in persons.

D. Conclusion

Over the last several years, the Chinese government has intensified its campaign against drugs and drug-related crimes at home and abroad. Despite these efforts, trafficking of illegal narcotics and drug precursors remains at very high levels, and China will need to make further strides in enforcement efforts in order to adequately address the growing drug problem.

For 2011, U.S.- China drug enforcement cooperation is on a positive track. DEA’s relations with NCB counterparts are improving, and there is an increased level of cooperation and information-sharing related to cocaine smuggling into China. As a means to move U.S.-China - drug enforcement cooperation forward, DEA would like to be provided greater access to suspects, reporting, witnesses, evidence, financial institutions, and businesses in drug investigations where drugs are smuggled out of China and where there is a direct U.S. interest.


A. Introduction

Colombia remains one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of cocaine, as well as a source country for heroin and marijuana. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2010 Cocaine Signature Program, 95.5 percent of the cocaine seized in the United States in their sampling system originates in Colombia. Colombia’s marijuana is typically not sent to the United States, but feeds internal and Latin American consumption. The Government of Colombia (GOC) continues to make significant progress in its fight against the production and trafficking of illicit drugs. The United States Government (USG) found that the area devoted to coca cultivation in 2010 was down 14 percent compared to 2009, from 116,000 to 100,000 hectares (ha). Crediting sustained aerial and manual eradication operations and aggressive enforcement activity in 2010, the USG also reported a decline in potential pure cocaine production of 7.4 percent, from 290 metric tons (MT) in 2009 to 270 MT in 2010 – and a 61.4 percent drop from the 700 MT estimated pure cocaine production potential in 2001.

The United Nation’s (UN) 2010 assessment of the drug problem in Colombia reflected a similar trend from 2009 to 2010. The UN Office for Drug Control (UNODC) estimates that in 2010, coca area under cultivation fell 15 percent to 62,000 from 73,000 ha, and cocaine production potential dropped 19 percent to 330 MT from 410 MT. Although estimates differ due to dissimilar methodologies, both reflect a similar declining trend in coca cultivation and cocaine production potential.

In 2011, the GOC continued its aggressive interdiction and eradication programs, and maintained a strong extradition record for persons charged with crimes in the United States. The GOC extradited 119 fugitives to the United States in 2011, the vast majority of which were wanted for drug crimes. According to the GOC, authorities seized over 186 MT of cocaine and cocaine base and eliminated hundreds of tons of additional potential cocaine through the combined aerial and manual eradication of 137,794 ha of coca. The GOC also continued to address increasing domestic drug consumption, and raised the profile of drug prevention and treatment efforts.

The GOC continued to apply pressure to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), which maintain considerable control in areas with high concentrations of coca and opium poppy cultivation. In 2011, Colombian security forces captured or killed many high value targets, including the FARC supreme commander Guillermo León Sáenz Vargas, alias Alfonso Cano, the leader of the FARC since 2008, FARC 48th Front finance chief Olidem Romel Solarte Ceron, alias Oliver Solarte, the drug trafficking kingpin of southern Colombia, and FARC 30th Front commander Jorge Naphtali Umenza Velasco, alias “Mincho,” the drug trafficking kingpin of Colombia’s Pacific coast.

Colombia continues to see a rise in criminal organizations known as “bandas criminales” or BACRIMs, which have become a major law enforcement challenge. These groups include members of former paramilitary groups and are active throughout much of the country -- competing and sometimes cooperating with the FARC in the drug trade. For example, the largest BACRIM organization, “los Rastrojos,” has traceable cooperative agreements with both the ELN and the FARC in southern Colombia. The violence associated with the BACRIMs has spilled over into many of Colombia’s major cities, leading to an increase in the murder rates within some urban centers and the mass displacement of thousands of rural citizens in 2011. In 2011, President Juan Manuel Santos announced a comprehensive strategy to combat the increasingly powerful BACRIM. The strategy identified overarching themes to attack the BACRIM and detailed how various government agencies would coordinate efforts, but it did not designate additional resources to confront the problem.

Colombia is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Over the past decade, Colombia has developed a robust institutional capacity to combat narcotics trafficking, mostly controlled by and financed through the activities of three Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) – the FARC, the ELN, and the now demobilized United Self-Defense Forces (AUC). These FTOs use drug cultivation and trafficking proceeds to attack military and police forces and to protect their activities, resulting in high levels of violence, displacement, economic stagnation, and insecurity.

