Uruguay is not exempt from the problem of drug trafficking worldwide and is already a transit country for cocaine, warned in its latest report the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The agency, which recorded a record increase in the area cultivated with coca in Latin America (35% year-on-year in 2021), determined that the country is key as a port of departure for drugs to Africa and Asia, the two new markets.
The cocaine route that leaves through Uruguay to the world begins in Paraguay, the waterway being key for drug trafficking Paraguay-Paraná. According to UNODD, drug shipments move on barges and are then transferred to ships, hidden among commercial cargo.
The UN considered that there are weaknesses in the controls in the Port of Montevideoalthough he highlighted important seizures that the authorities made in recent years.
Another point mentioned by the international agency in its report was the consolidation of the flights using clandestine runways to move shipments of cocaine. According to official data cited in the study, slightly more than three quarters of the cocaine hydrochloride seized during 2020 had been trafficked by air.
The drugs move as cargo on these landing strips or are directly dropped from the air. The most frequented points for these practices are located in Leap and paysanduborder area with Argentina.
Uruguay and Argentina are especially vulnerable to the actions of the First Capital Command (PPC)the Brazilian criminal group that has been operating in Paraguay for years.
Cocaine shipments are sometimes consolidated within Uruguay before being shipped out of its ports,” the international organization notes.