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Southern Cone Situation Report: Drug Intelligence Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
19 pages
This report examines the threat posed by drug trafficking throughout the "Southern Cone" nations of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Drug smuggling in the Southern Cone has increased in recent years as law enforcement initiatives in Andean Ridge coca source countries have forced multinational trafficking groups to establish new routes between the Andean Ridge and illicit markets in the United States and Europe. Using a variety of conveyances, including rail cargo and private aircraft, drug smugglers based in Bolivia have filtered substantial quantities of cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) into the cities and seaports of the Southern Cone. The growth in the cocaine trade has produced a variety of problems in the nations of the Southern Cone. In Argentina and Chile, illicit drug consumption has increased as cocaine has been syphoned from smuggling routes that link clandestine laboratories in Bolivia to Atlantic seaports such as Rosario in Argentina and Arica in Chile. Cocaine trafficking has expanded in Paraguay, historically a country that derives a substantial income from illicit activities. As a major international financial center located far from the Andean Ridge, Uruguay has been tainted more by drug money laundering activity than by in-country cocaine trafficking. Regional counterdrug initiatives are hindered by an absence of effective counterdrug legislation.