William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement, speaking at a meeting at the U.S. Southern Command headquarters:
“I admit that in the last five, six years, we’ve seen an explosion, I repeat an explosion, of illicit drug transit from Venezuela towards the outer market,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics and Security, William Brownfield.
He also said drug traffic may return to the Caribbean,
Right now less than 3 percent of cocaine and other illegal drugs is smuggled into the U.S. through ocean routes, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Traffickers most commonly bring the drugs produced in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and elsewhere north through Central America, or off its coasts, into Mexico and then over land into the U.S.
But Brownfield said the cartels are “in the process of being chased out of Mexico” and are beginning to eye Central American countries as an alternative base of operations. And that, he said, would make the Caribbean once again a more attractive option than moving drugs through South America or up the eastern Pacific coast.