Thriving in the Shadows:
Cocaine, Crime and Corruption in Ecuador
Over the last decade, Ecuador has quietly emerged as a key piece of the global drug trade, with up to a third of Colombia’s record cocaine production now exported through the country.
Cocaine produced in southern Colombia is trafficked into Ecuador through the lawless border provinces of Esmeraldas and Sucumbíos by ex-FARC Mafia groups. Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel has also made its presence felt.
These networks have penetrated the state, contaminating the security forces, the judiciary, and the highest levels of government.
With dozens of Venezuelan athletes now playing on Major League Baseball teams in the United States, a powerful gang has begun to extort local academies and scouts in charge of finding, training and developing them in their home...
Extortion can be defined as the action through which one individual obtains a resource from another through intimidation or threat of violence. This criminal activity has been used by organized crime groups since early modern human...