Country Reports - Croatia through Haiti

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
March 5, 2013


Croatia is a narcotics transit point primarily for opiates and heroin smuggled via the “Balkan route,” as well as cocaine trafficked through the country’s seaports. Most illicit drugs smuggled into Croatia are bound for consumer markets in Europe and elsewhere, though a small percentage is consumed locally.

In 2011, Croatian authorities reported: 7,767 drug-related criminal offences; 5,715 persons taken into custody; 6,342 drug seizures; 2,438 new indictments; and 2,537 convictions. Over the first nine months of 2012, the police reported 5,896 drug-related criminal offences and 4,527 persons taken into custody, a five-percent decrease over same time period in 2011.

The Croatian government reported the following amounts of drugs seized in 2011: 33.1 kilograms (kg) of heroin; 4.1 kg of cocaine; 1,019.4 kg of marijuana; 23.5 kg of hashish; 4,136 cannabis plants; 15.1 kg of amphetamines; 2,898 ecstasy tablets; 682 doses of LSD; and 5,586 methadone tablets.

According to preliminary statistics provided by Croatian authorities, the following seizures occurred during 2012: 31.7 kg of heroin; 7 kg of cocaine; 885.9 kg of marijuana; 23.4 grams of hashish; 8,211 cannabis plants; 4.6 kg of amphetamines; 1,774 ecstasy tablets; 884 doses of LSD; and 1,462 methadone tablets.

Although the Croatian government does not facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or launder proceeds from illegal transactions, corruption remains a concern.

Croatia has a well-developed institutional framework to implement preventive and educational programs. Treatment efforts include early detection, rehabilitation and social reintegration. In 2012, the Croatian police continued to effectively collaborate with regional neighbors and law enforcement agencies in the United States, South America and the European Union. Croatia conducts joint international investigations and shares intelligence, which resulted in many of the narcotics-related seizures and arrests reported in 2012. The United States continues to provide, technical assistance to police, customs, and the judiciary to further improve domestic capacity to prosecute narcotics-related crimes, corruption and organized crime. Negotiations to update the 1902 extradition treaty between the United States and Croatia (as a successor state to the Kingdom of Serbia) still in force will continue. 


A. Introduction

Despite its proximity to major transit routes for illegal drugs to the U.S. market, Cuba is not a major consumer, producer, or transit point of illicit narcotics. Cuba’s intensive security presence and bilateral interdiction efforts have effectively reduced the available supply of narcotics on the island and prevented traffickers from establishing a foothold. The Cuban Border Guard (TGF) maintains an active presence along Cuba’s coastal perimeter and conducts maritime counternarcotics operations and coastal patrols. Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) frequently attempt to avoid Cuban and U.S. government counternarcotics patrol vessels and aircraft by skirting Cuba’s territorial waters.

Cuba’s domestic drug production and consumption remain negligible as a result of active policing, harsh sentencing for drug offenses, and very low consumer disposable income. Cuba’s counternarcotics efforts have prevented illegal narcotics trafficking from having a significant impact on the island.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2012, Cuba continued “Operation Hatchet,” a Ministry of Interior-led multi-agency counternarcotics strategy that also includes the efforts of Cuba’s ministries of Armed Forces, Justice, Public Health, Education and Culture, and the Border Guard. The operation aims to reduce supply through vigilant coastal observation, detection and interdiction, and reduce demand through education and legislation. The Cuban government’s extensive domestic security apparatus and tough sentencing guidelines have kept Cuba from becoming a major drug consuming country. The government did not publicize new counternarcotics legislation policy initiatives or related budget increases supporting such measures in 2012.

Cuba continues to demonstrate a commitment to counternarcotics cooperation with partner nations. The government reports having 35 bilateral agreements for counterdrug cooperation and 35 agreements with partner nations regarding judicial proceedings and extradition. Cuba regularly participates in international counternarcotics conferences, such as the United Nations’ Heads of National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies, and submits quarterly statistics on drug interdictions and seizures to the International Narcotics Control Board.

The 1905 extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba and an extradition agreement from 1926 remain in effect. In 2012, these agreements were not employed to hand over fugitives. Instead, bilateral arrangements were made to have the fugitives detained and deported from Cuba and directly placed in the custody of the receiving nation for further prosecution. Regionally, Cuba is not party to the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement which opened for signature in 2003.

2. Supply Reduction

Major transshipment trends did not change from 2011. Through October 2012, the Government of Cuba reported seizing a total of 2.066 metric tons (MT) of illegal narcotics, 97 percent of which were found washed-up on Cuba’s shores, a marked decrease compared to the 9.1 MT reported seized in 2011. Government counternarcotics forces reported disrupting 34 smuggling operations, seizing 26.88 kilograms (kg) of cocaine and 7.37 kg of marijuana. There are no reported seizures of synthetic drugs. Statistics on arrests or prosecutions were not made available.

Domestic production and consumption remained very limited, and Cuba concentrated its supply reduction efforts on preventing illegal smuggling through Cuban territorial waters, rapidly collecting reported narcotic wash-ups, and preventing visitors and smugglers from bringing smaller amounts of narcotics into the country. The Ministry of Armed Forces and Ministry of Interior’s fixed and mobile radars, coupled with visual and coastal vessel reporting procedures make up an effective network for detecting illegal incursions of territorial air and sea by narcotics traffickers. Cuba continues to share “go-fast” vessel information with neighboring countries, including the United States, and has had increasing success in interdicting such vessels using independent assets and in coordination with United States and other nations’ forces. In 2012, Cuba reported 31 real-time reports of “go-fast” narcotics trafficking events to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). TGF’s email and phone notifications of maritime smuggling to the USCG have increased in timeliness, quantity and quality, and have occasionally included photographs of suspected narcotics trafficking vessels.

Overseas arrivals continue to bring in small quantities of illegal drugs mostly for personal use, although the extent of this problem remains unknown beyond occasional anecdotes. The Ministry of Interior conducts thorough entry searches using x-rays and trained counternarcotics detection canines at major airports.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The combination of extensive policing, low incomes, low supply, and strict drug laws (involving up to 15-year prison sentences) has resulted in very low illicit drug use in Cuba. There are nationwide campaigns aimed at preventing drug abuse, and the quantity of existing programs for the general population appears adequate given the very low estimated numbers of addicts. The National Drug Commission, headed by the Minister of Justice, with representatives from the Attorney General’s office and the National Sports Institute, remains responsible for drug abuse prevention, rehabilitation and drug policy issues.

The Ministry of Health reports operating special drug clinics, offering services ranging from emergency care to psychological evaluation and counseling to treat individuals with drug dependencies. The government runs three substance abuse clinics that cater to foreigners, and the Catholic Church runs a center to treat addiction in Havana.

The government occasionally broadcasts anti-drug messages on state run media and operates an anonymous 24-hour helpline.

4. Corruption

Cuba has strong policies in place against illicit production or distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, and laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Cuba professes a zero tolerance for narcotics-related corruption by government officials and reported no such corruption occurrences in 2012. As a matter of government policy, Cuba neither encourages nor facilitates illegal activity associated with drug trafficking.

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

In 2012, Cuba maintained a significant level of cooperation with U.S. counternarcotics efforts. In Havana, the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) has a USCG Drug Interdiction Specialist to coordinate counternarcotics efforts with Cuban law enforcement officials. The United States does not provide narcotics-related funding or assistance to Cuba.

The USCG shares tactical information related to trafficking and responds to Cuban reporting on vessels transiting through Cuban territorial seas suspected of smuggling, or tactical information on drugs interdicted within Cuban territory. Cuba also shares real-time tactical information with the Bahamas, Mexico and Jamaica. Bilateral cooperation in 2012 led to multiple at-sea interdictions.

In 2011 the Cuban government presented the United States with a draft bilateral accord for counternarcotics cooperation, which is still under review. Structured appropriately, such an accord could advance the counternarcotics efforts undertaken by both countries.

D. Conclusion

Cuba continues to dedicate significant resources to prevent illegal drugs and their use from spreading on the island, so far successfully. The technical skill of Cuba’s security services gives Cuba a marked advantage against DTOs attempting to gain access to the island. Upgraded links between the United States, Cuba, and regional partners, along with improved tactics, techniques, and procedures, would likely lead to increased interdictions and disruptions of illegal trafficking. 

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea)

Drug use may be rising within the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea), according to reports from DPRK refugees and travelers to North Korea. Chinese and South Korean press reports indicate that a substantial volume of methamphetamine continues to be produced within DPRK territory, mainly for transshipment to China. There are also reports of transactions between DPRK traffickers and large, organized criminal groups along the DPRK-China border, and of Chinese police enforcement targeting drugs entering China from the DPRK by way of enhanced patrols, periodic arrests, and drug seizures. However, the Chinese government rarely identifies the DPRK as the source of illicit drugs.

The proximity and availability of precursor chemicals in China likely contribute to the production of methamphetamine within North Korea. Reliable information is difficult to obtain regarding illicit activities within the DPRK territory, but drug production and other criminal activities, such as the counterfeiting of cigarettes, appear to have continued in 2012. There is insufficient current information, however, to confirm official DPRK state involvement in drug trafficking. There have been no confirmed reports of large-scale drug trafficking involving DPRK state entities since 2004. This suggests that state-sponsored drug trafficking may have ceased or been sharply reduced, or that the DPRK regime has become more adept at concealing state-sponsored trafficking of illicit drugs.

Despite the absence of reports of drug seizures linked directly to DPRK state institutions, the United States cannot entirely rule out the possibility of official DPRK state involvement in the manufacturing and trafficking of illicit drugs. A relatively large investment in precursor chemicals is necessary to produce the volume of methamphetamine trafficked from North Korea, and it is unclear how individual criminals could independently organize such activity within such a tightly-controlled state. It is likely that some official corruption on both sides of the DPRK-China border facilitates drug trafficking. 

Dominican Republic

A. Introduction

The Dominican Republic is an important transit country for illicit drugs from South America destined for North America and Europe. The U.S. government estimates that approximately four percent of the cocaine transiting to North America and Europe transships through Hispaniola, much of it through the Dominican Republic. U.S. and Dominican analysts assess that maritime routes are the primary method of smuggling drugs into and out of the country and recent maritime interdiction operations validate this assessment. Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) are using “go-fast” boats and commercial containers to smuggle drugs into and out of the Dominican Republic. The country is also experiencing an increase in narcotics-related violence, partially attributable to the practice of DTOs of paying local partners in narcotics rather than cash.

In order to combat the influence of DTOs, the Dominican Republic continued its cooperation with the U.S. government in 2012 in efforts to interdict illicit drugs and extradite criminals charged with narcotics-related crimes. The United States is actively working with Dominican counterparts to plan and conduct international operations to seize illicit drugs and dismantle DTOs; however, corruption continues to hamper these efforts. The Dominican government conducts outreach efforts to warn youth about the dangers of drugs.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Cooperation remains strong between the Dominican government and the United States government to control narcotics trafficking and related transnational crime. The U.S. government’s primary partners are the National Directorate for the Control of Drugs (DNCD), Dominican National Police (DNP), the National Council on Drugs (CND), the Office of the Attorney General, and the Dominican Armed Forces. The DNCD and DNP continued to enhance their joint cooperation in 2012 with a focus on money laundering activities and drug seizures. Dominican law enforcement and military units coordinated effectively, which contributed to increased drug seizures, but room for improvement remains. The Dominican Specialized Corps for Port Security, working in conjunction with U.S. authorities and private port operators initiated efforts to improve security at several ports. The participation of the Dominican government in the Cooperating Nations Information Exchange System and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) enhanced relations with the United States and regional Caribbean partners. Dominican authorities continued joint efforts with Haitian National Police to combat drug trafficking by increasing law enforcement cooperation and providing training.

The Dominican Republic is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption. In 1985, the United States and the Dominican Republic signed an agreement on international narcotics control cooperation. The Dominican Republic signed and ratified the Caribbean Regional Maritime Agreement and has a maritime counter-drug agreement with the United States that entered into force in 1995. In 2005, the Dominican Republic augmented the United States-Dominican Extradition Treaty of 1909 to include judicial review for more transparency. In 2012, the United States and the Dominican Republic entered into a Permanent Forfeited Asset-Sharing Agreement.

The United States continues to receive excellent cooperation from the DNCD’s Fugitive Surveillance/Apprehension Unit and other Dominican authorities. The Dominican Republic continues to be the fourth most active extradition partner to the United States, behind only Mexico, Canada and Colombia. The Dominican Republic is not party to the Organization of American States Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and does not have a bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty with the United States. Requests for judicial cooperation are made through formal and informal channels related to the multilateral law enforcement cooperation treaties and conventions to which the United States and the Dominican Republic are parties. The Dominican Republic processes U.S. requests for legal and judicial assistance in a timely manner.

