Scientific data, research, and evidence drive U.S. drug policy. Accordingly, ONDCP is constantly working with other Federal agencies and other partners to obtain as much data and information as possible to form a more complete picture of illegal drug trafficking, production, and use trends in the United States and throughout the world. The surreptitious nature of the drug trade means that the information we have is often fragmentary and incomplete, leaving gaps that we continue to work to fill. Nonetheless, over the past year, we have worked with the intelligence community to compile a picture of the latest cocaine trafficking trends based on the data we have available. The most recent report—Cocaine Smuggling in 2010—is now available online.
Here are some key findings from the report:
- Diminished availability of cocaine in the United States, which began in 2007, continued through 2010. Decreased availability was evidenced by diminished use, higher prices, lower purity, and lower seizure amounts when compared to 2006.
- The amount of cocaine departing South America decreased for the third straight year. This decline also correlates to reduced potential cocaine production in Colombia. In 2010, for the first time in the last decade, most of the cocaine seized in South America was seized in countries other than Colombia.
- Approximately 95 percent of all cocaine detected moving toward the United States transited the Mexico-Central America region, while the remaining 5 percent moved through the Caribbean region.
- Available information suggests that some Bolivian and Peruvian cocaine is consumed in South America, but most is destined for Europe. Bolivian cocaine moves into or through Brazil, and to a lesser extent Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador, for onward shipment to Europe. Although estimates of European cocaine consumption remained relatively stable from 2009 to 2010, both the increase in Bolivian and Peruvian cocaine production and the increase in related port seizures indicate expanded transatlantic flow via commercial maritime container.
- Spain continues to be the primary entry point for cocaine smuggled into Europe, as indicated by the high percentage of European Arrival Zone seizures in that country.