The transatlantic cocaine business: Europe’s options as it confronts new drug trafficking routes

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Series Details 45/2009
Publication Date 14/12/2009
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The 52nd session of UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) ended on 20 March 2009 in Vienna. The experts who took part agreed on the future pillars of international drug control policy for the next decade. At the same time, they assessed the results and implementation of the agreements adopted at the 20th United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the drug problem (UNGASS) in 1998. The declaration of 2009 called for a significant reduction in the growing of opium and coca over the next 10 years. The goal was not achieved. Today, drug trafficking is the most lucrative branch of organised crime, and within in it cocaine yields the most profits. In 2007, according to UN estimates, in the Andean region approximately 180,000 hectares of coca were grown, and nearly 1,000 tons of pure cocaine were produced. Nearly 250 tonnes were exported to Europe that year. In 2006, in Spain alone, the authorities seized 50 tonnes of this drug. Twelve million Europeans have consumed cocaine at least once in their lifetime. In 2007, in Europe there were 3.5 million young and adolescent consumers. In Spain, 3% of the population regularly consumes cocaine. This group accounts for about 20% of all those in Europe who use the drug

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