2. Supply Reduction

Narcotics are seized throughout the country, but the majority of seizures are made through operations targeting vessels from South America. Dominican authorities seized approximately 10 metric tons (MT) of cocaine, 39 kilograms (kg) of heroin, and 754 kg of marijuana. Cocaine seizures represent a significant increase over 2011, during which Dominican authorities seized 6.71 MT. Marijuana is cultivated in the Dominican Republic for local consumption, and seizures are concentrated in the northwest and southwest provinces that border Haiti.

Following successful air interdiction efforts by Dominican authorities and the dismantling of two major DTOs in 2010, drug flights from South America to the Dominican Republic have all but disappeared and there were no reported drug flights in 2011 or 2012. However, illicit drugs remain available for local consumption and are transshipped to the United States and Europe, primarily through maritime routes. The DNCD and Dominican military officials cooperated with the United States and international partners in planning and conducting operations to interdict “go-fast” vessels attempting to deliver illicit narcotics to remote areas of the southern coast, as well as to interdict drugs exiting the Dominican Republic en route to the United States and other international destinations. One Dominican port, Caucedo, is operating in compliance with the Container Security Initiative (CSI), a U.S. initiative to help increase security for maritime containerized cargo shipped to the United States. However, the other 15 Dominican ports, including Rio Haina, the other major Dominican port handling container traffic destined for the United States, are not CSI compliant. The DNCD is attempting to place more narcotics-detecting dog teams at ports and is seeking to acquire scanners to check containers entering and exiting the country.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Local drug use is concentrated in tourist and major metropolitan areas, although drug use and associated violence in the larger provincial towns increased in 2012. The CND continued effective demand reduction efforts with a wide range of sporting, cultural, and educational events and seminars designed to warn Dominican youth of the negative effects of drug use. Additionally, the CND placed numerous billboards and multimedia advertisements throughout the country warning youth against the use of illicit drugs. The CND and Ministry of Education developed the Strategic National University Plan on the Prevention and Use of Drugs, which the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission noted could be used by other nations as a model program. DNP continues to promote community-based policing as an effective way to deal with crime in local neighborhoods. Community policing events were well received and demonstrated a public desire for expansion of this program, prompting the DNP to develop a strategy to expand community based policing efforts.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Dominican government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production, processing, or distribution of narcotics, psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances, or condone drug-related money laundering activities; however, corruption remains endemic at all levels of Dominican society. Dominican law enforcement, military, and government officials are often accused of a range of corrupt activities including narcotics trafficking, money laundering, extrajudicial killing and other crimes. The Dominican government pursued efforts to reduce corruption in several areas, including continued focus on developing internal affairs units, and changing the venue of judicial proceedings when necessary. In 2012, the DNCD created a polygraph team to vet DNCD personnel and implemented an incentives program that rewards personnel for providing information on corruption. Also in 2012, the DNCD removed 77 members for improper behavior and violations of the Code of Conduct. The DNP Internal Affairs Office conducted 1,415 investigations that led to the dismissal of 155 police officers.

Recognizing that corruption in the Dominican Republic adversely affects programs ranging from promoting economic growth to combating drug and other forms of illicit trafficking, the Dominican government asked multilateral organizations, the United States, and other donor nations to help address the issue, creating the Participatory Anticorruption Initiative (IPAC). The government has implemented many of the IPAC’s 30 recommendations, and several become part of the Dominican Republic National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), presented in April 2012 at the OGP High-Level Summit in Brazil.

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

The United States supports a wide range of efforts designed to address crime and violence affecting Dominican citizens, primarily through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). CBSI is a security partnership between the United States and Caribbean nations that seeks to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and citizen security, and promote social justice. With CBSI funds, the United States government implements programs designed to enhance existing Dominican law enforcement capabilities by improving technical and professional abilities to conduct investigations, to enable effective prosecution, and to coordinate and participate in counternarcotics efforts with the United States and neighboring countries’ law enforcement agencies. The United States is also working with Dominican officials to develop an effective anti-money laundering agency. The U.S. law enforcement community has strong relationships with its Dominican colleagues, as evidenced by the extradition or deportation of 24 fugitives to the United States in 2011, and 14 through the first 10 months of 2012.

The United States provided equipment and training to increase the capabilities of various Dominican law enforcement entities including support for the DNCD drug-detection canine units, and other specialized DNCD investigative and reactive units. The United States also enhanced DNCD’s computer training, database expansion, and systems maintenance support. The United States is also supporting an initiative to increase port security in two of the busiest Dominican ports, and in 2012 provided training in maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, port security, crisis management and professional development for the Dominican Navy’s officer and enlisted corps. In addition, the U.S. Southern Command provides tactical training, equipment, and other assistance to both the DNCD and Dominican military involved in illicit trafficking interdiction.

The United States continues to assist the DNP with its transformation into a professional, civilian-oriented organization by providing training at the entry and officer levels. In addition, the Dominican government has two Police Organic Law proposals pending that, if passed, would bring about significant institutional changes to the DNP. The Dominican Republic continues to work towards passing legislative proposals related to illegal enrichment and anti-corruption by public officials. Work to strengthen the infrastructure of the Financial Analysis Unit is ongoing.

The United States continues to support the Dominican Republic's efforts to establish a transparent and effective justice sector. U.S. assistance promotes justice sector reforms by strengthening Dominican government capacity to manage and prosecute complex money laundering, fraud, public corruption and illicit trafficking cases, as well as to establish internal controls to prevent corruption. The United States works with the Offices of the Attorney General, Prosecutorial Training School, Judiciary, Public Ministry, Public Defense, Supreme Court of Justice, and Constitutional Tribunal. In partnership with the Dominican government, U.S. assistance improves service delivery at the district level by strengthening coordination between prosecutors, judges, public defenders and the DNP in processing cases and resolution of obstacles to effective caseload management. As part of CBSI, U.S. assistance also strengthens Dominican civil society coalitions for citizen security and criminal justice reform, and provides technical assistance for the development and passage of a new organic law on police reform.

U.S. assistance also helps to strengthen leadership, strategic planning and human resources management capacity within the DNP. The United States supports the advancement of operational reforms established under the IPAC, which serves as the overall donor framework for anticorruption programming in the Dominican Republic. IPAC works to strengthen transparency and reduce corruption in key areas of public service delivery such as national budget execution, procurement and audit, education, health, water, and energy. The Dominican Republic’s participation in the Open Government Partnership also serves to reinforce these efforts under IPAC.

D. Conclusion

Combating pervasive corruption, restoring public confidence in law enforcement entities and the judiciary, addressing maritime illicit narcotics smuggling, and combating rising levels of narcotics-fueled violence remain among the challenges facing the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic’s highly successful aerial interdiction efforts since 2010 demonstrate that Dominican institutions have the capacity and will to stem the flow of drugs into the country. Similar maritime interdiction efforts will be necessary to effectively combat narcotics trafficking by sea. The Dominican government must continue to improve its efforts to build a coherent, multifaceted counter-narcotics program. Key to that effort will be increased domestic cooperation between the DNP, DNCD, and military units combined with greater cooperation with law enforcement agencies in other countries in the region. 

Dutch Caribbean

A. Introduction

The Dutch Caribbean (formerly the Netherlands Antilles) consists of the islands Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and three smaller islands: Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (known as the BES islands). In 2010, the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist as a political entity when Curacao and St. Maarten acquired the same semi-autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands as Aruba. The BES islands became part of the Netherlands, similar to Dutch municipalities.

Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (ABC Islands), located off the north coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, continue to serve as northbound transshipment points for cocaine originating from those countries. Cocaine shipments to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao primarily originate from the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia and from the area of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Cocaine is transported primarily via fishing boats and inter-coastal freighters for transshipment to the United States and Europe via the Netherlands. St. Maarten, which is located in the Eastern Caribbean, is a transshipment hub for cocaine and heroin destined for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as Europe. It is home to one of the largest harbors in the Caribbean.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten have a high degree of autonomy over their internal affairs, with the right to exercise independent decision-making in a number of counternarcotics areas. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is responsible for the islands’ defense and foreign affairs, and assists the Governments of Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and the BES islands in their efforts to combat narcotics trafficking through its support for the RST (Dutch acronym for “Special Police Task Force”). The RST maintains its headquarters in Curacao and has its largest presence there.

In 2012, both Curacao and St. Maarten adopted the BOP (Dutch acronym for “law on special investigative techniques”), which governs the use of techniques such as electronic surveillance and the infiltration of criminal organizations by the police on those islands. The BOP was already in effect in Aruba. No new counternarcotics programs were initiated in 2012.

The Netherlands extended the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances ("Vienna Convention"), the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1981 Netherlands-U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. Additionally, the former Netherlands Antilles and Aruba adopted the Agreement Regarding Mutual Cooperation in the Tracing, Freezing, Seizure and Forfeiture of the Proceeds and Instrumentalities of Crime and the Sharing of Forfeited Assets, which was signed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1994.


Aruba’s police force, the Korps Politie Aruba (KPA), continues to evolve into a regional leader in the fight against narcotics trafficking and international criminal organizations. The KPA is at the forefront in collecting and sharing intelligence with regional law enforcement partners. Despite systemic problems of prison overcrowding, a lack of resources, and some corruption issues within law enforcement in Aruba, the KPA continues to investigate trafficking organizations effectively. The Organized Crime Unit of the KPA conducted several successful investigations in 2012, which led to multi-kilogram (kg) cocaine seizures and the arrest of multiple subjects.


Curacao continues to lack the capacity to effectively address endemic drug-related crime, violence, and corruption. The Curacao Police Corps (KPC) has been without a permanent police chief since 2010 and a general lack of leadership was among several factors that contributed to minimal counternarcotics success by the KPC in 2012. The price per kilogram of cocaine on the local black market decreased due to an influx of cocaine.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten is co-located on a single island, with French St. Martin. This division provides unique challenges for law enforcement investigations. Colombian and Dominican-based drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) have expanded their base of operations into St. Maarten believing that law enforcement is less prevalent than in those countries. However, regional law enforcement agencies have increased cooperation. In 2012, authorities successfully investigated a Croatian DTO that was attempting to transport a multi-hundred kilogram cocaine load from St. Maarten to Europe. That investigation included unprecedented cooperation from the Korps Politie St. Maarten (KPSM), RST, French, Dutch, British, U.S. and Croatian authorities. In addition, the KPSM and RST, in cooperation with French and U.S. authorities, seized several hundred thousand dollars in drug proceeds from a Colombian based DTO operating in St. Maarten.

Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba

The National Office for the Caribbean in the Netherlands assumes the responsibilities of law enforcement, security, and other administrative functions on behalf of the Government of the Netherlands for Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba islands.

2. Supply Reduction

Authorities seized approximately 1.55 metric tons (MT) of cocaine in the entire Dutch Caribbean in 2012, considerably less than the 4.89 MT seized in 2011.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The United States continues to support demand reduction programs with the International School of Curacao and the Curacao Baseball City Foundation.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy the Dutch Caribbean does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking. However, corruption of public officials, particularly among members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, continues to be a major concern and efforts to address the problem are lacking. Background checks of law enforcement officials who hold sensitive positions are not routinely conducted, nor have public integrity standards been adopted in many government agencies.

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

The objectives of U.S. policy in the Dutch Caribbean are to reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) works with their island counterparts to advance joint investigations, both within the Dutch Caribbean and the United States.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands maintains support for counternarcotics efforts by continuing to support U.S. Forward Operating Locations (FOL) in Curacao and Aruba. U.S. military aircraft conduct counternarcotics detection and monitoring flights over both source and transit zones around the region. In addition, the Dutch Navy regularly conducts counternarcotics operations in the region and is a member of the Joint Inter Agency Task Force South.

D. Conclusion

Curacao and St. Maarten are in the infancy of their semi-autonomous status within the Dutch Kingdom and are still learning how to deal with complex issues including international drug trafficking. It is imperative that both islands embrace regional cooperation and intelligence sharing efforts. Both islands can look to Aruba as an example of how this is accomplished. 

Eastern Caribbean

A. Introduction

The seven independent countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are collectively referred to as the Eastern Caribbean (EC) in this report.

The region hosts abundant transshipment points for illicit narcotics primarily from Colombia and Venezuela destined for North American, European and domestic Caribbean markets. Traffickers are increasingly using yachts for drug transit, though “go-fast” boats, fishing trawlers, and freighters continue to serve as transit vessels. Drug-related crime rates remain elevated as more drugs remain in the region for local consumption and organized gangs have formed to control drug distribution. Marijuana remains a staple crop, primarily for local use.

