Drug trafficking explodes in ‘coup-prone’ Guinea Bissau
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from GIN
A massive drug trade in the West African coastal nation of Guinea Bissau is worrying world leaders at the United Nations. An international summit is being considered to see how democratic rule could be restored to the coup-prone nation.
Military officers overthrew the last president, Raimundo Pereira, on April 12.
About a quarter to two-thirds of the cocaine from South America to Europe passes through West African countries, specifically Cape Verde, Mali, Benin, Togo and Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Ghana. As reported by the World Drug Report, “The cocaine found in Africa originates mainly in Colombia and Peru and frequently transits through Brazil.”
Francisco Thoumi, a Colombian economist, noted that: “profitable illegal economic activity requires not only profitability, but also weak social and state controls on individual behavior… a society where government laws are easily evaded and social norms tolerate such evasion.”
Much like the deadly Mexican drug trade, traffickers pay for their safety by recruiting policemen, army officers and cabinet ministers to cooperate in the business.
“West Africa is changing more and more from being just a stockpiling place into a hub where cocaine is traded,” said Antonio Mazzitelli, regional representative for the United Nations.
Still, multinational corporations find reasons to do business in the notorious drug trade hub. Angola, a major investor, has a $500 million project to develop a bauxite mine and a deep-water port, among other projects. Contracts for the nascent offshore oil, gold and phosphate sector are held by Swiss, Chinese and Canadian companies.