To address the complexity and inter-connections of security, counternarcotics programs and economic development, the GOC launched the National Consolidation Plan (PNC) in 2009 that focused on selected priority areas where violence, drug trafficking and social marginalization have historically converged. The PNC seeks to increase state capacity to provide security for communities; achieve lasting eradication; transfer security responsibilities from the national military to the police; and provide a wide range of social and economic services. Regional Coordination Centers staffed by civilian, police, and military personnel coordinate this comprehensive approach. U.S. Government programs increasingly support these efforts through the Embassy’s Colombia Strategic Development Initiative (CSDI).

The PNC pilot project began in 2007 in the Macarena region of the country’s central Department of Meta, and continues to demonstrate encouraging results. The Macarena region, once the primary cocaine source for the U.S. market, now shows the lowest cultivation levels in over a decade according to the USG. The UN reports that coca cultivation in the area continues to decline and was reduced by 83 percent from its high of 9,530 ha in 2005 down to 1,595 ha in 2010. Replanting rates remain low and coca farmers are taking part in licit agricultural projects, as shown by the doubling in the amount of legal crops in the Macarena between 2007 and 2009.

PNC efforts continued in 2011 as the GOC conducted a strategic review of the policy throughout the year to draw lessons from the past and improve future implementation. As part of this review, the GOC cut the number of high priority municipalities in half (to 51) so as to better focus and implement the consolidation strategy. The PNC now has greater acceptance across the various ministries as demonstrated by $1.6 billion in additional funding for the PNC committed to 30 civilian agencies during the strategic review process. President Santos also directed that PNC link with his other highest priority initiatives, namely land reform and formalization, victims’ restitution, and rural development, so as to increase the potentially transformative impact on populations emerging from conflict. Santos’ priority initiatives are critical to ensure that communities making the decision to align with the licit economy are rewarded with viable livelihoods and incomes.

On October 4, 2011, President Santos formally launched his strategy to reduce rising urban crime, calling for $2 billion in additional government expenditures to increase the size and capabilities of the Colombian National Police (CNP) by 20,000 officers over the next four years. He has submitted legislation to Congress for an economic stimulus package of approximately $165 million focused on job creation programs. This plan aims to reduce the unemployment rate among high school graduates, 25 percent in some parts of the country, a rate that leads many to the drug trade.

Judicial impunity remains a major impediment to deterring violence. President Santos acknowledged that less than 10 percent of arrested BACRIM members actually serve jail time. One former municipal security advisor estimated Bogota’s conviction rate for homicide at less than 10 percent; other major cities appear to rank similarly. Lower conviction rates in rural areas are likely due to more limited investigative capacity and lack of protection for judges, investigators, and witnesses. In June, the news media widely reported on a perceived deterioration in public security while the Santos government defended its efforts to rein in violent crime more effectively.

President Santos established a new National Security Council (NSC) to improve interagency coordination on cross-cutting issues such as consolidation planning, border security, eradication, and land reforms. The NSC, modeled after its U.S. and British counterparts, adopted the comprehensive strategy against the BACRIM during its inaugural meeting in February 2011. A principal challenge for this nascent entity to unify government efforts to simultaneously combat insurgent groups and organized crime.

In September 2011, Colombia’s National Directorate on Dangerous Drugs (DNE) was officially dismantled and its role as coordinator of national drug policy was transferred the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

The GOC is a party to the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances; 1988 UN Drug Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances; the Organization of American States (OAS) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons; and the UN Convention against Corruption. Colombia participated in the Regional Summit on the World Drug Problem, Security, and Cooperation, which promotes information sharing, training and technical assistance under the UN counterdrug conventions. Separately, the Colombian Minister of Defense participates in a tri-party group with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Mexican Attorney General to discuss counternarcotics and other issues of mutual interest. More working group and executive level meetings are planned for 2011. The GOC’s 2003 National Security Strategy (Plan de Seguridad Democratica) meets the strategic requirements of the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

The 1997 U.S.-Colombian Maritime Ship Boarding Agreement facilitates timely permission to board Colombian-flagged ships in international waters and is the foundation for productive counternarcotics cooperation between the Colombian Navy (COLNAV) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Colombia is an active participant in the USCG-sponsored Multilateral Summits on maritime interdiction, which also include Ecuador, Peru, most of Central America and Mexico. In 2011, COLNAV reported that it seized 59.2 MT of cocaine, 3.2 MT of marijuana, and 34 kilograms (kg) of heroin. COLNAV also seized six self-propelled semi submersibles (SPSS), two fully submersible vessels (FSV), and arrested 258 persons on narcotics trafficking charges. Colombia’s 1999 Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) provides for the exchange of information to prevent and investigate customs violations in the United States and Colombia and led the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to create a Colombian-based Trade Transparency Unit to analyze, identify and investigate companies and individuals involved in trade-based money laundering activities between Colombia and the United States.