Three years of declining macroeconomic growth has left EC law enforcement capacity further under-resourced than during previous reporting periods, a condition exacerbated by antiquated criminal codes and public perception of corruption in the ranks. The EC struggles with communication and cooperation between states. The lack of regional or national law enforcement strategic plans, including comprehensive vetting programs, creates a vulnerability to narcotics-related corruption.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

All EC countries are a party to the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials. In addition, all have an extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty in force with the United States. Several countries have also become signatories to a number of Inter-American Conventions such as the Convention Against Corruption, the Convention on Extradition, the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, the Convention Against Corruption, and the Convention Against Terrorism. Barbados recently entered into an asset-sharing agreement with Canada.

All EC countries except St. Vincent and the Grenadines have laws requiring record keeping and reporting on the use of precursor chemicals, and importation of pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and pharmaceutical products containing those two chemicals.

The Eastern Caribbean continues to struggle with a lack of adequate infrastructure for counternarcotics maritime patrols. Each EC police force has a mandate to interdict drugs and share information and intelligence with regional and international counterparts. However, law enforcement authorities lack the capacity and resources to undertake systematic counternarcotics operations. The recent United States Government donation under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) of two interceptor vessels to each of the six EC partner nations has boosted regional operational capacity.

In Antigua and Barbuda, the legislature amended the Misuse of Drugs Act to require that persons charged with possessing more than two kilograms (kg) of drugs be subject to a judge and jury trial, removing the requirement for trial by magistrate, who do not have the authority to impose the strongest sentences. On July 17, the government secured its first money laundering conviction, with a second following on September 24.

In Barbados, the government announced plans to implement a drug treatment court.

In Dominica, the Drug Squad increased from 15 to 20 officers, led by a newly appointed head of the unit.

Grenada introduced to parliament a new master plan for 2012 through 2016 to combat drug trafficking. The plan covers the areas of institutional strengthening, demand and supply reduction, control measures, anti-money laundering, precursor chemicals and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation.

In St. Kitts, the drug unit is understaffed and its effectiveness is limited due to budgetary issues, according to Kittian officials. The government has proposed new legislation to provide law enforcement authority to conduct judicially authorized wire intercepts.

Violent crime has increased in St. Lucia, mostly related to drug gangs, including the murders of witnesses in drug trafficking cases, prompting authorities to call for a regional witness protection program as a matter of national security. The government is committed to introducing civil asset forfeiture as a tool against drug gangs through an amendment to the Money Laundering Act, currently before Parliament.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is drafting a National Drug Plan with assistance from the Organization of American States. The government has also set up a new forensic drug laboratory, which has helped expedite prosecutions. The Financial Intelligence Unit is a model for the region in working closely with the police and Coast Guard to target money laundering and identify traffickers. The installation of two radar sites in 2010 has increased the effectiveness of maritime interdictions.

2. Supply Reduction

Drug traffickers, primarily from South America, use the region as a transit point to temporarily store drugs in the region’s many uninhabited islands. Traffickers then move the cocaine up the island chain by “go-fast” or cargo vessels. Continued declining regional economic growth and increasing unemployment has led to increasing marijuana consumption and cultivation, according to host nation officials. Cannabis cultivation predominates in the mountainous regions of St. Vincent, where production may rival Jamaica, according to unofficial U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates. St. Kitts and Nevis officials claim locally-produced cannabis is gaining a foothold on the market with exports predicted to rise. Grenada also reports an increase in marijuana and cocaine transiting from St. Vincent and Trinidad, respectively.

In response to increased cocaine and marijuana transit, cultivation, and consumption, many of the islands have developed plans to combat drug trafficking. These plans specifically involve institutional strengthening, demand and supply reduction, control measures, and anti-money laundering initiatives. Many islands report increasing the number of searches, as well as using regional and international assistance in identifying suspect vessels and persons at ports of entry. Under CBSI, the United States donated 12 (two each) interceptor vessels to six EC nations in 2012. These vessels have participated in a number of significant maritime interdictions in their first months of operation.

In 2012, the total volume of drugs seized in the Eastern Caribbean was approximately 724.75 kg of cocaine; 19.19 metric tons of marijuana; 1,526 cannabis cigarettes; 3,526,305 cannabis plants; 25,264 cannabis seedlings; and isolated seizures of “crack” cocaine. During this period there were approximately 1,670 drug related arrests, 766 prosecutions for drug related offenses, and 1,478 convictions. The most notable case was in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where major trafficker Anthony Gellizeau was convicted for drug and money laundering offenses related to the 2008 seizure of $1.73 million.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The primary drugs consumed in the region are marijuana and cocaine. To promote awareness and prevention, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis have employed Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programs. Barbados has additional drug demand reduction programs through the National Council on Substance Abuse and the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency. St. Kitts and Nevis has a vibrant and successful program, according to its officials, in Operation Future, which is similar to DARE and is conducted by the National Drug Council. There are no drug demand reduction programs in either Dominica or St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Only Barbados, Grenada, and St. Lucia have drug rehabilitation clinics. Barbados has five drug rehabilitation clinics, one of which specifically targets youth.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the region’s governments do 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 drug transactions. No senior government officials in the Eastern Caribbean were prosecuted in 2012 for engaging in or facilitating the illicit production or distribution of controlled drugs or laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Regional media continue to report on instances of high level government corruption that is not investigated or punished. U.S. government analysts believe drug trafficking organizations elude law enforcement through bribery, influence, or coercion.

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

EC countries all have bilateral maritime counternarcotics agreements with the United States that include provisions such as ship rider, pursuit, entry into territorial seas, and ship boarding authorization. These agreements provide advanced permissions that expedite law enforcement action. In addition, an international organization known as the Regional Security System (RSS) exists by treaty, to which all seven countries are signatories. The EC and RSS are participating in the U.S.-led CBSI, as well as U.S. Southern Command’s annual Trade Winds exercise. In addition, the United States provided training in maritime law enforcement, engineering and maintenance, port security, and leadership training to coast guards and navies in the region to build maritime interdiction capacity.

CBSI programs are now in place to strengthen the capacity of regional defense, law enforcement, and justice sector institutions to detect, interdict, and successfully prosecute criminal elements operating in the region. CBSI programs support information sharing networks, joint interagency collaboration, and regional training initiatives to promote interoperability.

D. Conclusion

The United States encourages the seven nations of the Eastern Caribbean to embrace CBSI partnership and to fulfill their monetary commitments to sustain the RSS. The United States also encourages the region’s governments to make full use of the RSS vetting program to ensure the integrity of personnel in sensitive positions and to promote confidence in information sharing. The United States further encourages the seven nations to pass legislation to modernize their criminal codes, making use of regional best practices in fighting transnational organized crime and lauds Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Grenada in their progress in this area. The United States draws special attention to the need to implement civil forfeiture provisions to turn the proceeds of crime into a weapon against traffickers and applauds Dominica for its leadership in introducing a bill in Parliament to bring this tool there. The United States also notes the strong public commitments to implement civil asset forfeiture by Barbados and St. Lucia. 


A. Introduction

Located between two of the world’s largest illicit drug producing countries, Ecuador is a major transit country for illegal narcotics. Cocaine and heroin from Colombia and Peru are trafficked through sparsely populated, porous land borders and via maritime routes through Ecuador for international distribution to the United States and Europe. Ecuador is also a major transit country for chemical precursors to process illegal narcotics and is vulnerable to transnational organized crime due to weak public institutions, porous borders, and corruption. The Ecuadorian National Police (ENP), military forces, and the judiciary lack sufficient resources to confront the transnational criminal challenges they face. Elements of the Ecuadorian government remain committed to reducing the supply of drugs, although the country’s top leadership places more importance on demand reduction and addressing the public health aspect of the issue.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Ecuadorian government is cognizant of the detrimental effects of narcotics trafficking, and the upsurge in transnational organized crime throughout the country. In 2012, U.S. funding provided logistical support for Ecuadorian counternarcotics operations, construction and maintenance assistance activities at police and military facilities, equipment, and training for police and military personnel. In 2012, Ecuador rejected $15.6 million offered in U.S. foreign assistance for security, counternarcotics, and development work on the northern border, due to Ecuadorian government sovereignty concerns.

An article in Ecuador’s pending draft penal code would decriminalize the possession of illegal narcotics for personal use, although it is unlikely that the bill will be voted on until after the February 2013 national elections.

Ecuador’s Transitional Judicial Council continued its justice sector reform efforts to increase prosecutorial capacity through U.S.-sponsored training of over 3,700 prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, and other judicial actors. The activity supported the transition from an inquisitorial legal system to an adversarial system.

The United States and Ecuador are parties to an extradition treaty which entered into force in 1873 and a supplementary treaty which entered into force in 1941. However, Ecuador’s constitution prohibits the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens, and the United States and Ecuador do not have a significant extradition relationship.

The Government of Ecuador has signed bilateral counternarcotics agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the European Union, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, and the United States, as well as the Summit of the Americas anti-money laundering initiative, and the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission document on Anti-Drug Hemispheric Strategy. The United States and Ecuador have agreements on measures to prevent the diversion of chemical substances, on the sharing of information for currency transactions over $10,000, migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and a customs mutual assistance agreement. The United States Coast Guard and Ecuadorian authorities also exercise Maritime Operational Procedures that facilitate the boarding of Ecuadorian-flagged vessels in international waters.

2. Supply Reduction

Ecuador remains a major transit country for cocaine shipments via aerial, terrestrial, and maritime routes, and heroin shipments via air and mail. According to U.S. government estimates, up to 110 metric tons (MT) of cocaine transit Ecuador annually. This includes cocaine from Peru and Colombia, heroin from Colombia follows a similar pattern. Drug traffickers and movers of contraband transport shipments in various ways, including through small fishing boats, self-propelled semi-submersible and fully-submersible submarines, “go-fast” boats, non-commercial aircraft, human couriers, mail, and container ships. Mexican, Colombian, Nigerian, Russian, and Chinese transnational criminal organizations including Los Zetas, the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), are actively working in Ecuador.

In 2012, Ecuador’s counternarcotics activities chiefly focused on the interdiction of land-based cocaine, including the identification and destruction of cocaine processing laboratories. Official police statistics indicated a small increase in cocaine seizures in 2012 compared with 2011, but an overall decrease since the closure of the Manta Forward Operating Location (FOL) – a facility that permitted U.S. flights to detect and monitor drug shipments – in 2009 when seizures exceeded 40 MT per year. Cocaine seizures in 2012 totaled 21.4 MT compared to 21.1 MT in 2011. Cocaine processing is common and appears to be on the rise.

In 2012, Ecuadorian police seized 185 kilograms (kg) of heroin compared with 152 kg in 2011. Authorities seized 10.7 MT of marijuana last year.

Maritime seizures remained low in part due to the 2009 closure of the Manta FOL, the Ecuadorian Navy’s lack of resources, and its ineffective interdiction efforts. Nonetheless, U.S. cooperation with the Ecuadorian Coast Guard (an independent but subordinate unit to the Navy) resulted in seven operations in 2012 that disrupted or seized semi-submersible submarines, “go-fast” boats, or shore-side caches of drugs. In September, Ecuador acceded to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and continued to allow the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to board Ecuadorian vessels suspected of narcotics trafficking in blue waters outside Ecuador’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Drug traffickers continued to use bulk cargo and shipping containers to smuggle drugs out of Ecuador, and did so at an increased rate. Drug traffickers often conceal drugs in a variety of licit cargo. On October 11, Belgian officials (with assistance from the ENP) seized 8 MT of cocaine packed in banana boxes aboard a ship that sailed from Guayaquil. Additionally, traffickers continued to smuggle petroleum ether (also known as white gas), gasoline, and other precursor chemicals in large quantities from Ecuador to Colombia and Peru for cocaine processing.

A 2010 UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report on coca cultivation in Ecuador found no significant coca crop cultivation in Ecuador’s northern border region. Although data indicate that poppy cultivation is rising, when Ecuadorian police or military detected small-scale poppy or coca cultivation, they immediately eradicated it. In 2012, the government eradicated 61,056 coca plants; 1.8 million poppy plants; and 85,134 cannabis plants.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Ecuador has a growing problem with domestic drug abuse. According to UNODC data, the average age of first-time drug users in Quito and Guayaquil dropped from 14.5 in 1998 to 13.7 in 2010. Local data regarding trends in drug abuse is limited. All drug offenders are entitled to drug treatment under the Ecuadorian constitution, but there is a lack of adequate resources and facilities to treat addicts. There are 25 out-patient drug treatment facilities and five public in-patient drug treatment facility in Ecuador. Other drug treatment options, such as the 187 private facilities that provide drug treatment alternatives, are often cost-prohibitive for addicts and users.

