Between 1970 and 2010, there were at least 39,058 people who were kidnapped in Colombia, according to a study released in 2013. In the last year covered by the study, around 1,000 people were kidnapped in 2010.
Out of the total number of kidnappings, up to 301 people were kidnapped more than once, and one person was found to have been kidnapped 5 times.
8 percent of the kidnapping cases lead to a conviction.
Source: Sibylla Brodzinsky, “Kidnapping in Colombia: The role of abductions in decades-long conflict,” Christian Science Monitor, June 21, 2013.
According to estimates by security officials, an estimated 345 tons of cocaine is produced in Colombia each year. Out of this total, around 20 percent, or 70 tons, is consumed domestically in the country. The cocaine used in Colombia is generally used in a powder form or in the cheaper form of cocaine base.
640 tons of marijuana is consumed in Colombia each year, with only 30 percent of the marijuana produced in Colombia being exported to other countries.
(Price of cocaine around the world.)
Source: James Bargent, “Growing Local Drug Market Fuels Colombia’s Underworld,” Insight Crime, May 29, 2013.
Wildlife traffickers sell sloths in Cordoba, Colombia for around $30. Animal experts say that many people buy sloths as pets, but do not understand the difficulty in raising and caring for the animals. For example, a zoologist told ABC News that they sloths survive on a complicated diet of about 40 different plant species.
The illegal wildlife trade in Colombia was estimated to have trafficked up to 60,000 animals in 2012.
(Price list of endangered animals.)
Source: John Schriffen and Alex Waterfield, “Hottest-Selling Animal in Colombia’s Illegal Pet Trade: Sloths,” ABC News, Nightline, May 28, 2013.
Financial experts estimate that up to $17 Billion of money from drug trafficking, arms trafficking and human trafficking in Colombia is laundered each year. The amount of money laundering that takes place in Colombia is over 5 percent of the country’s GDP.
Out of the total amount laundered in the country, an estimated $8.8 Billion is proceeds from Colombia’s illegal drug trade.
In 2012, federal security officials seized $128 Million worth of black market products, less than 10 percent of the total illicit trade.
In an example of how the money is laundered, authorities stated that one way is through fake gold sales. Colombia produces 15 tons of gold each year, but the amount of gold that is exported from the country is reported to be 70 tons. The bulk of the higher reported gold sales is believed to be fictitious sales.
Source: Helen Murphy and Nelson Bocanegra, “Money laundering distorts Colombia’s economic comeback,” Reuters, May 28, 2013.
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.
(More contract killings and hitman prices.)
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.