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Published 3 months ago

Security in Ecuador has come undone as drug cartels exploit the banana industry to ship cocaine

  • Ecuador, the world's largest exporter of bananas, is facing the challenge of drug traffickers using banana shipments to smuggle cocaine. This infiltration has led to a surge in violence and crime across the country, particularly in the port city of Guayaquil. The proximity of Ecuador to major cocaine-producing countries and its weak laws and institutions make it an attractive location for drug cartels to operate.
  • Record-Setting cocaine busts have been made in European countries after inspecting containers carrying bananas from Ecuador. Spain announced its biggest cocaine haul of 9.5 metric tons hidden among cardboard boxes of bananas, while the Netherlands made its largest-ever seizure of nearly 8 metric tons in a container of Ecuadorian bananas.
  • The rise in drug trafficking has contributed to a doubling of violent deaths in Ecuador, with the country on track to break the annual record again in 2023. Despite the increase in seizures, only a small percentage of containers are currently inspected at Ecuadorian ports, highlighting the need for improved enforcement measures such as the use of scanners.
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  • 42% of the sources are Center
42% Center

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