Coordination of abuse-prevention programs is the responsibility of the National Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Control Council, known by its Spanish acronym, CONSEP. CONSEP leads a multi-agency national prevention campaign in schools. The campaign consists of nationwide workshops focused on the school-aged population and community outreach.

UNODC conducts a demand reduction and drug prevention program in Ecuador, with partial funding from the United States.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Ecuadorian government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. Ecuador passed an anti-drug law in 1990 (Law 108) that prescribes prosecution of any government official who deliberately impedes prosecution of anyone charged under that law. As such, some aspects of official corruption are criminalized, but there is no comprehensive anti-corruption law. There were also no successfully-prosecuted cases of government officials, police, or military involved in narcotics trafficking-related corruption in 2012.

Several government entities are responsible for receiving and investigating corruption complaints, but resource constraints and political pressure generally lead to a lack of prosecution. A 2010 poll in Quito and Guayaquil indicated that 73 percent of the population perceived public sector corruption to be “somewhat widespread,” and 21 percent of the respondents reported paying a bribe in the last 12 months. In 2012, Ecuador continued an anti-corruption initiative that includes polygraph examinations for the police force, authorization for commanders to permanently dismiss officers for corruption, and an augmentation of the internal affairs bureau. In 2012, authorities polygraphed approximately 1,100 officers, with a passing rate of approximately 50 percent.

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

In 2012, U.S. counternarcotics assistance and capacity-building programs improved the professional capabilities and resources of Ecuador’s police, military, and judicial agencies, enabling them to more effectively combat criminal organizations involved in narcotics trafficking and money laundering.

Factors such as widespread poverty, rural isolation, and a proximity to FARC-controlled Colombian territory fueled instability and insecurity Ecuador’s northern region. The United States continued to support programs that improve good governance and create opportunities for licit activities in areas along the northern border. In 2012, the United States financed 37 infrastructure projects that benefited some 21,000 people; helped generate more than 2,000 jobs; increased the average incomes of nearly 3,000 families by strengthening value chains in cacao, coffee, and other products; and strengthened 20 local governments in the northern border. The United States also supported Ecuador’s police and military presence in a variety of strategic locations throughout the country. Weapons smuggled through Ecuador and destined for the FARC are particularly concerning to Ecuador and the United States.

The National Antinarcotics Police (DNA) is the primary recipient of U.S. counternarcotics assistance, including the provision of training and equipment (including vehicles), as well as construction assistant as specific land and maritime ports of entry. The DNA includes units such as the Mobile Anti-Narcotics Team, a drug detection canine program, and a money laundering unit. In 2012, the United States continued to provide support to the military to facilitate its mobility and communications capacity, helping to improve security and the interdiction of illicit goods along the northern border. A U.S.-sponsored vetted police unit accounts for approximately 50 percent of all drug seizures in Ecuador (excluding marijuana).

Ecuador regularly participates in the U.S.-sponsored Multilateral Counterdrug Summit. The goal of these summits, which include participants from across the hemisphere, is to identify and implement cooperative measures to combat maritime drug trafficking. Additionally, the United States conducted a maritime interdiction course for the ENP’s Special Forces (GIR) and Customs, and provided training to the Ecuadorian Coast Guard.

The United States also supports prevention programs in coordination with the Ministry of Education, CONSEP, and other governmental entities that address drug abuse awareness.

D. Conclusion

The United States supports Ecuador’s counternarcotics efforts and strongly encourages Ecuador to place a higher priority on the interdiction of illicit drugs, chemical precursors, eradication of coca and poppy, and destruction of cocaine labs. As traffickers continue to take advantage of Ecuador’s vast maritime territory, increased port security and maritime patrols are increasingly necessary.

The Administration of President Rafael Correa recognized the need to increase interdiction efforts on the rivers and waterways throughout Ecuador and tasked the GIR to augment the Navy’s interdiction efforts. In April, the GIR acquired two Renegade 38-foot boats, and Ecuador’s government indicated that it intends to purchase more boats in the future. Ecuador is also building three, 100-foot intercept vessels to augment its maritime interdiction capability and is exploring ways to share information and begin joint maritime patrols with Peru. The United States will work with Ecuadorian Coast Guard, Navy, and Customs officials to increase its interdiction capacity at sea and port facilities.

Poor coordination between military and police hinders the government’s ability to gather evidence and prosecute drug trafficking. Ecuador should give higher priority to the prosecution of transnational crime, including money laundering and official corruption cases, and increase its focus on justice sector reform and strengthening of the rule of law. 


Although Egypt is not a major producer, supplier, or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, it is a transit point for transnational shipments of narcotics from Africa to Europe. This is due to Egypt’s mostly uninhabited borders with Libya and Sudan and the high level of shipping through the Suez Canal. It is also a destination market for hashish, primarily from Morocco and Afghanistan.

The Anti-Narcotics General Administration (ANGA) oversees national counter-narcotics operations in Egypt and cooperates with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration office in Cairo to identify, detect, disrupt and dismantle national and international drug trafficking organizations operating in Egypt. Since the revolution of 2011, ANGA has not conducted eradication programs in the Sinai due to security concerns but plans to reinitiate these programs in 2013. Large-scale seizures and arrests related to cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are rare, but there are very large seizures of opium, hashish, marijuana, and psychotropic pills, particularly tramadol. ANGA has identified tramadol, an opioid pain killer that is obtainable at local pharmacies, as a major problem. Tramadol originates primarily in India and China and enters Egypt mainly through the sea ports.

Although it has a limited budget, ANGA updates its operating equipment on a systematic basis, and routinely enhances and services its effective communication system. Cooperation between ANGA and other Egyptian law enforcement agencies remains good, including on large-scale anti-drug campaigns. ANGA’s seizures for 2012 remain reasonably consistent compared to amounts in years past, with the exception of tramadol seizures. ANGA reports that it seized 374,474,296 tramadol pills between January and October of 2012, an eight-fold increase from 2011.

Imports to Egypt of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, precursor chemicals for methamphetamine, increased sharply in 2010 and 2011 as Egypt became a regional producer of cold and flu medicine. There are no reports indicating widespread diversion of these chemicals, and Egyptian authorities have not made any seizures.

As a matter of policy, the Government of Egypt 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 transactions. Egypt has strict laws and penalties for officials convicted of involvement in narcotics trafficking activities. 

El Salvador

A. Introduction

El Salvador continues to be a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America. El Salvador was identified as a major transit country for the second year in a row in the President’s 2012 report to Congress on Major Illicit Drug Producing and Drug Transit Countries. The United States estimated that more than 80 percent of the primary flow of the cocaine trafficked to the United States first transited through the Central American corridor in 2012.

Traffickers in El Salvador use “go-fast” boats as well as fishing and commercial vessels to smuggle illegal drugs. Land transit of illicit contraband and cash primarily occurred along the Pan-American Highway. Salvadoran transnational criminal gangs were involved in street-level drug sales, but tend not to be a major component of the logistics supply chain for Mexican, Colombian, and other drug trafficking organizations. In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a criminal gang, as a significant transnational criminal organization.

The government of President Mauricio Funes partnered with the United States on a wide range of counternarcotics activities. The U.S.-El Salvador Partnership for Growth agreement, signed in November 2011, does not specifically address counternarcotics cooperation, but does include programs aimed at reducing the security constraints to economic growth in the country. This includes efforts to enhance law enforcement, promote judicial reform, and divert at-risk youth from criminal activity. Despite ongoing cooperation, however, Salvadoran law enforcement lacked sufficient personnel, training, and equipment to effectively manage their land borders and interdict drug trafficking, particularly in the country’s littoral waters.

According to El Salvador, the truce between MS-13 and 18th Street gangs that began in March 2012 produced a 40-percent decline in the country’s homicide rate. The truce did not appear to significantly impact other forms of criminal activity, including narcotics trafficking.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Anti-Narcotics Division (DAN) of the National Civilian Police (PNC) remains the primary law enforcement agency responsible for combating illegal drug activity. The vetted antinarcotics unit (GEAN) within the DAN is responsible for conducting sensitive counternarcotics investigations, but few operational results were achieved in 2012. The GEAN suffered from retention issues, staffing shortages and limited leadership.

The Government of El Salvador advanced an ambitious series of reforms to its correctional institutions, combating the management of criminal operations from behind prison walls. El Salvador’s Central National Prison Directory (DGCP) opened two prison pilot programs to reduce overcrowding in the prisons and temporary holding cells, estimated at 310 percent of their designed capacity. The Salvadoran government, with U.S. assistance, began remodeling and enlarging the temporary holding cells at all 25 PNC precincts, with the goal of completing the project by the end of 2013. The United States also provided 27,000 hard-copy files and 12,300 inmate uniforms of different colors to categorize different offenders, streamline prosecution and judicial processes, and classify offenses.

The DGCP began to implement an electronic filing system database to automate the prisons filing systems; to date it has completed 3,686 inmate files for Sonsonate, Quezaltepeque, and Ilopango prisons and completed 50 percent of the 6,000 inmate files for Mariona prison. The DGCP is in the process of initiating a $50-per-month compensation plan for inmates who work in community service projects, payable upon the completion of their sentences. However, as part of the gang truce, the Government of El Salvador relaxed some of the restrictions that sought to prevent criminals from continuing to engage in their illicit activities from the prisons.

Since 2010, the United States has collaborated with El Salvador on a National Electronic Monitoring Center, which began operations in June 2012. The center will allow Salvadoran law enforcement to intercept electronic communications needed to pursue investigations of drug trafficking organizations, gangs, and other transnational criminal organizations. The center achieved one of its first operational successes by generating information that led to the capture of 14 gang members charged with extortion in August.

The government established Joint Task Force “Grupo Cuscatlan,” an interagency unit composed of civilian law enforcement and military personnel, in 2012 to better integrate the PNC and military in efforts to combat transnational organized crime. The Joint Task Force will utilize three helicopters and six inflatable boats provided by the United States. The United States also provided training to ten PNC and military officers assigned to the unit.

El Salvador is a party to the Central American Convention for the Prevention of Money Laundering Related to Drug-Trafficking and Similar Crimes, the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, the Inter-American Convention on Extradition, and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

The 1911 extradition treaty between the United States and El Salvador is limited in scope, and the constitutional prohibition on life imprisonment is an obstacle to negotiating a new bilateral extradition treaty. Narcotics offenses are extraditable crimes by virtue of El Salvador’s ratification of the 1988 UN Drug Convention. However, no Salvadoran citizens wanted for crimes committed in the United States have been extradited since 2010, and the Government of El Salvador has not processed two provisional arrest warrants submitted in June 2012. El Salvador signed an agreement of cooperation with the United States in 2000, permitting access to and use of facilities at the international airport of El Salvador (Comalapa) for aerial counternarcotics activities. The agreement was renewed in 2009 for an additional five years and will expire in 2015. Requests for judicial cooperation are made through formal and informal channels, including formal legal assistance requests through “central authorities” related to the multilateral law enforcement cooperation treaties and conventions to which the United States and El Salvador are parties. El Salvador processes U.S. requests for legal and judicial assistance in a timely manner.

2. Supply Reduction

In 2012, government authorities reported a decrease in the volume of illegal drugs seized from 2011 and 2010 levels, partially resulting from institutional turnover within military and police forces. According to government figures, authorities seized 327 kilograms (kg) of cocaine, 12.5 kg of heroin, and 452.6 kg of marijuana. In November, the DAN seized 118 kg of cocaine at Metalío beach, Sonsonate, with a U.S. street value of $2,825,000. Authorities also seized approximately $2.03 million in currency and property related to illicit activities, including drug trafficking. Salvadoran officials continued investigating the fraudulent importation of precursor chemicals used to manufacture synthetic drugs, seizing 57 barrels of chemicals imported from China, which were then abandoned by a local business.

3. Drug Abuse awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Drug use among Salvadorans is a concern, particularly among youth, although the government did not keep reliable statistics for illegal consumption in 2012. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports the prevalence of cocaine use in Central America has increased slightly from 0.4 to 0.5 percent for the population age group of 15-64.

The PNC expanded the U.S.-funded Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program to reach more targeted schools. In 2012, the United States trained 18 PNC officers as full time GREAT instructors, allowing 2,000 youth-at-risk to complete the gang resistance curriculum. U.S. experts also provided training to over 600 officers in one precinct in investigative techniques, collection and analysis, and citizen outreach for model precinct initiatives.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of El Salvador does not encourage or facilitate production and distribution of narcotics or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering or proceeds of illicit drug transactions. Nevertheless, corruption within the Salvadoran political system remains a concern. In 2012, allegations of attempted bribery of national legislators to vote for candidates for Attorney General were reported and at least two legislators filed formal complaints.

