23 September 2013
Category : Opinion
Strategy in the fight against cocaine trafficking
How is organised crime changing? What type of response can we expect on a regional level? How can local authorities connect with civil society?
Last May, a conference on “Improving the response to organised crime and drug trafficking along a cocaine route” took place, as part of the “CORMS – cocaine route monitoring system” project. This conference was intended to provide answers to questions such as: How is organised crime changing? What type of response can we expect on a regional level? How can local authorities connect with civil society? What are the key aspects of the European Commission’s future Cocaine Route Programmes?
Many interesting responses were given to these questions, which are summarised below:
According to Ernesto Savona, Director of Transcrime and Professor of Criminology, we must undertake a careful, detailed analysis so as not to repeat the same policies from 10 years ago. The situation in Mexico could have been prevented if we had looked into its weaknesses through a macro-analysis of the State’s corruption and organisation.
Paula Miraglia, a specialist in the Public Sector in Brazil, claims that the use of mass incarceration is not appropriate as a means for fighting against drug trafficking. Young people who are incarcerated join criminal gangs in prison, thereby creating a sort of army. The poor get imprisoned and the others get money. There is nothing naïve about wanting to regulate the market. At least it would stop poor people from being arrested and the others from getting richer. Drugs affect social justice, making it an ideological problem.
According to the President of the Western African Drug Commission and former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, institutions in Western Africa are fragile and the budget for the fight against drugs is much lower than the resources managed by criminal organisations. The difference between the investment in prevention and the cost of handling the drug problem is huge – the cost is seven times greater than the investment. We cannot expect Western Africa to fight against drugs alone when consumers and producers are located in other geographic areas.
Janice McClean, Head of the Project Team Against Money Laundering in Western Africa (directed by the FIIAPP), believes that drugs are a business. Although it is an illegal business, if we start to treat it as a business, we’ll be on the right track. As a business, our first objective should be to confiscate illegal money. If you take the money off the streets, the drug traffickers will be forced to swallow their pride. It is more effective to take away their money than to imprison them, and anything that cannot be justified should be taken away.
Más información de la reunión en el PDF adjunto
Miguel de Domingo
Area Director in FIIAPP
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