High-Level Political Corruption, Crime, and Drug Trafficking

"The Cosa Nostra and ‘Ndrangheta have long benefited from high-level political connections in Italy.77 In a similar way, some Mexican drug cartels allegedly benefited from protection from local police and local politicians.78 In Guinea Bissau, international drug traffickers counted on the support of
influential segments within the political and military apparatus for a number of years.79

"This kind of activity is often called high-level corruption. It involves a small number of senior officials in the government, police, customs or the justice system being targeted in a business transaction with bribes in exchange for either passive or active support facilitating illegal activities. In several cases high-level corruption has posed a threat to the State. Organized criminal groups have attempted to influence the outcome of democratic processes; for example, by funding election campaigns in favour of specific candidates or political parties through “vote buying”, intimidation or corrupting participants in the political process. Moreover, a corrupted judicial system and a lack of prison governance results in relative impunity."


United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2017 (ISBN: 978-92-1-148291-1, eISBN: 978-92-1-060623-3, United Nations publication, Sales No. E.17.XI.6). Booklet Five: The Drug Problem and Organized Crime, Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption and Terrorism, p. 30.