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

The Government of El Salvador is committed to cooperating with the United States to confront organized criminal and narcotics trafficking organizations and advance programs that strengthen institutional capabilities to investigate, sanction, and prevent corruption. The government continued to provide prompt responses to U.S. requests regarding maritime drug interdiction cases in 2012. El Salvador participated in the semi-annual Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which included participants from 12 Central and South American Countries to improve strategies and cooperation against drug trafficking organizations.

U.S. assistance focused on enhancing the operational capacity of Salvadoran law enforcement agencies to interdict narcotics shipments and combat money laundering and public corruption. Assistance also promoted transparency, efficiency, and institutional respect for human and civil rights within law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The U.S. government supported Salvadoran efforts to combat transnational criminal gangs, particularly the 18th Street and MS-13 gangs, which also operate in the United States.

The United States provided assistance to El Salvador to combat crime, violence, transnational crime, and improve citizen safety, including through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. The United States supports Salvadoran efforts to develop and implement holistic initiatives to disrupt gang activity that leads to criminal activity including drug trafficking. In 2012, U.S. assistance included specialized training for 218 regional officers in intelligence-led policing, homicide reduction, and basic and advanced community policing.

The United States provided a total of 115 computers to 32 government-supported community outreach centers, as part of community policing and at-risk-youth prevention programs, centered on “model precincts” in high crime areas. The program includes the creation a National Civilian Police children’s athletic league managed and coached by PNC volunteers and targeting over 700 at-risk children. Both the outreach centers and model precincts work to decrease drug consumption and increase law enforcement presence in high-crime areas, reducing the high level of insecurity that makes these areas attractive to drug traffickers and other transnational criminal groups.

The United States provided support for the Government of El Salvador’s National Strategy on Municipal Crime Prevention, as well as the implementation of the new criminal procedure code. U.S. assistance helped to build local and national capacity to identify crime patterns and implement violence-prevention projects.

D. Conclusion

El Salvador strengthened its capacity to confront illegal drugs, crime, and violence in 2012. The PNC’s wiretapping unit is functional and beginning to deliver results. Drug-related violence declined in 2012, though attribution of declining rates to changing dynamics between criminal groups remained uncertain. El Salvador faces formidable challenges, and must take additional steps to promote sustainable and effective law enforcement institutions. Improved asset forfeiture laws need to be drafted and passed as a cornerstone for El Salvador’s ability to dismantle transnational criminal groups. Seized assets can also provide a resource base from which enhanced law enforcement and judicial capacities can draw.

The Government of El Salvador can extend the successes of 2012 by demonstrating continued leadership on crime prevention programs, citizen security, counternarcotics, and the rule of law. Next steps should include the provision of additional manpower, resources, and equipment to the PNC; strengthened internal affairs capacity to root-out those who support criminals from within the police, prisons, and judiciary; and ensuring adequate pay to minimize the risk of corruption. El Salvador should work to address issues associated with the extradition of its nationals to allow for the use of extraditions as a deterrent for crime and a means to reinforce national security. El Salvador’s correctional institutions also require management reform, and the country’s security and justice sector officials must be held accountable for their performance. The Government of El Salvador understands that promoting citizen security is essential for promoting the country’s economic growth. El Salvador can improve its interdiction operations, especially land transit of narcotics and cash via the Pan American highway. The United States also encourages El Salvador to carefully monitor remittances from the United States to prevent money laundering. 

French Caribbean

The islands of the French Caribbean serve as transshipment points for drug trafficking by air and sea between South and Central America to Europe and, to a lesser extent, the United States. There is also limited marijuana cultivation for domestic consumption. The broad geographic expanse of the Caribbean Sea and the proximity of the French Caribbean departments to other nations with relatively lax law enforcement and endemic corruption facilitate drug trafficking in the area. Specifically, Martinique and Guadeloupe are significant transshipment points for drugs moving through the region, primarily imported cocaine, cannabis, and ecstasy. More than half of France’s cocaine seizures are made on or off the coast of these two islands. Official 2012 statistics were not available at this report’s publication, but in January 2012, the French Central Office for Combating Drug Trafficking (OCRTIS), in conjunction with the French Navy, seized 1.2 metric tons of cocaine from two yachts off the east cost of Martinique. In May, French officials seized 174 kilograms of cocaine from a sailboat off the coast of Martinique and arrested four Croatian nationals found to be part of a larger network trafficking large quantities of drugs to Europe. Both seizures resulted from investigations conducted at least partly in collaboration with American authorities.

French Guyana and the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, the French side of Saint Martin, and St. Barthelemy are all overseas departments of France and subject to French law. They all follow French policies and programs regarding the treatment of drug addiction and lessening of domestic demand. They are also subject to all international and bilateral conventions signed by France and participate in regional cooperation programs initiated and sponsored by the European Union. The departments’ governments can request additional resources from the central government in their fight against illegal drug smuggling. The French Judiciary Police, Gendarmerie, and Customs Service play major roles in narcotics law enforcement in France's overseas departments. In February 2012, former Interior Minister Claude Gueant announced the creation in Fort-de-France of an OCRTIS satellite office that will focus on financial assets of criminal networks involved in drug trafficking. 


A. Introduction

Georgia is a transit and destination country for illicit drugs produced in other countries. The most significant route runs from Afghanistan and Iran through Azerbaijan and Georgia, to destinations in Western Europe, Turkey, and Russia. International-bound trucks sometimes carry narcotics on this route, transiting Georgia before traveling to Ukraine, Moldova, or Bulgaria on Black Sea ferries. Concealed compartments in passenger cars are another means used to smuggle heroin from Iran to Turkey via Georgia, with the ultimate destination being Western Europe. The Russian-occupied territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain beyond the control of Georgian law enforcement, and there is speculation that drugs flow through these areas.

Georgia also has a domestic drug problem. Domestically-manufactured amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) nicknamed “Jeff” and “Vint” and a locally-produced desomorphine opioid known as “Krokodil” have been gaining popularity. Among other drugs, heroin, buprenorphine, methadone, and marijuana are available on the domestic market. There is domestic production and use of methamphetamines and pseudoephedrine derivatives and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs, especially in urban areas.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2011, the government created a coordinating council facilitated by the Ministry of Justice to draft a national strategy and action plan to combat drug use, involving multiple government agencies, NGOs, international organizations, experts, and scientists. The Georgian government will likely submit the National Strategy and Action Plan for parliamentary review in 2013. Despite some amendments to the national law on narcotics in 2012 to meet certain international norms, current national legislation does not conform to the 1988 UN Drug Convention’s requirements, particularly in the listing of drugs designated as illegal under Georgian law.

The Government of Georgia has signed counternarcotics agreements with the United States, with the Black Sea basin countries, the GUAM organization (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova), Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and several European countries.

2. Supply Reduction

Emphasis at Georgia’s borders is on facilitating trade, and less on control and inspection. As a result, drug seizures at the border vary significantly from year to year and do not give a reliable indication of the amount of contraband transiting the country. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA), less than one-tenth of one kilogram (kg) of heroin was seized between January and June of 2012 (.095 kg), along with less than one kg of marijuana. Both of these totals are marginally less than seizures in 2011. Seizure totals for synthetic drugs were similarly low (a fraction of a kilogram for all categories), but higher than amounts for similar periods during 2011. During this six month reporting period, 1,391 drug-related cases were reported, a lower volume than previous years.

Traditional drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and barbiturates are in limited demand in Georgia due to their high price. These drugs are rarely found on the black market. Physicians and analysts have expressed concern about the increasing use of Jeff and Vint, which can be made at home from widely available over-the-counter medicines, cleaning solutions, and chemical solvents; and Krokodil, made at home from similar precursors mixed with codeine. Codeine is available with a prescription, but is also sold “under the table” by pharmacies without a prescription. The Government of Georgia has not yet developed a comprehensive mechanism for combating the steadily increasing use of homemade stimulants and opioids, which are injected, highly addictive, and carry severe health risks including brain and tissue damage.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Domestic drug abuse remains a problem for Georgia. Experts estimate that the intravenous drug user (IDU) population in Georgia is approximately 40,000-45,000 (out of a total population of 4.5 million). According to the National Forensic Bureau, the number of all types of registered drug users is about 180,000, but this figure is widely regarded by experts as over-inclusive and includes one-time experimenters. Intravenous drug use is very low both among youth and female populations.

There is still a lack of systemic drug prevention measures, even though treatment and social rehabilitation programs have become more active. The United States has supported development of a healthy lifestyle course discussing the harmful impact of drug use, and is now assisting the Government to institutionalize the course in the Georgian public education system. Public information about dangerous drugs remains inadequate, and statistics about drug use are limited and unreliable. The Georgian government has increased funding for drug treatment and prevention in 2011 and 2012. Newly added methadone treatment centers and increased funding for infrastructure improvements resulted in a decreased number of patients on waiting lists for drug substitution therapy. Some NGOs and faith-based groups also run detoxification, drug substitution, or walk-in and counseling centers for drug addicts. The Global Fund fully covers treatment of HIV/TB infected patients. There is nevertheless a continuing lack of trained human resources in this field, particularly in the area of psychosocial addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs.

4. Corruption

The Georgian government has made great strides in eliminating corruption from law enforcement agencies since the 2003 Rose Revolution and remains committed to this effort. The Georgian government continues to implement civil service, tax and law enforcement reforms aimed at deterring corruption and prosecuting it when detected. Despite these efforts, however, allegations of some high-level corruption still surface and a small number of civil servants are prosecuted each year on corruption charges. There have been no serious corruption allegations against the narcotics law enforcement units at the MoIA. The Government of Georgia does not, as a matter of policy, encourage or facilitate trafficking in narcotics.

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

The United States provides direct counternarcotics assistance on demand reduction and treatment, and to enhance law enforcement’s capacity to detect and interdict illegal narcotics. The United States is working to establish a canine drug detection program, and provides additional training for counter narcotics units, including case management, drug-trafficking financial investigations, “train-the-trainer” sessions for basic narcotics courses, and developing task forces of police and prosecutors to handle more complex investigations of drug rings and narcotics trafficking networks. To counter the increase in domestic production of homemade stimulants and opioids, the United States also plans to offer training in identifying clandestine laboratories and illicit compounds, as well as preservation of evidence for prosecution.

In 2012, U.S. assistance supported Georgian efforts to make testing and treatment more accessible for methadone therapy participants, which included opening the first drop-in center in Tbilisi for psycho-social assistance. The United States is currently helping the Georgian government start counseling and referral centers for mobile populations.

The United States continues to help Georgian authorities improve the prosecution of narcotics crimes and money laundering, and developing trial skills in an adversarial system. Similarly, the United States is providing training and equipment for Georgia’s forensics laboratories, including drug screening, toxicology, and chemistry labs.

U.S. training and equipment assistance programs for border police and customs officers continues to focus on port security, drug interdiction, and the identification and detention of violators and criminals at the border. U.S. assistance has helped to rebuild the Georgian Coast Guard’s capacity for maritime law enforcement. Because Georgia’s basic police force is increasingly being tasked with border security responsibilities, the United States has also been ensuring that police receive appropriate training and equipment to manage ports of entry.

D. Conclusion

The United States encourages Georgia to continue mounting a strong law enforcement response to drug trafficking. With the noteworthy shift in domestic drug use from heroin and other traditional drugs to domestically-produced stimulants and opioids, it is also important for law enforcement and prosecutors to work closely to investigate and bring these evolving cases to trial. At the same time, NGOs, addiction experts, faith-based groups, and other stakeholders should continue working to provide more effective treatment and advocacy to reduce drug demand. The United States will continue to provide training and technical support on narcotics control issues, and encourage inter-agency and government-to-civil society cooperation. 


Germany is a consumer and transit country for narcotics, but not a significant drug cultivation or production country. The German government actively combats drug-related crimes, emphasizing prevention programs and assistance to victims of drug abuse. The Federal Cabinet adopted the new National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy on February 15, 2012; it replaced the 2003 Action Plan on Drugs and Addiction. Cannabis remains the most commonly consumed illicit drug in Germany. Germany is a major manufacturer of legal pharmaceuticals, making it a potential source of precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics. Germany, however, strictly and effectively controls precursor chemicals.