In 2004, Colombia and the United States signed an agreement establishing the Bilateral Narcotics Control Program, providing the general framework for specific counternarcotics project collaborations with various Colombian implementing agencies. This agreement has been amended annually and is a key vehicle for the delivery of a majority of U.S. counternarcotics assistance.

In 2011, Colombian and Honduran Air Force representatives signed a bilateral agreement to combat drug trafficking from Colombia through Honduras. The agreement will allow Colombian Air Force (FAC) to follow planes into Honduras until the moment of landing, enabling the countries to work together to identify landing sites and cooperate on interdiction. Colombian security personnel will also assist in the development of the Honduran security forces to enable them to more efficiently combat organized crime.

2. Supply Reduction

Eradication: While differing methodologies led to different final estimates, both the United States and UN reported continued declines in coca cultivation and cocaine production potential in Colombia in 2010. The United States reports that cultivation in 2010 was down 14 percent compared to 2009, from 116,000 to 100,000 ha. The United States also reported a seven percent decline in potential pure cocaine production to 270 MT in 2010, from a revised 290 MT in 2009.

These reports also indicate that existing coca fields continue to be less productive, less dense, and in smaller plots, than when eradication operations began in the late 1990s. Nevertheless, illicit cultivation continues and is a growing problem in Colombia’s national parks, indigenous reserves, the Pacific coast, and along its borders with Ecuador, where aerial eradication is prohibited. (NOTE: The GOC does not conduct aerial spraying within 10 kilometers of its border with Ecuador. Manual eradication is ongoing in border areas, yet is hampered by the often rugged and isolated terrain and the presence of illegal armed groups, whether FTOs or BACRIMs.)

Under the auspices of the President’s Agency for Social Action, over 3,500 civilian eradicators, with support from the Colombian national security forces, conducted manual eradication throughout the country. The manual eradication goal for 2011 was 40,000 ha but, as in prior years, security concerns, budget issues and the dispersion of coca to smaller fields, prevented the GOC from reaching that goal, eradicating just over 34,000 ha in 2011. Meanwhile, the aerial eradication program sprayed over 100,000 ha in 2011, exceeding its goal. Also in 2011, the GOC manually eradicated 302 ha of poppy, compared to 696 ha in 2010 and 546 ha in 2009. During 2011, seven police, one military, and one civilian eradicator were killed during manual operations, compared to 32 in 2010. Those nine fatalities and injuries to 32 others are attributed to improvised explosive devices, sniper fire, and other attacks from traffickers and illegal armed groups such as the FARC.

Interdiction: Colombian police forces reported seizures of 186 MT of cocaine and cocaine base, 69,000 kilograms (kg) of marijuana, 360 kg of heroin – 230 kg of which was seized in Costa Rica in a joint Colombian/Costa Rican operation – and approximately one million gallons of liquid and 9.2 million kilos of solid precursor chemicals. In addition, they destroyed 190 cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) labs, two heroin labs, and seven potassium permanganate labs.

The CNP’s primary interdiction force, the Anti-Narcotics Directorate’s (DIRAN) Jungle Commandos (Junglas), are largely responsible for the significant number of HCL and coca base labs destroyed in 2011, accounting for 901 cocaine base labs, 111 HCL labs and one heroin lab. Additionally, the Junglas destroyed 12 clandestine runways and seized 14 MT of solid precursors and 4.5 MT of liquid precursors.

The CNP’s Mobile Rural Police Squadrons (Carabineros) are charged with expanding and maintaining police presence in rural and conflict areas. In 2011, they captured over 800 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 MT of cocaine paste, and destroyed 80 base labs. The Carabineros are also increasingly involved in combating illegal mining – a criminal activity that has surpassed narco-trafficking in some rural areas of the country – making 422 arrests in 2011 as compared to the 49 arrests in 2010.

The transport of drugs via Colombia’s extensive rivers and coastal ports remains a major concern. Drug seizures in Colombia’s ports have decreased in comparison to previous years, which may be the result of the Colombian Government and private seaport operators’ improvements in port security. In 2011, approximately 5 MT of cocaine were seized by DIRAN in ports across the country. DIRAN units confiscated approximately 470 kg of cocaine, 16 kg of heroin, and 12 kg of marijuana at Colombia’s international airports. At both air and seaports, DIRAN has arrested 331 people on drug-related charges (206 Colombians and 125 foreign).

Captures/Arrests: The GOC continued to attack terrorist organizations and succeeded in capturing or killing a number of high-level FARC and BACRIM commanders in 2011. In March, Colombian Armed Forces killed FARC 48th Front finance chief Olidem Romel Solarte Ceron, alias Oliver Solarte, a drug trafficking kingpin of southern Colombia. In July, Ecuadoran police captured FARC 48th Front deputy commander Andres Guaje Chala, alias “Danilo” in Quito. In October, Colombian Navy and Air Force killed FARC 30th Front commander Jorge Naphtali Umenza Velasco, alias “Mincho,” the drug trafficking kingpin of Colombia’s Pacific coast. The most important blow struck against the FARC was on November 4, 2011, when the Colombian Air Force bombed the camp of FARC Supreme Leader Alfonso Cano (AKA Guillermo Leon Saenz) in the southwestern state of Cauca. After Colombian government forces bombed the jungle hideout, troops rappelled down from helicopters to search the area, and within hours Cano was reportedly killed in a gun battle. According to Defense Minister Pinzon, there were seven computers and 39 thumb drives in Cano's bunker, as well as cash in various currencies, including U.S. dollars, Euros and Colombian pesos. The 63-year-old Cano, whose body was purportedly identified by his fingerprints, had been the top target of Colombian authorities since September 2010, when the FARC's military chief, Mono Jojoy (AKA Jorge Briceno), was killed.

In 2011, the CNP and Colombian military also aggressively pursued BACRIM traffickers. In January, the CNP arrested BACRIM organization “Los Paisas” financial chief Luis Fernando Jaramillo Arroyave, alias “Nan.” In April, the CNP captured BACRIM organization “Los Machos” overall leader Hilber Nover Urindola Perea, alias “Don H.” In July, Colombian Marines arrested BACRIM organization “Los Rastrojos” chief Nulver Sarria García, alias “Apache 5,” who was responsible for the southern department of Nariño. In August, the CNP arrested BACRIM organization “Alta Guajira” overall leader Johan Alberto Caldera, alias “Cobra,” and the organization’s second-in-command Luis Ignacio Suárez Rosario, alias “Pantera.”

3. Demand Reduction

The GOC continues to increase its commitment to drug demand reduction. “Colombia: Free of Drugs,” a nation-wide campaign launched in 2010, continues to provide information and heighten social awareness regarding drug demand. The CNP, with USG assistance, continues its Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in all 32 departments of Colombia. Additionally, with UN and USG support, the GOC continues with its 2008 National Drug Consumption Reduction Plan focusing on demand prevention, mitigation and treatment. The Ministry of Social Protection (MSP) also increased its budget for these three areas from $5 million in 2010 to $6 million in 2011.

In December 2009, the GOC approved a law that prohibited the possession and consumption of small, “personal,” amounts of illegal drugs. However, in August 2011, the Colombian Supreme Court overturned this law, finding that Legislative Act No. 2, 2009, which banned the personal use of drugs, “implies the nullification of fundamental rights, and it represses and sanctions with the severest punishments (imprisonment) the personal decision to abandon one’s personal health, a choice that corresponds to their own decision and does not infringe on the rights of other members of society.” The Supreme Court then set the “personal amount” of drugs at 20 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine.

In 2010, the government began drafting treatment regulations for drug addicts. However, these regulations are not yet finalized as the MSP continues to review how the Colombian health insurance system will cover drug addiction as a medical condition. Drug treatment services in Colombia are provided primarily by private organizations. According to the national consumption study, there are nearly 300,000 people with drug dependency problems needing treatment, and only 20,000 available spaces in facilities. To service the drug dependent population, the GOC has identified 104 inpatient or residential treatment centers, 88 outpatient centers, 58 drug treatment facilities in general hospitals, 34 toxicology services, and 5 methadone programs available to drug addicts.

For the first time since 2005, the GOC conducted a national study in 2011 to determine the level of drug use among youth between 11 and 18 years old. The 2011 study was conducted in all 32 departments of the country and in 160 municipalities with some 92,000 surveys completed. The results of the study are still pending.

