Drug Control:

U.S. Counterdrug Activities in Central America

T-NSIAD-94-251: Published: Aug 2, 1994. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 1994.

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GAO discussed its review of drug trafficking in Central America, focusing on: (1) U.S. efforts to curb the flow of cocaine into the United States and the obstacles to those efforts; and (2) Central American countries' capabilities to interdict cocaine shipments and their dependence on U.S. assistance. GAO noted that: (1) Central America continues to be a major cocaine transshipment point despite U.S. interdiction efforts; (2) obstacles to U.S. interdiction efforts involve national sovereignty and jurisdictional issues; (3) drug traffickers have shifted their operations more to sea and land routes to evade U.S. air interdiction efforts; (4) sea and land shipments are harder to detect and intercept; (5) Central American countries do not have the resources or institutional capacity to counter the new trafficking modes and are heavily dependent on U.S. assistance; (6) federal funding for U.S. interdiction efforts is declining; and (7) U.S. agencies are supporting small-scale projects in the transshipment countries, but the countries' limited capabilities and the shift in U.S. policy to intercept drugs in South American countries could hinder the projects' success.

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