Led by the National Drug Commissioner, the Federal Ministry of Health has the leading role in developing, coordinating, and implementing Germany’s drug policies in programs, working in close cooperation with others such as the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Finance. Policies stress prevention through education. The Ministry, in close cooperation with other competent ministries and federal states, funds numerous research and prevention programs. Addiction therapy programs focus on drug-free treatment, psychological counseling, and substitution therapy. Since the mid-1980s, Germany considers substitution therapy an important pillar in the treatment of opiate abuse. Currently, around 77,000 patients are undergoing substitution therapy in Germany.

600,000 individuals in Germany show risky consumption patterns of cannabis, while 200,000 individuals show risky patterns with regard to other illegal drugs, according to Federal Health Ministry data. The number of drug-related deaths in Germany continued to decrease in 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available). A total of 985 people died as a result of consuming illegal drugs (mostly heroin in combination with other drugs) in 2011, down from 1,237 in 2010. Over 21,300 users of “hard drugs” (classified as non-cannabis substances) were newly recorded in 2011, a 14.5-percent increase over 2010.

Extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties are in force between the United States and Germany, as well as a customs mutual legal assistance agreement.

Germany participates actively in bilateral cooperative arrangements and European and international counter-narcotics fora. Counternarcotics enforcement remains a high priority for the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Office of Customs Investigation, and state-level law enforcement agencies. German law enforcement agencies work effectively with their U.S. law enforcement counterparts on narcotics-related cases. The United States anticipates that Germany and the United States will continue this level of cooperation on counternarcotics into the future. 


A. Introduction

Ghana continues to be a transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly cocaine from South America and heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although Europe is the main destination, large amounts of drugs also transit to the United States through Accra’s Kotoka International Airport (KIA). Traffickers exploit ports at Tema and Takoradi and officials on the borders with Togo and Cote d’Ivoire report significant drug trafficking activity.

Trafficking is fueling increasing domestic drug consumption in Ghana. Local use of cannabis, heroin, and cocaine is increasing, as is the local cultivation of cannabis. Diversion of precursor chemicals seems to be on the rise, primarily for the production of methamphetamine. There is a lack of government regulation and oversight of precursor chemicals.

Corruption, insufficient resources, and porous borders seriously impede interdiction efforts. While law enforcement authorities continue to arrest low-level narcotics traffickers, Ghana has had relatively little success pursuing so-called drug barons. Cases involving narcotics and other serious crimes can sometimes take years to prosecute. Inexperienced prosecutors and judges, overbooked attorneys, the failure of witnesses to appear in court, and breakdowns in coordination among law enforcement agencies all contribute to delays in prosecution.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Government of Ghana took several noteworthy steps in 2012 to expand its capacity to fight narcotics trafficking and to uphold the rule of law. In February, Ghana became a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), established in 2010 to investigate narcotics trafficking and other serious crimes, developed internal standard operating procedures, which will be considered for ratification by Parliament in early 2013. The Financial Intelligence Center, charged with analyzing and reporting suspicious financial transactions, became fully functional in 2012 and has taken numerous steps to make Ghana compliant with international anti-money laundering regulations. However, law enforcement institutions continue to face a number of obstacles, including limited budgets.

2. Supply Reduction

Cocaine and heroin are the main drugs traffickers smuggle through Ghana. Cocaine is sourced mainly from South America and is destined for Europe, while Afghan heroin comes mainly from Southwest Asia and goes to Europe and North America. Locally-grown cannabis is shipped primarily to Europe. Domestic production and trafficking of methamphetamine is in its nascent stages. Law enforcement officials report that traffickers are increasingly exploiting Ghana’s relatively unguarded and porous maritime border, offloading large shipments at sea onto small fishing vessels, which carry the drugs to shore undetected. Some narcotics enter Ghana from other locations in West Africa. Narcotics are often repackaged in Ghana and then hidden in shipping containers or secreted in air cargo. Smaller shipments are also moved by human couriers through KIA. The most common methods involve false bottom suitcases or body cavity concealment. While cases involving West African traffickers are the most common, Ghanaian officials continue to arrest nationals from other regions for trafficking as well.

Ghanaian law enforcement had some success in 2012 working with neighboring countries on joint interdiction efforts. In July, immediately following a joint training involving ECOWAS, Interpol, Benin, Ghana, and Togo, trainees from those three states carried out counternarcotics operations at their countries’ airports, sea ports, and land borders. In Ghana, officials seized 24 kilograms (kg) of marijuana.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Illicit drug use is growing in Ghana. Ghanaians most frequently abuse cannabis, but the use of other drugs is on the rise. According to Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), it is difficult to track drug abuse because there has never been a baseline study of the drug environment in Ghana and existing drug abuse statistics in Ghana are not comprehensive. Data from the Ghana Police Service indicate that cases involving cannabis are much more common than those involving cocaine or heroin. Ghanaians between the ages of 15 and 35 are the most likely to consume illicit drugs.

NACOB has a small office that handles drug-abuse awareness and demand reduction programs. It supports a coalition of roughly 15 non-governmental organizations that work on youth education and demand reduction. The National Committee on Civic Education (a government funded, quasi-independent body) also launched a drug awareness tour of the country in 2012 that brought students, young professionals, teachers, local leaders, law enforcement officials, and former drug addicts together for a series of educational workshops.

4. Corruption

As a matter of government policy, Ghana does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking.

Corruption continues to be an issue in Ghana. Ghanaians perceive corruption as endemic in the police service, as well as in other government institutions. There is some public speculation that substantial amounts of drug money have been handed over to politicians in the form of campaign contributions. NACOB and the EOCO have taken steps to conduct strict background investigations for new recruits; however, these institutions are still young and face numerous difficulties that continue to hamper their operations. For example, on September 24, officials at London’s Heathrow airport seized 1.9 metric tons of cannabis from three different cargo containers on a commercial flight originating from KIA. The following day, UK authorities intercepted 7.5 kg of cocaine on the same direct flight from Accra. Subsequently, NACOB officials detained several of their own officers and airport security personnel on suspicion of corruption and conspiracy. To date, Ghana has not formally charged or prosecuted anyone in relation to this case.

In December 2011, Ghanaian courts acquitted a woman who had been arrested in 2008 for trafficking 1,020 grams of cocaine after a re-testing of the substance revealed that it had been replaced with baking soda while in the custody of the police. As a result of this case, the Ghana Police Service dismissed the Deputy Superintendant of the Ghana Police Service, but the government did not prosecute.

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

U.S. and Ghanaian law enforcement enjoy excellent cooperation on counternarcotics. The United States continues to provide technical assistance to several Ghanaian ministries and offices. As part of the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative, the United States funded the creation of the West Africa Regional Training Center in Accra, scheduled to open in January 2013. The new facility will host training courses for law enforcement stakeholders in the region on combating transnational organized crime. The United States is working with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) to provide assistance in combating drug trafficking and abuse in Ghana. The United States provides technical assistance to the Financial Intelligence Center and other key stakeholders to assist in anti-money laundering efforts. The United States has also provided operational and leadership training to Ghanaian maritime personnel.

D. Conclusion

Ghana’s political leadership remains committed to combating narcotics trafficking and maintaining cooperation with international partners on counternarcotics. However, Ghana’s law enforcement and judicial institutions continue to face a number of operational challenges that hinder the country’s ability to combat narcotics trafficking. Ghana should provide increased technical, human, and financial resources to law enforcement and judicial institutions, take steps to combat corruption, and improve interagency coordination among law enforcement agencies. 


A. Introduction

Guatemala remains a major transshipment point for drugs destined for the United States. The United States estimated that more than 80 percent of the primary flow of the cocaine trafficked to the United States first transited through the Central American corridor in 2012. International and local drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) exploit Guatemala’s weak public institutions, pervasive corruption, and porous ports and borders to move illicit products, persons, and bulk cash. In addition to marijuana for primarily domestic consumption, Guatemala produces opium poppy and synthetic drugs for export. Improved law enforcement efforts in Colombia and Mexico, among other factors, led to an increasing volume of precursor chemicals transiting Guatemala.

President Otto Perez Molina, who took office in January 2012, made combating drug trafficking one of his administration’s top priorities. His government remained a partner on counternarcotics in 2012. Perez Molina created a new Vice Ministry for Counter Narcotics within the Ministry of Government. The Vice Minister coordinates the government’s extensive anti-drug efforts and established a mobile land interdiction unit charged with targeting DTOs operating in remote areas. Clandestine lab interdiction and the eradication of opium poppy increased in 2012, largely as a result of the government’s counternarcotics initiatives.

Guatemala’s pressing issues include high levels of violence fueled by the drug trade, money laundering, and other organized criminal activities; corruption within the police; and an overburdened and inefficient judicial system. Impunity remained high in 2012. Guatemala confronts continuing fiscal challenges in seeking to fund its counternarcotics initiatives. The country has the lowest tax collection rate in Central America and one of the lowest in Latin America.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Decreasing the country’s high levels of violence and insecurity was the Perez Molina administration’s stated top priority in 2012. According to the 2011 UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) homicide report, Guatemala had the eighth-highest murder rate in the world. The murder rate declined from 41 per 100,000 citizens in 2009 to 34.5 per 100,000 in 2012, according to UNODC. The Guatemalan Ministry of Government reported that, as of August 2012, the number of murders decreased by 42 percent compared to the same period the prior year.

Since passing the Seized Assets Law in December 2010, Guatemalan authorities seized approximately $7 million in bulk cash. In February, the Seized Asset Secretariat disbursed more than $190,000 to the Supreme Court to provide additional security for judges.

A 1903 extradition treaty between Guatemala and the United States is in effect and allows for the extradition of Guatemalan nationals. Guatemala adopted a supplemental extradition treaty adding narcotics offenses to the list of extraditable offenses in 1940. As a result of laws passed in 2008, all U.S. requests for extradition in drug cases are consolidated and expedited in specialized courts located in Guatemala City. Guatemala worked with the United States to arrest high-profile traffickers in 2012. While cooperation in extraditing traffickers facing charges for crimes in the United States has at times been uneven, Guatemala did extradite a major drug trafficker in December. Lower courts have also authorized the extradition of high-level Guatemalan drug dealers to the United States.

Guatemala is a party to the Central American Commission for the Eradication of Production, Traffic, Consumption and Illicit Use of Psychotropic Drugs and Substances, as well as the Central American Treaty on Joint Legal Assistance for Penal Issues. It is also a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. A maritime counternarcotics agreement with the United States is fully implemented. Guatemala ratified the Inter-American Mutual Legal Assistance Convention, and is a party to the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. Guatemala is one of six countries (along with Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France, Belize and the United States) that ratified the Caribbean Regional Agreement on Maritime Counter Narcotics, which is now in force.

2. Supply Reduction

The Vice Ministry for Counter Narcotics conducted two marijuana and opium poppy eradications missions along Guatemala’s border with Mexico in 2012 – the first operations in more than a year. Anti-narcotics officials reported eradication of more than 590 hectares of opium poppy on these missions. The Vice Ministry also proposed developing a pilot plan to provide alternative sources of income and opportunities in the poppy growing region of San Marcos.

Sustained air interdiction efforts, supported by six U.S.-titled helicopters, have significantly deterred drug flights from entering the country. In 2012, Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South identified only seven suspected drug flights entering Guatemala, down from 60 in 2009.

According to government figures, Guatemala seized 4.7 metric tons (MT) of cocaine in 2012, compared to 3.96 MT in 2011, along with eight kilograms of heroin, over $2.4 million in drug-related currency, and over $5.6 million in drug-related assets. Law enforcement entities dismantled eight clandestine methamphetamine laboratories, double the number in 2011.

The growing stockpile of precursor chemicals in Guatemala presents an environment and health hazard. In October, the United States conducted an assessment of the seized chemicals in order to determine the location, quantity and storage conditions. Guatemalan authorities had on hand over 14,000 barrels of precursors, 7,000 bags of dry chemicals and 25,000 liters of liquid chemicals. In 2012 Guatemala seized 234 metric tons of precursor chemicals, and the United States intends to work with Guatemala to build capacity for proper storage and/or destruction.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Guatemala lacks current information and data to accurately assess the breadth of illicit drug abuse in the country. A 2005 household survey estimated a life-time prevalence of illicit drug use at 3.16 percent. Anecdotal evidence and the experience of other transshipment countries suggest that traffickers may be building a domestic market by providing drugs rather than cash to local couriers as payment.

In 2012, the Commission against Addictions and Drug Trafficking (SECCATID) remained underfunded with an annual budget of $450,000, of which approximately 80 percent was used to cover salaries. U.S. assistance to SECCATID for demand reduction focused on three main areas: institutional capacity building (training and equipment), drug research, and evidence-based programs. Guatemala has one government funded treatment center, though many private centers are in operation.

