Newsbrief: Brazil Set to Become World's Biggest Cocaine Consumer 11/29/02

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Brazil's infatuation with cocaine has that country poised to displace the United States as the world's largest cocaine consuming county, according to a leading Brazilian drug researcher. "We are moving at such velocity that we are not yet, but will shortly be the leading global consumer of cocaine," University of Belem sociologist Argemiro Procopio told the Jornal do Brasil on Saturday.

Brazil is consuming 40 to 50 tons of cocaine annually, according to the US State Department, second only to the US.

Procopio, who has penned four books on Brazil's drug trade, pointed to various factors contributing to the growth in cocaine consumption in the country, including the strength of the drug traffickers, who effectively control many of the favelas (squatter communities with millions of inhabitants) of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo and are sometimes referred to as the "parallel power" ( "It is the impunity [enjoyed by the traffickers] and the low price," said Procopio, "because today a rock of crack costs the same as a bottle of pop. It's within the reach of anyone."

The various drug trafficking organizations, known locally as "commands," market crack aggressively. In late 2001, one group marketed its rocks under the "Osama bin Laden" brand name. But, said Procopio, groups such as the urban commands and one of their most notorious leaders, the imprisoned Fernandinho Beira-Mar (Seaside Freddy), represent only the "stereotypical" face of Brazilian drug trafficking. "Beira-Mar is not the responsible one, nor is the drug traffic controlled from inside any prison," he said. "It is directed from comfortable, air-conditioned offices by people far from any suspicion. If we took the image of a military hierarchy, Beira-Mar would barely be a captain. The structure here is like that of the Russian mafias. There is not one, not two or three mafias, but a grand number, something like two or three thousand groups," said Procopio. "Organized crime in Brazil is decentralized."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #265, 11/29/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: Going Out of Business | Pressure on Prisons: State Budget Crises Begin to Hit Home, Moves Afoot in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia to Set Some Free | Weitzel Acquitted in Utah Pain Treatment Manslaughter Case Retrial | The Horrors of War: Forgetting the Occupation Through Obliteration | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Plan Colombia Foe Wins Ecuador Presidency -- Legalization Talk Among Gutierrez Supporters | Newsbrief: Brazil Set to Become World's Biggest Cocaine Consumer | Newsbrief: Colombian Leader Wants Drug Tests for Americans, Europeans, and Revival of Drug Plane Shootdown Program 265/sweetruling Newsbrief: A Sweet Decision -- Federal Judge Tells New York Cops to Quit Hassling Needle Exchange Participants | Newsbrief: DEA to Double Ecstasy Investigations | Newsbrief: ACLU to Hire Bob Barr as Privacy Issues Consultant | Correction/Retraction: NORML Did Help the Marijuana Reform Party | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]