4. Corruption

Colombia is party to both the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Corruption. Colombian government policy strongly discourages, and works to minimize the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions and corrupt acts that facilitate drug trafficking. Despite this commitment, corruption of some GOC officials occurs, often instigated by drug trafficking organizations.

In February 2010, the Colombian government arrested Ramiro Anturi Larrahondo, a lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office assigned to military criminal investigations, for receiving thousands of dollars from the Rastrojos BACRIM in return for intercepting security agencies’ telephone calls and feeding information back to narcotics traffickers. In January 2011, Anturi was extradited to the United States to face narcotics trafficking charges. The National Anti-Narcotics Agency (DNE) – the body in charge of handling assets seized from drug traffickers – was dismantled amid investigations into 14 high-level politicians including Congressmen and a former president of the Senate for irregularities in administering seized properties. The Attorney General announced in September 2011 that it will bring embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy charges against former DNE Director Omar Figueroa and 10 other former DNE officials for their role in mishandling seized assets.

Drug-related corruption remains a problem within the public security forces. The CNP Criminal Investigative Chief of Caquetá was arrested in January for transporting over 100 kilograms of cocaine, and in June, 23 police officers were arrested in two separate anti-drug sting operations in Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, San Andres, and Villavicencio. Eight of the officers were charged with stealing a cocaine shipment that belonged to a former BACRIM leader. In May, seven police officers, two Navy officers, and two Prosecutor General’s Corps of Technical investigators (CTI) agents based in Chocó department were arrested for their ties to a BACRIM organization. That same month, another three CNP officers were arrested in Valle de Cauca for collaborating with the Rastrojos BACRIM. In August 2011, seven police officers and three army soldiers were arrested for allegedly being on the payroll of a deceased BACRIM leader in the Lower Cauca region of Antioquia. Former Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera subsequently announced that 100 policemen were under investigation for their ties to the Rastrojos BACRIM.

In July 2011, President Santos signed an anti-corruption statute that regulates lobbying, creates an anti-corruption council, and establishes new penalties for corruption. The bill aims to close the “revolving door,” as public officials will no longer be able to work in the same area of expertise in the private sector. Additionally, it bars campaign donors from being government contractors during the elected period of the benefactor. The public health sector, which has been a significant source of graft, will be more tightly regulated and individuals convicted of corruption will no longer be able to receive lax house arrest. The bill also allows authorities to conduct covert operations to uncover and punish corrupt individuals.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

The United States recognizes that it has a “shared responsibility” to assist nations struggling with drug production and trafficking. In Colombia, the USG provides a range of assistance to the CNP and Colombian military, as well as to judicial institutions that investigate and prosecute drug traffickers and human rights offenders. Counternarcotics assistance to the CNP and military includes support for a range of interdiction and eradication operations, as well as programs designed to develop rural policing capabilities. Interdiction support encompasses land, sea and air operations, and efforts are underway to expand the GOC’s interdiction capabilities along its Pacific coast. Eradication uses both manual and aerial operations and focuses on strategic coca-growing zones. To support Colombia’s National Consolidation Plan, the USG is providing equipment and training to rural security forces in order to help them establish a permanent presence in former conflict and coca growing areas.

The USG also provides alternative development assistance in support of the National Consolidation Plan (PNC). In transition zones where the GOC has only recently established minimum security, the USG works with government actors to support immediate, short-term activities to meet urgent economic and social needs. This includes meeting basic food security needs as well as quick impact priority community projects such as road improvement, bridges, health posts and electrification to demonstrate the benefits of state presence and accelerate the areas’ recovery from the effects of conflict and eradication. Medium- and longer-term assistance include strengthening producer associations, increasing market opportunities for licit crops, and technical assistance to civilian agencies of the state to ensure permanent presence at the local level.

In 2008, the United States and Colombia began working closely to transfer operational and financial responsibility (“nationalization”) for selected counternarcotics programs to Colombian management and funding. Since that time, Colombia has successfully nationalized several programs, including the Air Bridge Denial program and taking title and support responsibility for 72 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Alternative development programs have leveraged approximately $8 of outside funding for every $1 of USG funding from local governments, beneficiary groups, and private sector actors. Reflecting Colombia’s increasing capability, the GOC has taken an important and active role in training police and justice officials from many Latin American and African countries, including Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, and Panama.