SECCATID developed a school-based drug prevention program, “My First Steps,” in 2011 in 100 schools in the municipalities of Santa Catarina Pinula and Mixco, but the program was not expanded in 2012. SECCATID continues to support the implementation of U.S. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Gang Resistance Education and Training program (GREAT), and the Police Athletic League (PAL) programs in high-crime areas of Guatemala with U.S. assistance funds.

4. Corruption

The Government of Guatemala does not, as a matter of policy, encourage or facilitate illicit production and distribution of narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, or the laundering of proceeds from illegal drug transactions. The UN-led International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was created in 2007 to investigate and dismantle criminal organizations operating within state institutions, to support Guatemala’s prosecution of individuals involved in those organizations, and to transfer capacity to Guatemalan justice sector institutions. Its current mandate expires in September 2013, but President Perez Molina informally requested that its mandate be extended until September 2015.

The United States focuses its anti-corruption assistance on developing vetted and specialized units to counter the threat of corruption. The United States continues to work with the Guatemalan Police Reform Commission to address police reform.

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

Guatemala cooperated with the United States and regional partners on several important counternarcotics initiatives in 2012. As part of “Operation Martillo,” an international effort aimed at disrupting illicit trafficking routes in the region’s coastal waters, Guatemala hosted a contingent of U.S. Marines in Retalhuleu. In September, the Guatemalan Navy attended the U.S.-sponsored Multilateral Maritime Counterdrug Summit, which includes participants from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Mexico and all other Central American countries. The Guatemalan Navy also participated in maritime interdiction activities. Guatemalan military and law enforcement personnel participated in counterdrug operations in Honduras, resulting in the interdiction of several tons of cocaine.

Guatemala and the United States continued to collaborate on a range of ongoing citizen security, counternarcotics, law enforcement, and rule-of-law initiatives in 2012, including the Central America Regional Security Initiative. U.S. assistance largely focused on building Guatemalan capacity and strengthening local institutions. Individual programs targeted training, equipping and developing partner capacity to detect and interdict drug trafficking; investigating and building criminal cases to prosecute towards successful resolution of cases; and improving police capacity for modern law enforcement techniques.

U.S. assistance supported the government’s Police Reform Commission’s efforts to professionalize the National Civil Police (PNC). United States law enforcement agencies also supported and mentored vetted PNC units, charged with investigating high-profile corruption, money laundering, and drug trafficking cases.

The United States provided support to an inter-agency anti-gang unit that brought together the PNC, Attorney General’s office (MP), and analysts from the PNC’s criminal analysis unit (CRADIC) to investigate and dismantle local gang organizations. Sustained aviation support for joint Air Force-PNC activities enhanced the Guatemalan government’s ability to interdict drugs, conduct eradication, transport law enforcement agents and detainees/evidence to and from remote areas of Guatemala, and respond to natural disasters.

Through U.S. support for rule-of-law activities, Guatemala increased its capacity to prosecute narcotics traffickers, organized crime leaders, money launderers and corrupt officials. The United States provided financial and technical support to three special prosecutorial units for criminal cases and a special task force for investigation and preparation of high-impact narcotics cases. The seized asset law is a tool to deprive drug traffickers of illicit proceeds and provide needed resources to the law enforcement and justice sector.

D. Conclusion

The United States enjoys productive relations with Guatemala and will continue to support the government’s efforts to improve its technical and organizational capacity in the security and justice sectors.

Drug seizures remained low in 2012, compared to the flow of narcotics through the country. The change in government complicated efforts to develop long-term strategies and fully implement programs. Moreover, for most of 2012, the PNC’s counternarcotics units lacked a director and operational budget.

Guatemala would be better equipped to combat narcotics-related crimes in the country by fully implementing the Organized Crime Law and establishing and training operational units to use key investigative methods and practices. The United States encourages the Government of Guatemala to continue implementation of the Asset Seizure Law; quickly implement an anti-corruption law enacted by the Congress in October; approve legislation to regulate the gaming industry; and reform its law governing injunctions, which is often used to delay processes and trials. These steps would help deprive criminals of their gains, expedite trials and procedures, and channel resources to security activities. Guatemala’s anti-corruption efforts would be more effective if PNC reforms were implemented and the office of the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility reorganized. CICIG should continue to transfer capacity and responsibility to Public Ministry officials. Concrete and substantial police reform, with appropriate budgetary support, is necessary for sustained progress in Guatemala. 


A. Introduction

Guinea is a transshipment point for cocaine and heroin. Traffickers smuggle supplies of both drugs in from Guinea-Bissau for packaging and transport to Europe, the United States, and East Asia. Local demand is primarily for marijuana, which is mainly imported from Sierra Leone. Widespread corruption, budget cuts, damaged credibility of drug enforcement leadership, and growing public apathy on the use of narcotics have weakened drug enforcement efforts over the past two years.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

In 2008, the Government of Guinea placed the Central Anti-drug Office (OCA) under a newly created secretariat designed to combat drugs and organized crime. During the first two years of operation, the department was very active arresting known traffickers and limiting the flow of drugs through Guinea. As a result of its success, the organization faced growing resistance from powerful traffickers in custody and from high-ranking officials involved in the drug trade. Political attacks against the OCA leadership have had a damaging effect on the organization’s performance.

Other factors that have reduced the effectiveness of drug enforcement in Guinea include: budget cuts, reassignment of key law enforcement leadership, and a lack of cooperation with the judicial system. Most criminal cases in Guinea require the courts to conduct independent investigations to verify information presented by law enforcement. Courts rarely complete drug related investigations, allowing traffickers to evade prosecution.

2. Supply Reduction

An increasing number of drug seizures at Guinean ports, as well as international seizures traced back to Guinea indicate that the volume of drug trafficking through the country is increasing. Guinean law enforcement officials report that aircraft carrying illegal drugs have been landing at the Conakry international airport as well as in Dinguiraye, a small town in north central Guinea. Some sources believe Guinea-Bissau’s recent political crisis has contributed to this situation by creating a permissive environment for narcotics trafficking to Guinea. Sources also report that many previously-arrested traffickers have been released by Guinean officials, and that traffickers are working with locally-based South American traffickers.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

The government is making little effort to reduce demand for drugs in Guinea. Drug enforcement officials have limited resources for enforcement operations and no government agencies have resources for drug education or treatment. Marijuana is popular, and local demand for cocaine and heroin is increasing as more expatriates move to Guinea. There is also a growing public tolerance toward the existence of illegal drugs. Many Guineans have grown cynical about the impunity enjoyed by many drug traffickers and feel there is little that can be done, given the current level of corruption existing in the government. Some wealthy traffickers also provide assistance to local families to increase support among the community.

4. Corruption

While as a matter of government policy, the Government of Guinea does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking, corruption is prevalent throughout all elements of the Guinean government. Traffic police, airport security officers, soldiers manning checkpoints, government officials who issue documents, border guards, customs officials, and port authorities all routinely solicit bribes. Guinean law enforcement officials believe that criminals have significant political power and top-level government officials are involved in the drug trade. Law enforcement officers are reluctant to pursue arrests.

C. National goals, bilateral cooperation, and U.S. policy initiatives

Guinea and its neighboring countries do not have strong bilateral cooperation to fight the illegal drug trade. However, in October 2012, seven West African nations (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo) held a two-day regional seminar in Conakry to discuss ways to fight cocaine trafficking. These seven countries agreed to cooperate on a three-year initiative to fight cocaine trafficking in West Africa. France has agreed to provide up to $2.05 million to fund the initiative.

Pervasive corruption will constrain efforts to limit the flow of drugs. Full-time electricity is not available in most parts of Guinea, and computer databases to maintain criminal records, vehicle registration, and other information do not exist. Guinea also lacks the capacity to ensure border security.

The United States has had limited involvement in Guinean drug enforcement activities because the leader of the counter-drug agency remains wanted for questioning by the International Criminal Court concerning alleged human rights abuses.

D. Conclusion

Narcotics control efforts in Guinea have suffered considerably over the past two years. The Government of Guinea is in need of judicial reform, anti-corruption initiatives, information systems modernization, drug enforcement resources, credible drug enforcement leadership, drug treatment and awareness campaigns, as well as international assistance to monitor enforcement operations. Without improvement in some of these areas, narcotics trafficking in Guinea is likely to continue to rise. 


A. Introduction

Guinea-Bissau is a significant transit hub for drug trafficking from South America to Europe. The country’s lack of law enforcement capabilities; demonstrated susceptibility to corruption; porous borders; convenient location between Europe, South America, and neighboring West African transit points; and linguistic connections to Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde provide an opportune environment for traffickers. Islands off the coast of Guinea-Bissau are drug trafficking hubs. Guinea-Bissau’s political systems remain susceptible to and under the influence of narcotics traffickers; the complicity of government officials at all levels in this criminal activity exacerbates the problem.

President Malam Bacai Sanha died in January 2012. Guinea-Bissau planned to hold a run-off election in late April 2012, but these plans were interrupted by a coup on April 12. The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) brokered an agreement for Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Interim President of the National Assembly and next in line of succession to head the transitional government until a president is democratically elected in spring 2014.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Developments

The Transitional Government of Guinea-Bissau is in the process of reforming the country’s security services, including those responsible for counternarcotics enforcement, but without international support. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) reduced their Security Sector Reform programming before the April coup. After the coup, the Governments of Brazil, Angola, and Portugal suspended their military and police training indefinitely In 2011, the United States funded a Justice Sector Advisor, who assessed the needs of Guinea-Bissau’s justice agencies and coordinated U.S.-funded projects with UNIOGBIS and UNODC. A U.S.-funded Regional Law Enforcement Advisor developed a training strategy and coordinated U.S. assistance to Guinea-Bissau’s law enforcement agencies. This low-cost effort proved to be highly successful in developing relations between Guinea-Bissau’s law enforcement authorities and U.S. law enforcement officials. The U.S. government suspended all assistance as a result of the April coup.

Guinea-Bissau established a transitional government in May 2012. The Transitional government appointed a new Justice Minister, Mamadou Saido Balde; a new Commissioner for the Public Order Police (the national police), Armando Nhaga; and a new Attorney General, Abdou Mane. The chief of the Judicial Police, João Biague, remained in his post.

2. Supply Reduction

Inadequate resources and professionalism hampered efforts to seize drug shipments and investigate drug trafficking. Law enforcement and judicial officers are involved in drug trafficking, as are elements of the military. The lack of effective civilian control over the military and limited resources makes it difficult to estimate the quantity of drugs that pass through Guinea-Bissau. The borders are porous and poorly controlled. The port of Bissau has no meaningful security and containers routinely leave the country without inspection.

In February 2012, the Judicial Police seized and stored almost 400 kilograms of cocaine as evidence. This evidence went missing before it was destroyed.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

UNODC reports drug abuse is a growing problem in Guinea-Bissau, but it is still minimal. No systematic study of the problem has been conducted to determine its scope. There are no government-funded treatment centers in Guinea-Bissau. The few operational centers are privately-funded.

4. Corruption

While as a matter of policy the Guinea-Bissau Transitional Government does not encourage or facilitate the illicit production or distribution of narcotics or launder proceeds from illegal drug transactions, corruption is endemic at all levels of government. Members of the customs service take money to allow passengers and articles to pass through border posts without inspection. Police routinely accept bribes during traffic stops. Government salaries are inadequate; in the past, officials have gone without pay for months. Due to government budget shortfalls, corruption is likely to increase.

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

The U.S. Embassy in Bissau suspended operations in June 1998. In 2007, the U.S. government opened a small liaison office in Bissau. The U.S. Ambassador to Senegal is accredited to Guinea-Bissau and one U.S. officer assigned to the embassy in Dakar monitors events in Guinea-Bissau. Representatives from relevant U.S. agencies make infrequent visits to Guinea-Bissau to conduct needs assessments. A January 2010 memorandum of agreement between the United States and Guinea-Bissau allowed the United States to assign a Justice Sector Advisor to Guinea-Bissau on a full-time basis. Coup sanctions superseded the memorandum after the April 2012 coup, and U.S. assistance was suspended in May 2012.

D. Conclusion

Guinea-Bissau is a significant narcotics trafficking hub and government officials at all levels are complicit in drug trafficking. The U.S. government suspended all assistance to Guinea Bissau after the April 2012 coup. 


A. Introduction

Guyana is a transit country for cocaine destined for the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, and West Africa. Cocaine originating in Colombia is smuggled to Venezuela and onward to Guyana by sea or air. Smugglers also transit land borders with Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname. Cocaine is often concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled via commercial maritime vessels, air transport, human couriers, or the postal services.

The influence of narcotics trafficking is evident in the political and criminal justice systems. The value of cocaine seized by Guyanese authorities in 2011 (the last year for which statistics are available) totaled $42 million.

