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Peru has become the world’s largest COCA producer

As reported

Peru has overtaken Colombia as the world’s largest coca crop cultivator, reinforcing its position as the world’s primary cocaine producer and highlighting the growing demand for the drug in Europe and regional markets.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) annual report “Peru: Cocaine Cultivation Monitoring 2012,” more than 60,000 hectares of coca crops were cultivated in Peru in 2012, compared to 48,000 hectares in neighbouring Colombia. Although coca cultivation decreased in both countries when compared to the previous year, in Peru it only dropped by 3.4 per-cent, while Colombian cultivation fell by 25 per-cent.

As in neighbouring Bolivia, Peru has a sizeable domestic demand for unprocessed coca leaves. However, according to the report, that demand could be met with less than 7,000 hectares of coca crop, suggesting that the vast majority of coca produced is destined for drug processing.

 PeruCoca9912

The Analysis

Peru’s newfound position as the number one cultivator of coca reinforces its status as the world’s primary producer of cocaine, a position it previously attained through growers’ use of coca strains that produce a higher cocaine yield. Even without these advantages, Peru would likely remain the world’s biggest cocaine supplier as interdiction rates are a fraction of those seen in Colombia.

The emergence of Peru as the world’s main supplier has been boosted by changing consumption patterns. Most Peruvian cocaine is destined for consumption in Brazil and Argentina or export to Europe — all markets that have grown substantially in recent years. In contrast, the US market has declined, but remains predominantly the domain of Colombian cocaine, which accounts for 95 per-cent of all imported product, according to US government estimates.

While cocaine production has been booming, prices have fallen to levels much lower than those seen in Peru’s rivals, to the extent that much of the cocaine that arrives in Argentina and Brazil from Bolivia now originates in Peru.

The thriving cocaine sector has inevitably attracted the interests of international organized crime groups, research in the country revealed the presence of Colombians, Mexicans and Russians. However, this has not yet led to growing violence, and Peru has yet to see the sort of criminal conflicts that still plague Colombia.

The Peruvian government has pledged to fight trafficking, announcing a hard-line anti-drug strategy in 2011. However, their efforts have yielded questionable results. Though authorities eradicated 12,000 hectares in the first half of 2013, it is unclear whether such efforts actually decrease the total cultivation area or if growers simply move elsewhere.

 
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Posted by on 09/28/2013 in Crime Watch, Crime!

 

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Mexico is not all about violence

blank map of mexico

blank map of mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

REPOST

Misconceptions about Mexico

By Ravi Agrawal, CNN

Editor’s note: Ravi Agrawal is senior producer of Fareed Zakaria GPS. The views expressed are his own. This was originally published in September 2012 and re-posted as Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto meets with President Obama on Tuesday.

Here’s some trivia. Which of these countries has the highest average income: India, China, Brazil or Mexico? If you guessed Brazil, you’d be wrong. And if you guessed India or China, you’d be way off: even if you combine the incomes of the average Indian and Chinese you wouldn’t reach the $15,000 annual purchasing power of the average Mexican.

These numbers don’t fit with many people’s perception of America’s southern neighbor. Mexico, you see, has a PR problem. A quick Google search for news from Mexico throws up a set of results that usually includes the words violence, drugs, cartels, and migrants (or the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico). But it’s not just the international media that seems to have it in for Mexico’s reputation. Mexicans themselves seem woebegone. A recent Pew survey found that only a third of Mexicans think they have a good national economic situation. Compare that with half of Indians, 65 percent of Brazilians, and 83 percent of Chinese. Or let’s go back to average citizens: 52 percent of Mexicans think they have a good personal economic situation, but for Indians, Chinese, and Brazilians, those numbers rise to 64 percent, 69 percent, and 75 percent respectively – and that’s despite the fact that in purchasing power terms, Mexicans actually earn more per capita than citizens of all three of those countries. And, unlike the others, Mexico’s growth rate is actually rising.

Indeed, Mexico’s economy has a number of strengths. It is the 14th largest in the world. If you take into account purchasing power, it is the 11th largest economy – larger than Canada, Turkey, and Indonesia. It is projected to grow 4 percent this year, and even faster in the coming decade, a rate that the financial services firm Nomura says will lead to Mexico overtaking Brazil as Latin America’s biggest economy within 10 years, despite the fact that Brazil’s economy is currently twice as large.

Still, there is a weakness in Mexico’s growth, as I saw for myself when I was there last month: the money hasn’t been trickling down. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexico has the highest rate of poverty among the group’s 34 member nations. If you consider inequality, the OECD ranks it the second most unequal, with only Chile more unequal.

So although the headline numbers might surprise, Mexico presents something of a mixed bag. Yet this hasn’t deterred investors taking a growing interest in this Latin-but-North American country. In a special report on investing in Mexico, the Financial Times went as far as to call its macroeconomy “virtually bulletproof.” Move over BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India, China – it’s time for the MISTs – Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey.