Moving beyond strictly counternarcotics issues, the USCG conducted three resident courses in search and rescue, law enforcement, port security and professional development in 2011.

D. Conclusion

Colombia continues to make important advances in combating the production, exportation, and consumption of illicit drugs. These efforts have kept several hundred metric tons of drugs each year from reaching the United States and other world markets, and have helped stabilize Colombia. As noted above, Colombia is also now a partner in exporting security and stability throughout the Western Hemisphere. Although these advances are significant, the progress is not irreversible and continued USG support in Colombia is needed. To solidify the gains made over the past decade, the Colombian government will need to devote additional resources to its National Consolidation Plan (PNC) to improve security, increase public service provision, build infrastructure, and generate additional economic opportunities in regions that have historically been heavily influenced by terrorist and criminal elements. Encouragingly, the new Santos Administration is linking its consolidation plans with initiatives to speed land reform and create economic prosperity in the same high priority municipalities.

There are a number of steps the GOC can consider to improve ongoing programs. Ensuring the timely disbursement of funds and efficient contracting for manual eradication so that operations can take place throughout the calendar year without interruption or delay is important to ensuring a continued decline in cocaine production and coca cultivation, especially in areas where aerial eradication is not permitted resulting in a marked increase of coca cultivation.

The principal lesson learned from the massive reductions in coca cultivation, cocaine production, and general insecurity throughout Colombia is that long-term success in counternarcotics strategies and operations requires an integrated, broad-based approach. Government-led security, economic development and drug demand programs all need to work in coordination. Maintaining pressure on coca farmers, narcotics producers, and traffickers through eradication and interdiction reduces cultivation and production, and keeps drugs out of the United States and volatile transit zones. At the same time, programs that expand the presence of the State and improve the rule of law and economic prosperity can lead communities to choose democratic values, licit economic activity and support for state institutions, which in turn promotes more permanent eradication results.

Colombia Statistics (2001-2011)














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HCL (cocaine): Potential 1,2(MT)




280 (adj)







Opium Poppy


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Labs Destroyed


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Costa Rica

A. Introduction

For the second year, President Obama designated Costa Rica as a major transit country in the 2011 Report to Congress on Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug Transit Countries. Various factors contributed to Costa Rica’s status as a drug transshipment point for cocaine and heroin destined for the United States, including its geographic location on the isthmus linking narcotics producing countries in South America with the United States, its extensive Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, and the vulnerable Costa Rican Coco Island in the Pacific Ocean. The Government of Costa Rica expressed concern regarding the rising consumption of illicit narcotics, levels of drug-related violence, and the presence of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Chinchilla Administration emphasized security as its top priority and, in cooperation with the Judiciary, initiated efforts to address security in 2011, including an initiative to improve police training. The government obtained legislative approval for fiscal reform that will enable it to make greater investments in citizen security. Costa Rica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2011, President Chinchilla and her Administration pressed the legislature to increase tax revenue for security expenditures through measures on the gaming sector and corporations. On December 27, 2011, the President signed into law a new security tax on corporations, but the legislature did not pass the other measure due to its unpopularity with the business community. In 2010, the Administration proposed a bill that would limit the amount of fuel a vessel may carry to prevent fishing vessels from resupplying drug running go-fast boats. This bill was not approved by the end of the year due to opposition from regions with significant fishing operations.

Costa Rica continued to take steps towards establishing a supervisory and regulatory regime to prevent and detect money laundering. In 2011, the Attorney General’s Office and Judicial Police showed their commitment to investigating and prosecuting money laundering cases when they cooperated with U.S. officials to arrest a high-profile professional soccer team owner on charges of money laundering and other financial crimes.

In 2010, the Government of Costa Rica announced a plan to add 4,000 officers to the national police by 2014 and in 2011, 1,460 new officers joined the police force. Taking into account attrition, over the past two years Costa Rica achieved a net increase of 650 new police officers.

In 2011, Costa Rica took steps to improve its law enforcement capabilities. The Ministry of Public Security, with the assistance of the U.S. government, revamped its police academy curriculum and lengthened basic training for new police officers. With support from the United States and other donors, the Costa Rican government launched a container analysis and inspection program. However internal wrangling between Costa Rican government agencies over their respective authorities stymied effective container inspections and investigations.

