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The Coke Coast: Cocaine's New Venezuelan Address

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

Read Part I and Part II of this series.

As European cocaine use has increased, heightened sea interdiction by the U.S. and the EU has pushed more traditional transatlantic cocaine trafficking routes -- and their profits -- further south in the Americas, making Venezuela and Brazil, via West Africa, Europe's main suppliers of cocaine. While it is unknown exactly how much of the estimated 250 metric tons of cocaine that enters the EU by sea or air each year arrives from Africa, it is believed that the cocaine smuggled across the continent's fragile Western region has a street value of at least $2 billion. Of this, 50 percent originates in Brazil, which borders each of the major coca-producing Andean nations, while another 30 percent comes from Venezuela. ...

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