Colombia Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Colombia’s black market. Intelligence data and other security information collected from government agencies, news reports and other public information sources.

Between January and August of 2011, at least 38 oil field workers have been kidnapped in Colombia as the country increases its oil production.

Workers from around the world have been victims of kidnapping in Colombia. Reported kidnapping invovled workers from Colombian controlled company Ecopetrol, United States company Occidental Petroleum, and China based Emerald Energy.

Source: Chris Kraul, “Colombia sees surge in violent crime against oil workers,” Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2011.

Officials in Peru estimated that up to 330 tons of cocaine was produced in the country in 2010. An estimated 350 tons of cocaine was produced in Colombia in 2010.

(Cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source: “Peru suspends coca eradication programme,” Al Jazeera, August 18, 2011.

In 2010, the criminal justice system in Colombia handled 282 cases of kidnapping. In the first half of 2011, there was an increase of 30 percent in the number of kidnapping within the country.

Back in the year 2000, there were over 3,500 kidnapping cases reported in Colombia.

Source: Jeremy McDermott, “Kidnapping on the Rise in Colombia; Rebels Target Oil Workers,” Insight, August 5, 2011.

An estimated 35,000 children are forced into the prostitution industry in Colombia each year.

Source: AFP, “Prostitutes in Colombia unite against child abuse,” Times of India, June 27, 2011.

One-quarter of all cocaine that is produced in Colombia and Peru is smuggled through Ecuador to reach the United States.

The amount of cocaine that travels through Ecuador is estimated to be 200 tons.

(Additional cocaine facts and information.)

Source: Chris Kraul, “Drug trafficking on the rise through Ecuador,” Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2011.

Revenue from marijuana sales provides 90 percent of the budget for the sixth front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

(Latest marijuana facts.)

Source: AFP, “GM marijuana problem growing in Colombia,” Google News, June 24, 2011.

The United States reported that 300 metric tons of cocaine was potentially produced in Colombia in 2010, down from the 700 metric tons that was produced in 2001, a drop of 57 percent.

In terms of battling cocaine production in the country, authorities fumigated 101,00 hectares of coca and manually eradicated 44,775 hectares of coca in 2010.

(All cocaine facts and statistics.)

Source: AFP, “Colombia halves cocaine production capacity: US,” Google News, June 16, 2011.

A gas smuggler in Venezuela can earn at 4,000 percent profit on a single trip when smuggling subsidized petrol from Venezuela over the border into Colombia.

A gas smuggler can buy 50 liters of gasoline for $1 in Venezuela and sell it for $40 across the border in Colombia.

Source: Girish Gupta, “World’s lowest gas prices fuel Andean smuggling,” Reuters Africa, June 10, 2011.

According to US Military Officials, a drug smuggling submarine built in the jungles of Colombia or Ecuador costs $3 to $4 Million to build. The submarine can then transport between $70 to $80 Million worth of drugs in a single voyage.

Source: Anna Mulrine, “Pentagon: Central America ‘deadliest’ non-war zone in the world,” Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 2011.

The black market in heroin in the United States uses up to 5 percent of the world’s total illicit opium supply, with most of it being trafficked from Mexico and Colombia.

Source: Jonathan P. Caulkins, Jonathan D. Kulick, and Mark A.R. Kleiman, “Think Again: The Afghan Drug Trade,” Foreign Policy, April 1, 2011.