Costa Rica is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1961 Single Convention as amended by its 1972 Protocol and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Costa Rica is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, the UN Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism and the Inter-American Convention against Trafficking in Illegal Firearms. The 1999 bilateral Maritime Counter Drug Cooperation Agreement is in effect, but not fully utilized. The agreement authorizes law enforcement vessels of the United States to moor in Costa Rican national ports, but not all U.S. vessels have been permitted to utilize this provision. While the Legislative Assembly allowed all U.S. Coast Guard ships to dock in 2011, it permitted only two U.S. Navy ships with embarked U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachments to dock since December 2010.

In 2011, pursuant to the 1991 United States-Costa Rican extradition treaty, Costa Rica extradited five fugitives wanted by the U.S. government. Seven fugitives were deported by Costa Rica to the United States and five petitions seeking the extradition of fugitives from Costa Rica remain pending with the Government of Costa Rica. Costa Rican law does not permit the extradition of nationals.

Costa Rica and the United States are parties to bilateral drug information and intelligence sharing agreements from 1975 and 1976. Costa Rica is a member of the Egmont Group and was admitted to the Financial Action Task Force of South America (GAFISUD) in 2010. In 2009, Costa Rica enacted a terrorist financing law and additional regulations to combat money laundering in the financial sectors. The country is also a member of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS/CICAD). Costa Rica signed the Caribbean regional maritime counternarcotics agreement in 2003 and took steps to bring the agreement into force in 2011. In 2011, the Costa Rican Coast Guard participated in the Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit for the first time and will host the event in the spring of 2012.

2. Supply Reduction

The Costa Rican Coast Guard remained under-resourced and with limited operational capacity. The dearth of enforcement capacity made the Costa Rican coastline an attractive landing zone for smugglers. Traffickers exploited Costa Rican-flagged fishing boats to smuggle multi-ton shipments of drugs through the littorals, while primarily foreign flagged boats provide fuel for go-fast boats for Pacific routes. In addition, the southern Golfito region became a commonplace destination for traffickers to off-load cocaine for transport north via the Pan-American Highway. Traffickers smuggled drugs through the postal system, international courier services and via individual passengers on international flights, and used Costa Rica as a “warehouse” to store narcotics temporarily. Drugs were often brought ashore from go-fasts boats and stored until further land or air-based travel could be arranged. Drug traffickers paid for services rendered to local contacts with drugs resulting in increases of domestic drug use, especially crack cocaine, street crime and domestic insecurity.

Costa Rica was one of the world’s leading eradicators of marijuana in 2011. During 2011, the Costa Rican Drug Police (Policia Contra Drogas or PCD) seized and destroyed 2,252,728 plants, setting a world record for marijuana eradication in one year. The substantial increase in eradication suggested that total production exceeded domestic consumption, with the excess supply destined for exports market. Authorities also seized 9,609 kilograms (kg) of cocaine, of which 47 percent was seized at sea. In 2011, cocaine seizures declined 35.1 percent from the 14,808 kg seized in 2010. The GOCR seized 115,132 doses of crack cocaine, 19,191 doses of ecstasy and 241 kg of heroin, of which 230 kg were from one seizure. The total represents a 240 percent increase from seizures in 2009. Costa Rican authorities confiscated $2.3 million in narcotics-related cash and assets, a 24 percent decrease from 2010. Confiscated bulk cash is believed to be bound for command and control structures of drug trafficking organizations within Costa Rica, rather than transit through the country. The more than 47,549 drug-related arrests represented a roughly 40 percent increase from 2010, putting arrests in 2011 more in line with the arrests in 2009.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD) oversees drug prevention efforts and education programs throughout the country. ICD is also responsible for maintaining custody and disposition of most seized and forfeited assets, whether real property or currency. ICD produced and distributed demand reduction materials, including anti-drug abuse materials for schools. According to the most recent consumption statistics from 2006 collected by the Government’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, there are an estimated 250,000 marijuana users in the country. Experts in the field report, however, that the actual numbers are much higher. According to the United Nations’ best estimate, 0.4 percent of the Costa Rican population aged 12-70 abuse cocaine. In 2011, the U.S. government supported six non-governmental organizations working to combat drug use and reduce trafficking in Costa Rica by working with at-risk youth. In addition, the United States, ICD, Fuerza Publica, and Costa Rica’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, assisted with an anniversary Red Ribbon Week event for several thousand children.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Costa Rican government did not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions in 2011. A 2006 law provides criminal penalties for official corruption and the government generally enforced these laws. There were reports of low- to mid-level government corruption.

