Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
July 14, 2005
While not a major
narcotics producing or transit country, Uruguay’s
economic difficulties and strategic location make it vulnerable
to increased trafficking. Colombian, Argentine, and Brazilian
traffickers are increasingly using the international airport
to smuggle heroin, while European traffickers are using
the local mail to smuggle small quantities of cocaine. Some
Uruguayans have integrated into Paraguayan drug gangs involved
in trafficking marijuana and cocaine paste. The tri-border
area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil, which has long
been a haven for narcotics traffickers, affects Uruguay,
and the long porous border with Brazil lends itself to infiltration.
U.S. strategy is to prevent Uruguay from becoming a major
narcotics transit and consumption country.
Key U.S. Counternarcotics Goals
• Prevent Uruguay from becoming a major narcotics
transit and consumption country by tightening Uruguay’s
sea, air, and land border controls.
• Encourage public awareness of counternarcotics
U.S. Government support continues to complement
the Government of Uruguay’s (GOU) counternarcotics
efforts. In 2003 and 2004, the Bureau for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) funds were used for
training in anti-drug measures such as corruption, drug
education, counternarcotics enforcement and upgrading immigration
controls. Additionally, INL has provided assistance through
computers, software, and passport scanners to combat money
laundering that has surfaced since Uruguay’s pre-recession
success as a regional financial center.
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