A professional hitman working in Colombia was interviewed by journalist Ioan Grillo in his book, El Narco. The contract killer said that he is paid a base salary of $600 a month by an organized crime group. When the assassin is assigned a hit, he is paid between $2,000 to $4,000 to carry out the murder.
The assassin works in a squad where one team is on a bike and another driving in a car. On the bike, there is a drive and the shooter riding behind. The target is stopped by the car braking in front of it, while the bike pulls up next to it to carry out the hit. The shooter then immediately passes the gun to the driver of the car, where it is hidden in a secret compartment.
Source: Ioan Grillo, El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency, Bloomsbury Press: New York, 2012, page 158-159.
Basuco is a form of low grade cocaine that is widely used in Colombia.
In the city of Bogata, an estimated 7,000 users are living in the city, each taking up to 15 to 20 hits a day.
Each hit costs less than a dollar.
Source: Ted Hesson, “Fighting Drug Addiction With Marijuana,” ABC News, April 1, 2013.
In the first 9 months of 2012, police reported an average of 512 barrels of oil per day being stolen. Police state that the high level of thefts are being conducted by drug trafficking who use the stolen oil to produce cocaine.
According to the United Nations, producing one kilogram of cocaine requires between 74 to 86 gallons of oil.
Since beginning patrols in the second quarter of 2012, police have seized 21 cocaine refineries, 53 tanks that were used to process oil, and 226,000 gallons of stolen crude oil.
Source: Heather Walsh, “Colombia Combats Martians Robbing Crude for Cocaine Labs,” Bloomberg, October 5, 2012.
The United Nations reported that there was roughly 160,000 acres of coca crops being grown in Colombia in 2011. In 2010, there was 155,000 acres of coca crops within the country.
The harvest was estimated to have produced up to 345 metric tons of cocaine.
Source: Chris Kraul, “U.N.: Colombian coca and cocaine production shows little change,” Los Angeles Times, World Now Blog, July 25, 2012.
According to the intelligence chief of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Peru produces the most cocaine in the world, passing Colombia.
In terms of pure cocaine production, Peru produced 325 metric tons of cocaine in 2010. During the same year, Colombia produced 270 metric tons.
Between 2006 and 2010, the United Nations report that the area devoted to cocaine cultivation in Peru increased 35 percent to 61,200 hectares. Although the area devoted to cocaine cultivation is larger in Colombia, due to eradication efforts by crop dusting plans the amount of cocaine produced is greater in Peru.
Around 55 percent of the cocaine produced in Peru takes place in the Ene and Apurimac Valley where leftist Shining Path rebels control territory.
Source: Associated Press, “Drug Meeting Spotlight on Peru’s Cocaine Problem,” ABC News, June 24, 2012.
According to the Colombian Government’s Forest Sustainability Project, illegal logging activities in the country generates up to $200 Million a year. This is higher than the previously reported losses of $60 Million.
Up to 42 percent of the forests in Colombia are illegally cut.
Source: Edward Fox, “Colombia Seizes 450 Tons of Illegal Timber,” InSight Crime, June 8, 2012.
According to a study by two economists at the University of the Andes in Bogota, only 2.6 percent of the total street value of cocaine produced in Colombia remains in the country. The other 97.4 percent of the profits and money goes to the drug trafficking cartels and is laundered through banks in first-world countries.
Source: Ed Vulliamy, “Western banks ‘reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade’,” Guardian, June 2, 2012.
The market in counterfeit goods in Colombia is estimated to be worth between $4 Billion to $5 Billion a year.
Up to 12 million pairs of counterfeit shoes from China enter Colombia each year.
One out of ever two bottles of alcohol sold in the Northern Antioquia province was counterfeit.
Source: Hannah Stone, “Colombia Sees Flood of Pirated Chinese Shoes,” Insight, April 17, 2012.