Part of Mexico’s appeal to investors is tied into what I think may be the country’s key weakness: inequality. You see, at the lowest-end, labor remains cheap. The Economist points out that in 2003, Mexican pay was three times China’s rates; now it is only 20 percent higher. So Mexican manufacturing is poised for a boom. And while in the past few years Mexico banked on its proximity to the U.S. (lower transport costs) and trade deals like NAFTA to compete with China, it will now be able to manufacture and price products at an advantage.

The big question, of course, is whether the export dollars will trickle down. But making this happen will require significant market reforms. In his recent book “Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles,” Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma points out how the top 10 Mexican families account for more than a third of the country’s stock market value – an almost unheard of number. “Private cartels produce about 40 percent of the goods that Mexicans consume and charge prices that are 30 percent higher than international averages,” he writes. “Phones, services, soft drinks, and many foodstuffs cost more in Mexico than in the United States.”

One thing is clear – Mexico is not the war-torn wasteland it is often made out to be. Its people have a glorious history, and a hopeful future. This isn’t to say that Mexico is destined to be the next investment hotspot – that’s far too simplistic a way of looking at this. Instead, the numbers suggest the truth is somewhere in between. Mexico has enormous capacity to surprise on the economic stage. But to really shine, it needs to work on developing a vibrant – and bigger – middle class.

 
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Posted by on 01/16/2013 in What you see!

 

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Bolivian police confiscated two tons of uranium

They arrested four people when moved without security measures uranium from one vehicle to another

Bolivian police confiscated two tons of uranium

Bolivian police seized in a raid, two tons of uranium stored in the garage of a building in the center of La Paz, near the embassies of the United States, Spain and other legations.

Officers from a group of elite police arrested four people, all Bolivians, when moved without security measures uranium from one vehicle to another in jute and nylon, the Vice Minister of Internal Affairs, Jorge Perez.

He said that “Bolivia did not produced uranium”, so presumably the burden “would be in transit” to a European country, supposedly from Brazil or Chile.

He said it was a striking find a “similar amount” of uranium in the garage of the building in Illimani, located in central Maple Avenue, by the radiation hazards involved in its handling.

The authorities, officials and journalists were for several minutes at the door of the garage where the police operation was done, until experts advised them to stay 50 meters away from the site for security reasons.

The commander of the group that did the operation, Colonel Eddy Torres, said the operation was the result of an investigation that lasted one and a half because they had information that today could be a sale of uranium.

One of the detainees is an engineer surnamed Espinoza, who, according to Perez, claimed that he was only guarding the depository of uranium had left long ago but gave no details of who the owner of the cargo.

 

 
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Posted by on 08/29/2012 in Crime!, Smuggling

 

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The criminal group Los Zetas, are main smugglers of cigarettes from Panama

The criminal group is listed as one of the main organizations involved in smuggling cigarettes to other countries

Criminal group los zetas main smugglers of cigarettes in Panama

The criminal group Los Zetas ranks as one of the main organizations involved in smuggling cigarettes from Panama to other countries in Central America, Mexico and Brazil, today unveiled a tobacco executive.

“The Zetas and the various mafias operating in Central America and the Caribbean are the main smugglers of cigarettes. Apart from their illegal actions they are in the smuggling because these products are easy to launder money, “said Alfonso Gordon, regional manager for trademark protection of British American Tobacco.

At a forum on the topic, Gordon said the Mexican criminal organization “is very influential in smuggling” in the region because their members have moved from Mexico to the south, specifically Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

He said that in discussions with various authorities in Central America in the course of investigations into smuggling from the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), the Caribbean, Panama, the band is mentioned Los Zetas.

He even cited that according to the investigations, 50 percent of the group’s business is related to drug trafficking and 50 percent to cigarette smuggling and human trafficking and weapons.

The way that the smugglers operate begins when one of its members visit cigarette factories in Paraguay, China and India to purchase product, which is then transferred to the FTA under a customs manifest “in transit” and then “re”.

“They’re going to Central and then to Mexico or Brazil. (Both countries) are the main target them for market size and the number of consumers, “said Gordon.

The executive said that organized gangs in the region raided the smuggling of goods as a means to legalize the money from drug trafficking or weapons.

“They get a lot of cash for drugs and somehow have to legalize it and one of them is by using products such as snuff tradition, which legalized in different countries and launder money,” he said.

A curious fact that Belize quoted destinations around the smuggling-record banking superior to all the countries of Central America “with connections to Panama,” without having a major industry, although three casinos on the border with Mexico.

One problem is that authorities cannot check the goods when it is stated that customs documents is in transit, although executives of British American tobacco, assessed the actions against the scourge of the Customs Authority of Panama.

Cordon said that for its geographical position, Panama is an important point in the logistics of the smugglers of cigarettes, illegal flow of 5.5 million units from the FTA, of which only one million remains in the country of the isthmus.

In Paraguay, the country with 35 cigarette factories which 90 percent were exports, India and China, should the snuff which triangulates the countries of the region from the Panamanian free zone, to impact the final consumer price.

On China, said a large factory in the country has an above-the three major tobacco companies in the world, including British American tobacco.

