In areas where poverty is extreme, criminal organizations tend to thrive. The target of Latin American drug routes is no longer the United States but rather Europe with a stop in West Africa. With the increases in global technology in the realms of communication and commercial airline travel, the ease of committing global crime has multiplied. The increased mobility of people and illegal drugs across the globe has led Latin American drug cartels to expand their market to Europe.
With the higher price of cocaine in Europe and the new 500 Euro bill, this has become a desirable location for drug dealers to export their product. The increase of Mexican drug cartels providing for North America also led to the Latin American focus shifting to Europe and therefore West Africa. Due to the fairly tight security in Europe, Latin American drug cartels have found it easier to smuggle large quantities of drugs into West Africa where they then break it down into smaller shipments to various European locations. Traffickers view West Africa as a prime location based on their weak government structures and lack of stability.
The main goal of drug trafficking is obviously to make money. In certain African countries, like Guinea-Bissau, called Africa’s first narco-state, the drugs that are trafficked through there are worth more than the entire country’s legitimate economy. The poor economies also leave law enforcement officials open for corruption. In order for drug trafficking to operate on a global level the borders need to be permeable which is where these officials come into play. The organization of these cartels involve hierarchies that work with the corrupt officials of the various countries involved that help them evade detection.
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