In 2011, the criminal court sentenced a former president to five years in prison for instigating aggravated corruption and barred him from public office for 12 years. The Prosecutor’s Office investigated credible reports of corruption in at least 10 municipal governments. The Ministry of Public Security suspended more than 1,000 uniformed police officers in 15 months; just over eight percent of the 12,000 officer force. Most suspensions stemmed from investigations into the misuse of resources, abuse of authority and domestic violence. There were several high profile cases in which uniformed police officers were arrested and given pre-trial detention for involvement in drug trafficking or other organized criminal activity. Despite the measures taken to investigate and address corruption, government institutions, particularly the Ministry of Public Security, lacked adequate internal controls and procedures to prevent and detect corruption among low-level officials. Moreover, the public continued to perceive that corruption was common among the uniformed police.

Despite successful prosecutions of high ranking officials in 2011, the Ministry of Finance disbanded the internal affairs office tasked with the investigation of corruption cases within the Fiscal Police, an agency notorious for corruption. The internal affairs unit was established several years prior at the request of a former minister and received technical assistance from the United States.

In the justice sector, there were allegations that intimidation and bribery influenced judicial decisions. The Supreme Court investigated the allegations and, while no cases of corruption were discovered, some procedural errors were uncovered. For example, the judicial inspection tribunal investigated an instance of placing foreign citizens awaiting trial on charges of drug trafficking under house arrest instead of holding them at the maximum-security prison. The inspection tribunal referred the case to the Supreme Court to determine possible sanctions and in November 2011, the Supreme Court suspended the judge for one month without pay.

C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives

Costa Rica and the United States are focused on programs that will not only enhance the Costa Rican interdiction capabilities, but also help disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations. U.S. programs are also focused on enhancing prosecutions, promoting secure borders and fostering citizen security and safe communities. Costa Rican laws and regulations restricted the use and conversion of confiscated assets, such as go-fast boats, to combat crime, due to cumbersome, multi-year legal proceedings.

In 2011, the U.S. government continued assistance to the justice sector, including the launch of a case management system intended to increase efficiencies for anti-narcotics prosecutors and streamline seized asset tracking. The United States supported several trainings on investigative techniques in areas such as narcotics trafficking and money laundering, and continued assistance for restructuring the Prosecutor’s office to expedite case processing. The United States and Costa Rica also initiated dialogue on establishment of a judicial wire intercept platform. The U.S. government supported a United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime program with Costa Rica’s judicial school to improve trial presentation techniques.

United States assistance on border security focused on improving Costa Rican maritime interdiction capabilities, enhanced use of targeted intelligence for containerized cargo, and establishment of a new Costa Rican border police force. The United States and Costa Rican government broke ground on the construction of a state-of-the-art inspection station on the Pan-American Highway, a natural chokepoint of roads running north from Panama. In support of Costa Rica’s maritime interdiction capacity, the United States completed construction of a Coast Guard station and delivered two 33-foot patrol boats in June 2011. The Ministry of Public Security purchased additional maritime assets to augment the Costa Rican Coast Guard’s fleet, marking a shift in priorities. The United States provided mobile training to the Costa Rican Coast Guard in the areas of Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer and Coastal Response Boat Operator.

The U.S. government continued its effort to increase the professionalism and strengthen the capacity of the uniformed police. In 2011, the second year of a four-year police professionalization program was completed and included provisions of ballistic vests and new computers. The United States also conducted an assessment of the law enforcement capabilities at Costa Rica’s borders. This assessment will be used to plan an assistance program for a special branch of the uniformed police focused on border security.

D. Conclusion

The United States and Costa Rica cooperate on efforts to combat narcotics trafficking. Inadequate resources for citizen security and a convoluted bureaucracy hinder Costa Rica’s efforts to battle narcotics-related violence and organized crime. As Costa Rican authorities note, in order for Costa Rica to achieve lower crime rates and dismantle drug trafficking organizations, more resources must be allocated for citizen security. Costa Rica could enhance its efforts to combat crime by implementing organizational and legislative reforms designed to give law enforcement actors more tools to pursue criminal organizations and their financial flows, including the effective use of asset forfeiture regimes. The United States encourages Costa Rica to continue its efforts to implement a judicial wire intercept program, improve systems for preventing and addressing corruption, and increase investments to improve interdiction in its littoral areas. Costa Rica created new regional partnerships in 2011 and will benefit from expanding collaboration with neighbors to share and receive experiences and best practices.

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