The new threat of narcotics

Having barely recovered from decades of civil war, West Africa is under a new threat from cocaine smuggling.

Guinea-Bissau has become the focus for an international network of cocaine smugglers, exacerbating the fragile political situation in the country. Earlier this year, the president and the army chief were brutally murdered in a double assassination in March. The trade in narcotics is fuelling gun crime and violence, creating a culture of fear in the country. International law enforcement officials suspect that the profits from the narcotic trade fuel terrorist activities worldwide.

However, it is not just political upheaval that is at stake, but the lives of ordinary citizens. As drug-fuelled prostitution spreads throughout slum areas in the cities, the AIDS epidemic is growing fast in a country with limited healthcare. Moreover young people are increasingly drawn into violent crime, attracted by the lucrative drug trade.

The cost of cocaine smuggling has catastrophic consequences for society, and the situation in Guinea-Bissau should set off alarm bells for the international community.

Incredible black and white photos of the situation in Guinea-Bissau here.

Published in: on October 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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