facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Tiny African Country Is Big Drug Hub

Geography and corruption make Guinea Bisseau ideal for South American traffickers.

Image: 

The coastal country is ravaged by corruption.
Photo via

By McCarton Ackerman

05/14/12

| Share

With a population of just over 1.5 million, the African nation of Guinea Bissau is known as one of the smallest and poorest countries in the world. It's also becoming a crucial hub for South American drug traffickers, with an estimated few hundred million dollars-worth being transported from South America to Europe through the country each year. A close proximity to Brazil—just a quick four-hour flight—makes it an ideal location; plus, there are dozens of unpopulated islands for drug-bearing planes to land, and an absence of Western police agencies. And even if a shipment is detected, police intervention is nonexistent because the country’s military is apparently deeply involved in the drug trade. “All the problems in Guinea Bissau are because of drug trafficking,” says Lucinda Gomes Barbosa, the former head of the country’s anti-narcotic police, who resigned last year. “There are people in high positions in government who are benefiting from this. They only think about money. They fight each other so that the drug trafficking can continue and they don’t think about the problems that it creates in the country.” Barbosa adds that she unsuccessfully tried to arrest drug traffickers on three occasions in 2008 and that the few high-ranking officials who have fought corruption are often threatened. The drug trade in Guinea Bissau is relatively new; less than one ton of cocaine was seized per year on average prior to 2005. But the UN estimates that 25% of Europe’s cocaine came via West Africa in 2007.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv