Sunday, October 20, 2013
Geographical Facts about Cocaine
I recently acquired the latest copy of "Cocaine Smuggling" (2011) by the Office of National Drug Control Policy from my local library. According to ONDCP, cocaine's scourge is primarily fueled by users in the United States. The United States has the most users of the drug with Europe and the rest of the Americas splitting the rest. The top five users are:
United States: 5.33 million users
Mexico: 1.7 million
United Kingdom 1.04 million
The data on how cocaine gets to the United States was surprising. The old stereotype of airplanes and speedboats going to Florida swamps is dead. Ninety-five percent of all the cocaine headed towards to the United States goes through Mexico/Central America. Only five percent goes through Hispaniola and other Caribbean islands.
The Central American route is complex but Honduras is the linchpin of the cartels operations. 132 metric tons reach Honduras overland while an additional 150 metric tons reach the country from the Caribbean. Only 117 metric tons bypass Honduras by going directly from South America to Mexico, Belize, or El Salvador.