During the forum, the former prosecutor on intellectual property crimes and now a legal consultant, Ramiro Esquivel, warned of the economic, social and health from cigarette smuggling, counterfeiting and alteration.

As several countries in the region, Panama also tightened smoking with bans in public places and imposing tax rates of up to 100 percent, but as it impacted Cord increase consumption of illegal products.

 
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Posted by on 08/15/2012 in Crime!, Money Laundering, Smuggling

 

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Brazil requests censor comments on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

The U.S. government filed a civil action against the social network Twitter, so that the tweeters do not advise the location and hours of traffic controls

SAO PAULO, Feb. 7. – The Advocate General of the State of Brazil (AGU) filed a civil action against the Twitter social network in order to block the user accounts that warn of the location and hours of traffic controls in central state of Goias.

The agency filed the action before the Regional Court in late January against the account holders and against the popular social network on the grounds that the houses which undermine road safety, Efe said a source at the AGU.

The institution believes that the “behavior of Twitter and others involved directly attacks the life, safety and property of people in general,” a UN statement.

AGU’s action, which includes a request from the Office of the Union in Goiás, demands that Twitter “immediately stop” the accounts that warn of the existence of radar and “final lock” any other to provide information on dates, times and places where roadblocks are placed traffic.

The state’s attorneys argue that the controls are not only important to prevent accidents, but also to prevent crimes like car theft, illegal possession of arms and drug trafficking and call for the imposition of a fine of 500 thousand reais (about 290 000 697 U.S. dollars) in case of default.

Also, saying that through notices distributed by the account holders are being violated provisions of the Criminal Code and the highway code in Brazil.

The action filed, which is still sub judice, the letter was based on several technical studies from different institutions including the traffic police and the National Confederation of Municipalities (CNM).

According to the list of the 50 municipalities with the largest absolute numbers of accidents developed by CNM, Goiania, capital of Goiás, took seventh place with an average of 329 deaths per year between 2005 and 2007, a figure that places it above most populated cities such as Salvador, Recife and Porto Alegre.

 
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Posted by on 02/08/2012 in Internet, Politics

 

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suicide by piranha! Bolivian youth!

What a way to die!

What a way to die!

A teenager who jumped out of his canoe in a piranha-infested river in Bolivia, died from from bites by the flesh-eating fish, a British tabloid reported Friday.

The 18-year-old teenager, identified as Oscar Barbosa, is believed to have committed “suicide by piranha,”

The young fisherman bled to death after leaping into the water from his canoe. He suffered dozens of bites to his throat and face on Bolivia’s Yata River, local police chief Daniel Cayaya told The Sun. The chief said he believed Barbosa — from Rosario del Yata in the north east of the country — meant to kill himself.

Cayaya said the teenager knew the river well and would have been aware that it is swarming with red piranhas at this time of year. He added that Barbosa may have been drunk.

The 14-inch piranha fish have razor sharp teeth and hunt in packs to strip their prey of flesh. They are known to devour large snakes and even jaguars in minutes.

Fatal attacks on humans are rare. But swimmers at a river beach in Brazil were attacked by hundreds of piranhas in September,

 
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Posted by on 12/10/2011 in Crime!

 

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most wanted drug kingpin in Rio’s largest slum caught, Alias- Nem!

Antonio Bonfim Lopes, Alias "Nem"

Antonio Bonfim Lopes, Alias "Nem"

The most wanted drug kingpin in Rio‘s largest slum has been caught hiding in the trunk of a car as dozens of crack police tighten their noose ahead of an imminent assault to take control of the Rocinha favela.

Antonio Bonfim Lopes, also known as “Nem” and considered one of the city’s most wanted criminals, was arrested on Thursday as he tried to flee the shantytown which had been controlled by narco-traffickers for the past 30 years.

Lopes, who is wanted on charges of drug trafficking, kidnapping, money laundering, and murder, is the head of the “Friends of Friends” drug gang that control a drug distribution point.

The “Friends of Friends” gang is said to be responsible for a multi-million dollar a month drug trade in Rio’s largest favela.

The gang is being dismantled, and this is a good moment for law-abiding citizens who want to see their children living in peace to pass information on where criminals, guns and drugs are hidden,” said Alberto Pinheiro Neto, head of operations for Rio state police.

Federal police inspector, Victor Poubel, said the other occupants of vehicle attempted to bribe police twice before opening the trunk. When discovered, Lopes did not resist arrest.

Lopes’ capture comes at a time when police in the Olympic City prepare to squelch crime in Rochina ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, both to be held in Brazil’s second largest city.

At a press conference on Thursday, Rio state police said they are planning an on-going operation to take back the shantytown of 100,000 people and are calling for the assistance of the local population in Rochina.

They said they planned to occupy Rocinha in the coming days and that gang members were trying to escape any way they could.

Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral, in a television interview on Thursday, hailed Nem’s capture as “another major step to bring peace to residents of Rocinha and Vidigal” and said the drive to pacify the two favelas would be completed “by the end of the week.”

 
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Posted by on 11/11/2011 in Crime Watch

 

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