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Updated Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Country Program Fact Sheet for Uruguay

U.S. strategy is to prevent Uruguay from becoming a major narcotics transit and consumption country

Posted: July 18, 2005

Fact Sheet
Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)
Washington, DC
July 14, 2005

Challenges

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 use.

U.S. Programs

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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