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Abstract

Transnational crime remains a particularly serious problem in Latin America, with most issues connected in some way to the drug trade. This book examines the scope and dimensions of Andean cocaine and heroin production; the main methods and land, air, and sea routes that are used to ship these narcotics between source, transit, and consumption countries; and the principal consequences that are associated with this particular manifestation of transnational crime. Addressing the problem of the Latin American drug trade has direct implications for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). In Colombia and, increasingly, Mexico, Washington is including counternarcotics support as an integral feature of its foreign internal defense aid, and the USAF is already engaged in a number of initiatives in both countries. Although this assistance has borne some notable results, there are some specific measures that the USAF should consider in looking to further hone and adjust its counternarcotics effort in Latin America. These include augmenting aerial surveillance over the Pacific–Central American corridor; refining existing standard operating procedures and further institutionalizing joint mission statements and protocols regarding drug interdiction; reconsidering the policy of aerial fumigation of illegal crops; and ensuring adequate protection of existing counter–drug-access arrangements in Central America.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Production and Trafficking Routes

  • Chapter Three

    Main Players

  • Chapter Four

    Trafficking Vessels

  • Chapter Five

    Impact

  • Chapter Six

    U.S. Responses

  • Chapter Seven

    Implications and Recommendations for the U.S. Air Force

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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