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

Nexus of Corruption and Drug Trafficking

"The drug problem and corruption have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Corruption facilitates the production and trafficking of illegal drugs and this, in turn, benefits corruption.76 The wealth and power of some drug trafficking organizations can exceed that of local governments, allowing them to buy protection from law enforcement agents, criminal justice institutions, politicians and the business sector. In doing so, they further reinforce corruption. The rule of law is both an immediate victim and, if it is already weak, an underlying factor that feeds this cycle."

Heroin Trafficking and Seizures in the Americas

"Most heroin (and morphine) trafficked in the Americas is smuggled from Mexico to the United States, with far smaller quantities smuggled from Colombia and Guatemala. Analysis of heroin samples in the United States over the past decade shows the increasing predominance of Mexico (90 per cent of samples analysed in 2015) as a source country of the drug, while the importance of countries in South America (3 per cent) has declined markedly. South-West Asia accounted for around 1 per cent of the samples analysed in 2015.10

Total Annual Drug Arrests In The United States By Offense Type

2018: Of the estimated 1,654,282 drug law violations in the US in 2018, 86.4% (1,429,300) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 13.6% (224,982) were for sale or manufacture of a drug.

2017: Of the estimated 1,632,921 drug law violations in the US in 2017, 85.4% (1,394,515) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 14.6% (238,404) were for sale or manufacture of a drug.