Traffickers are attracted by the country’s poorly monitored ports, remote airstrips, intricate river networks, porous land borders, and weak security sector capacity.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

The Government of Guyana has passed legislation to enable a more-effective response to the threat of drug trafficking. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act of 2009, the Interception of Communications Bill, and the Criminal Procedure Bill were designed to enhance the investigative capabilities of law enforcement authorities and prosecutors to convict drug traffickers. To date, however, the government has sought no prosecutions under these laws. The United States supports the Government of Guyana’s justice-sector modernization strategy by assisting with case backlog, law reform, and improvements of the operating system of the Director of Public Prosecutions, among other activities.

The Government of Guyana is drafting anti-gang legislation and developing an Integrated Crime Information System to monitor trends in crime through a network linking the Ministry of Home Affairs to the public hospitals, prisons, and police stations. Some police stations in remote areas, however, continue to lack reliable telecommunication service. The government is also drafting a new Drug Strategy Plan (2012-2016), and the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Narcotics & Illicit Weapons is reviewing an inception report.

Guyana is party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. The 1931 Extradition Treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom is applicable to the United States and Guyana. In 2008, Guyana acceded to, and has filed information requests under, the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, to which the United States is also a party. Guyana has bilateral counter-narcotics agreements with its neighbors and the United Kingdom. Guyana is also a member of the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD). Guyana signed a maritime counternarcotics bilateral agreement with the United States in 2001, but has yet to take the necessary domestic action to bring the agreement into effect.

2. Supply Reduction

Guyana has a drug enforcement presence at its international airports, post offices, and, to a lesser extent, at port and land-border entry points. The four major agencies involved in anti-drug efforts are the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Customs and Revenue Authority (GRA), the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), and the Guyana Defense Force (GDF). The GDF supports law enforcement agencies with boats, aircraft and personnel, but has limited capacity and lacks law enforcement authority.

The Guyana Coast Guard (GCG), a GDF sub-component and partner in maritime interdiction, patrols Guyana’s territorial waters and conducts humanitarian search and rescue. In September and October, through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), Guyana’s security forces received training in port security and container control from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Container Control Program (CCP). The government established a full-time, multi-agency CCP Port Control Unit at the John Fernandes Wharf, one of Guyana’s most active ports.

Not all government agencies/units reported seizure and arrest statistics for 2012. The GPF Narcotics Branch reported seizing 8.6 kilograms (kg) of cocaine with 124 people charged, and 132 MT of cannabis with 540 arrests. The high volume of seized cannabis reflects the increasing trend of farm-grown marijuana for personal use and transshipment. In August, authorities discovered evidence of marijuana cultivation and processing, as well as boats for shipment on a two acre island in the Essequibo River. CANU also seized 92.2 kg of cocaine and 109.4 kg of cannabis. However, these totals do not reflect the full volume of seizures by all Guyanese agencies. The Guyana Revenue Authority’s Drug Enforcement Unit made significant seizures through the Joint Port Control Unit, but did not provide information on quantities during this reporting period.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

Guyana lacks a robust demand reduction strategy that adequately addresses drug rehabilitation. Marijuana is the most widely used drug in Guyana, followed by cocaine. The Guyana National Council for Drug Education, Rehabilitation and Treatment, within the Ministry of Health, is the single government body responsible for addressing demand reduction. Non-governmental organizations, such as the Salvation Army and the Phoenix Recovery Project, also offer rehabilitation services. The University of Guyana initiated a demand reduction curriculum through OAS/CICAD funding. As part of CBSI, the United States supports a Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment project that provides vulnerable youth with alternatives to drug-related activities and provides skills for transitioning to the work force.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Guyana 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 drug transactions.

Guyana is a party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, but has not fully implemented provisions, such as the seizure of property obtained through corruption.

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

CBSI forms the central nexus for the United States government’s security and law enforcement relationship with Guyana, with its goals of reducing illicit trafficking, increasing public security; and promoting social justice. Efforts to increase law enforcement capabilities, strengthen workforce development, and promote anti-money laundering effectiveness directly address priority concerns for Guyana and the United States.

CBSI-funded programs support Guyana’s maritime operations by providing interdiction assets, including riverine patrol boats that will be delivered in 2013 and relevant command and control systems, as well as associated logistical support and training. Initiatives also target law enforcement professionalization, forensics, and more effective narcotics investigations. In 2012, the United States provided port and maritime training to Guyana’s Coast Guard, including in container inspection, port security and leadership development. By strengthening Guyana’s counter-narcotics capabilities, the United States seeks to enhance interagency coordination and help gather better intelligence on drug trafficking routes. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Trinidad and Tobago office collaborates with the Government of Guyana on counternarcotics-related activities.

D. Conclusion

The United States encourages the Government of Guyana to deepen mutual security and law enforcement cooperation. Guyana has shown strong interest in furthering collaboration under CBSI. The United States looks forward to tangible progress on investigations, prosecutions, extraditions, security sector and judicial capacity enhancement, the engagement of at-risk communities, and enforcement of laws against money laundering and financial crimes. 


A. Introduction

Haiti remains a transit point for cocaine from South America and marijuana from Jamaica for transshipment to the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Traffickers take advantage of Haiti’s largely unguarded shores and skies on both the northern and southern coasts. Haiti is not a significant producer of illicit drugs for export, though cultivation of marijuana for local consumption does occur. Haiti’s subsistence economy does not provide an environment for problematic levels of domestic drug consumption, though a recent rise in the use of crack cocaine in the Cite Soleil area of Port-au-Prince is cause for concern.

In 2012, increased political stability allowed the Haitian government to devote more attention to its security posture, including the central role of the Haitian National Police (HNP). The government maintained loose control over the principal land border crossing points with the Dominican Republic at Malpasse (in the south) and Ounaminthe (in the north). In July, the government launched a new enforcement initiative at the four major border crossings with the Dominican Republic, including Ouanaminthe, Belladere, Malpasse, and Anse-a-Pitre. This initiative has resulted in increased vehicle inspections at the border, although the focus has been on customs revenue generation. The southern coastline remains virtually enforcement-free, with a long-awaited new operating base for the Haitian Coast Guard at Les Cayes unfinished. The President designated Haiti as a major drug trafficking country in 2012, largely as a result of this open channel northward into the Caribbean, and Haiti’s still nascent counternarcotics capacity.

B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends

1. Institutional Development

Efforts to increase the numerical strength of the HNP suffered a setback between June 2011 and April 2012, when police authorities delayed the start of a new cadet class at the national police academy. Only 244 candidates – less than a third of the previous class – participated when the new cadet class did begin training. On the joint recommendation of the United Nations and the HNP commission, the Minister of Justice also terminated the employment of 79 officers in September after the officers failed corruption vetting. The official strength of the HNP decreased during the year to approximately 10,000 officers.

The Supreme Council of the National Police (CSPN), led by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and including the Ministers of Justice and the Interior, the HNP Director General and Inspector General, was increasingly active over the course of the year. As part of the new leadership team, President Martelly named Godson Orelus, a 15-year HNP veteran, as the new Director General of the police force on August 15. In his first few months, Orelus took several steps that signaled a commitment to developing the institution, including fully staffing the top posts in the Inspector General’s office for the first time in its 17-year history and naming an experienced officer -- and longtime U.S. interlocutor -- to head the fledgling judicial police. The CSPN also approved a new five-year development plan for the HNP on August 31 that aims to increase the strength of the force to 15,000 officers by the end of 2016. Included in the plan is a provision to increase strength to 200 officers for the Bureau de Lutte de Trafique en Stupéfiants (BLTS), the HNP’s dedicated counternarcotics unit.

The BLTS in 2012 grew from 42 to 138 officers. The BLTS operates from two bases in Port-au-Prince and from new posts in Ounaminthe and Cap Haitien and has plans to expand to further locations. The unit has a 10-dog canine component with drug, explosive, and currency detection capability.

The Haitian Coast Guard (HCG) has a total strength of 144 personnel and nine boats with operating bases in Cap Haitien in the north and the Killick area of Port-au-Prince. A third base at Les Cayes on the southern coast remains incomplete. As with the HNP generally, lack of material support and logistical management deficiencies hamper the HCG’s operational capacity. Since, its inception, the HCG has participated in counternarcotics interdiction operations with international partners, but has focused on its search and rescue/repatriation mission. In 2012, the United States coordinated with international donors to update the HCG Development Plan for the first time in nearly 15 years, with the goal of synchronizing donor efforts.

Haiti remains the only member of the Organization of American States not a party to the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. A U.S.-Haiti bilateral letter of agreement signed in October 1997 concerning Cooperation to Suppress Illicit Maritime Drug Traffic allows U.S. law enforcement agencies to enter Haitian territorial waters and airspace when in pursuit of suspect vessels or aircraft, to board and search suspect vessels, and to carry members of the Haitian Coast Guard as ship riders. Although there is no mutual legal assistance treaty between Haiti and the United States, the Haitian government has cooperated on many cases within the limits of Haitian law. The bilateral extradition treaty entered into force in 1905, and though the Haitian Constitution prohibits extradition of Haitian nationals, the Government of Haiti has willingly surrendered Haitians and other nationals under indictment in the United States to U.S. law enforcement agencies.

2. Supply Reduction

HNP seizures over the course of 2012 increased over the previous year, but remain inadequate. In 2011, cocaine transshipped from South America through Haiti constituted roughly one percent of the total that reached the United States. In 2012, eight cocaine seizures totaled 337 kilograms (kg) with a single 302 kg shipment composing the bulk, and the largest single seizure in Haiti since 2007. BLTS also seized 300 kg of marijuana in five actions. Enforcement actions in 2012 yielded 92 arrests, $95,647 in cash, 24 weapons, 12 seized properties valued at more than $5 million, and seven vehicles. Haitian authorities transferred four of the arrestees to U.S. custody.

3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment

There are no Haitian Government-sponsored drug demand reduction and treatment programs, and no non-government organizations provide such services. Low income throughout the country is a mitigating factor against widespread drug abuse.

4. Corruption

As a matter of policy, the Government of Haiti 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 drug transactions. President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe have expressed their desire to combat trafficking.

One area of promise is the installation of a full staff of six senior officers to the HNP Inspectorate General, the first time in HNP history that the office is fully staffed at upper leadership levels. A second area is Haiti’s Unit for Combating Corruption (ULCC) which, under the leadership of Director General Antoine Atouriste, has bolstered the government’s efforts to root out official corruption; the unit has 16 cases waiting to go to court and a further 15 cases in development. Nonetheless, resource shortages, a lack of expertise, and insufficient political will represent substantial obstacles to anti-corruption efforts.

The Haitian constitution grants blanket immunity from prosecution to members of Parliament. This immunity is a point of concern for U.S. assistance, including counternarcotics activities.

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

Despite the incremental gains in 2012 in the number of enforcement actions and the resultant seizures, the pace of HNP counternarcotics activity leaves room for improvement. In addition, the chronic backlog of pre-trial detainees in the Haitian judicial system leads to delays in prosecutions of cases the HNP does pursue.

The United States government provides assistance to support general development of the HNP and anti-drug trafficking efforts. The overall operational capacity and professionalism of the HNP are indispensable to counternarcotics activity in Haiti. The United States supports each police cadet class with food, training supplies, uniforms, and equipment. In addition, the United States cooperates with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to deploy rotating six-member teams of NYPD officers to Haiti to serve as technical advisors to the HNP, including on counternarcotics. The United States also funds joint enforcement operations with the HNP, which have resulted in operations that include the seizure of drug trafficker property near Cabaret in August 2012. With U.S. government encouragement, hemispheric partner Colombia also provided canine training for BLTS in 2012.

Other U.S. support to the BLTS included additional uniforms, badges, search equipment, and computers.

The United States also provides maintenance and parts to support five vessels originally purchased for the Haitian Coast Guard by the Government of Canada. Additional funds will be used to refurbish and maintain two small vessels at the northern Coast Guard base in Cap Haitien. Funds will eventually assist in outfitting the Canadian built Coast Guard base in Les Cayes to provide a badly-needed operating base for the Haitian Coast Guard on the south coast.

D. Conclusion

Despite progress, the tempo of drug enforcement actions in Haiti remains stubbornly low. The Haitian Government has made clear its commitment to strengthening the HNP, including the BLTS. The addition of BLTS bases in the north of the country is a sign that the HNP is beginning to expand beyond a Port-au-Prince-centric posture for policing the main corridors for trafficking in and out of the country. The Martelly administration and the government of Prime Minister Lamothe both have noted the importance of improving Haiti’s border security. The United States is prepared to support Haiti’s efforts to improve counternarcotics enforcement.