War on drugs has helped cocaine traffickers conquer swathes of Central America, study suggests
Almost 20 per cent of US drug control spending goes on attempts to intercept shipments, with a ‘dismal’ success rate7 Apr 2019
The US spends almost $5bn (£3.8bn) a year attempting to intercept shipments of illegal drugs from Central America, but despite the enormous outlay, the quantities of cocaine delivered to the country have continued to rise.
One of the main focuses of American spending is the “transit zone” between Central American sources and US markets. Around $4.7bn (£3.6bn) - or around 18 per cent of total federal drug control spending - was allocated to interdiction in 2016.
But a new study, which simulated the complex dynamics between drug traffickers and US drug control efforts in Central America, suggests the efforts of successive US governments have led to a “cat-and-mouse arms race”, in which traffickers have massively expanded their networks of operations in ever greater efforts to out-manoeuvre authorities.
Their model could also serve as a “virtual laboratory to explore the effects of alternative drug policy scenarios”, they added.Share this on: