Ecuador was the third country with the highest cocaine seizures in 2020, with 6.5% worldwide, after Colombia (41%) and the United States (11%).
Antonino De Leo, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Peru and Ecuador, confirmed this information when presenting the World drug report 2022.
The official reaffirmed the data in the Foreign Ministry, this Monday, August 8, although the document had already been released in mid-July at the international level.
Ecuador is the third country in the world with the most cocaine seized
De Leo said that almost 90% of the cocaine seized in the world last year was trafficked in containers and/or by sea.
He highlighted that in 2021, the port control units in Ecuador have been the ones that have seized the most cocaine, 40 in total of the almost 55 tons, in 20 countries in the region.
They capture 1.6 tons of drugs that were loaded with bananas to Cyprus, a destination to which they have not been exported for two years
There are four port control units in the country: two in Guayaquil, one in Puerto Bolívar and one in Posorja. They are part of the UNODC container control program in which 19 other countries in the region participate.
Once the report was released, Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Holguín mentioned that the drug phenomenon should be addressed from a security and defense perspective, but also preventive.
Holguín made the state and government structure available to go to the next stage not only in what he called the national drug plan that the country requires, but also so that there is a strategic alliance between the UNODC and the Ecuadorian Government to comprehensively address that problem.
He indicated that it should also be treated not only where it originates but also at the destination.
“We have to approach this perspective of the State, from peace, security, from diplomacy or the ecological transition, but there is no doubt that our last axis proposed in the foreign service, that of technical and scientific diplomacy, is the one that It should lead to this cooperation with the office of Antonino (De Leo) to present a great drug plan in Ecuador”, said Holguín.
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Diego Ordóñez, Secretary of Public Security and of the State, indicated that the seizure of drugs in volumes that had not been done in the past is important, but other indicators must be added, such as the seizure of chemical precursors for manufacturing and how much of the monies that feed that economy -which he called criminal- have been seized.
“That criminal economy, which is also a source of financing for certain forms of political violence (…), that criminal economy has to be identified, it has to be attacked, that is the core we must reach,” added Ordóñez.
The UNODC international official expressed the predisposition of his office to continue supporting the analysis of the border situation in Ecuador and identify the dynamics of the drug phenomenon in order to develop actions to address it.
“Our willingness (…) to accompany the design of the national plan for comprehensive prevention and control of the socioeconomic phenomenon of drugs as facilitators of it, since we are sure that this exercise will contribute to the development of the national plan for the creation of opportunities” DeLeo said.
He added that the production, sale and consumption of drugs has an impact on the environment. This would occur in climate change, cross-border contamination of water tributaries at the regional level, and deforestation and loss of wildlife at the national level.
Around 284 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 used drugs worldwide in 2020, an increase of 26% over the previous decade, cocaine manufacture grew 11% from 2019 to reach a record of 1,982 tons in 2020, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. (YO)