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Blows to global crime groups will drive innovation

Monday, June 14, 2021

Significance

The news follows the high-profile arrest in May of Rocco Morabito, the fugitive suspected leader of Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia, in a US-Brazilian operation. Pandemic lockdowns have catalysed supply-side innovation and new distribution arrangements in cocaine markets. Successful international operations to disrupt markets are being offset by such innovation and by accelerating drug violence.

Impacts

  • Recent 'takedowns' of transnational crime networks will trigger power struggles.
  • Record European seizures of Latin American cocaine will see suppliers seek more secure shipping routes and more reliable import partners.
  • European states will press Colombia on more development-focused responses to coca cultivation; US emphasis will remain largely coercive.

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