Readings for this week:
Lechner: 29 and 35
The Cocaine Route and Operation COCAIR 3
The western coast of Africa has become a breeding ground for drug smuggling to Europe in the last two decades. As the demand for cocaine has shifted from North America to European nations including Spain, France and Portugal, South American drug cartels have followed suit and are moving their shipment routes from Central America to the Atlantic coastline of Africa. With numerous gangs, weak governments and little to no judicial power, African countries such as Guinea-Biseau are the perfect stopping points for drug cartels to create drug bases, allowing them to ship massive quantities of narcotics from South America to mainland Africa. From there they move up to Europe in smaller shipments where they are sold, contributing to an $11 Billion industry that acts as a major source of revenue for worldwide organized crime.
Operation Cocair III was a massive anti-drug operation at 30 international airports along the “Cocaine Route” of West and central Africa led by the UN office on Drugs and Crime, the World Customs Organization and Interpol. The bust took place from the 28th of November to the 4th of December in 2011 and worked by reinforcing airport controls against drug trafficking, leading to the arrest of nearly 50 individuals and the seizure of weapons, cultural artworks, prohibited exports such as ivory. There were also 45 narcotic seizures including the confiscation of over 486 kg of cannabis and 26 kg of cocaine. With drug cartels finding crafty new ways of sneaking drugs through security checks, it is essential that law enforcement is knowledgeable and prepared for all incidents. As Bernd Rossbach of INTERPOL put it, “drug traffickers will use every opportunity to exploit any weakness in security, which is why joint police and customs operations such as Cocair are so important in producing an effective law enforcement response against this form of criminality”
Questions to consider:
Why are drugs going through Africa?
Is it right for the UN and INTERPOL to impose an international standard police law?
What globalizing forces have emerged that have streamlined drug trade?
Is it helpful or problematic to have so many organizations working for a single goal?
Which is more effective, vertical or horizontal networks?
Is there corruption at all levels of networks?
In what ways can supernational organizations help or hinder national governments?
Are supernational organizations a benefit to the world?
Do you think that the Global network works to the benefit of a couple of countries or all countries?
What do you think the answer to the globalization paradox is?