Following InSight Crime’s publication of an investigation into drug trafficking on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, an Ortega administration official announced the creation of a commission tasked with investigating the issue.
Two days after the publication of InSight Crime’s three–part report on drug trafficking in the country, Nicaragua’s La Prensa reported that the government is focusing more attention on the influence of drug cartels along the Caribbean coast. According to the newspaper, Deputy Director of the National Police Ramon Avellan visited the troubled city of Bluefields on Tuesday to discuss the security situation there with local religious leaders.
There, Avellan announced that the government had created a “special commission” to address the insecurity faced by the hundreds of thousands of residents of the North Atlantic and South Atlantic Autonomous Regions (the RAAN and RAAS).
The members of this commission and the exact nature of its task are, as yet, unclear.
InSight Crime Analysis
The location of Avellan’s announcement is no coincidence. As InSight Crime noted in its profile of the city, Bluefields is one of the main transshipment points for cocaine along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Its harbor is heavily frequented by go-fast boats, which transport tons of largely Colombian cocaine every year.
While the announcement is a sign that the government is starting to take the threat of drug trafficking in the east more seriously, the issue extends beyond citizen insecurity. In its visit to Bluefields last year, InSight Crime found evidence of collusion between drug traffickers and local officials. Worse, there were also indications that drug trafficking organizations have replaced the state in some ways, providing services that government does not.
Considering the deteriorated rule of law and the weakness of state institutions, the Nicaraguan government will have to do much more than form a commission to improve the security situation on the eastern coast.
Also in InSight Crime’s Nicaragua Special:
Folk Singer’s Death Shines Light on Nicaragua Police Corruption
Video: An Interview with Nicaragua’s Police Chief