Accepted paper:

The cocaine line: From Latin America to Europe

Authors:

Arantza Gomez Arana (University of Glasgow)

Paper short abstract:

For the first time, the European Union and Latin America are joining forces against drug trafficking. Several examples help to prove this new cooperation. This paper attempts to demonstrate the reasons for such a radical change in the EU.

Paper long abstract:

The European Union (EU) and Latin America have traditionally developed relations based on trade negotiations. Other areas of cooperation such as security have not been discussed mainly due to the lack of interest on the European side. But in the last few years this state of affairs has been transformed. For the first time, the European Union and Latin America are joining forces against drug trafficking. Several examples help to prove this new cooperation. One of them is the launching of COPOLAD (Cooperation Programme on Drugs Policies Between Latin America and the European Union) in January 2011. Another example is the "Fight Against the Cocaine Trafficking Route" programme between the EU and Ameripol. The EU strategy in relation to the fight against drug trafficking for the period of 2013-2020 has shown the long-term compromise in cooperating internationally offering funding among other initiatives. These policies represent a radical change from past attitudes in relation to the effects of drug trafficking in general, and cocaine in particular; for the first time Latin America is a priority for the European Union. This paper attempts to demonstrate the reasons for such a radical change in the EU. Among them, it is the increasing security problems created in West and North Africa due to its participation in the cocaine route. Also the increase in money laundering in European countries such as Spain seems to be a strong motivation for these new policies. And finally, the acceptance that drug trafficking is an international security problem, not national.

panel P18
Drugs in Latin America in the early twenty-first century