DRUG WAR IN WEST AFRICA

Over the past few years, West Africa has become a transit region for drugs, especially cocaine, which is shipped from producer regions in Latin America through countries like Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal and Cape Verde and onto the main consumer market in Europe. We follow the routes taken by the international drugs trade.

In West Africa, authorities are fighting what appears to be a hopeless battle against drug cartels. Cessna planes from South America carrying tonnes of cocaine continue to land there at regular intervals. In the capital city of Guinea-Bissau, criminal gangs have seized power and now occupy key positions. High-ranking officials, government members and military figures are all involved in international drug smuggling. The cartels are also targeting more stable countries like Cape Verde and Senegal. Approximately 30 tonnes of cocaine are smuggled annually through the Cape Verde islands. In the port and airport of Dakar, huge quantities of drugs are confiscated every day. The narcotics unit of the Senegalese police force has only 75 employees and not a single sniffer dog at its disposal. In all of these countries, drug use has risen dramatically. Increasing corruption and an alarming erosion of state power are destabilising the entire West African region. Interviews with investigators and politicians, users and drug bosses tell the shocking story: in countries like Guinea-Bissau and Mali armed conflicts over drug profits have been ongoing for years, not unlike the situation in Mexico.

Genre Current affairs
Length 52' HD
Film by António Cascais
Production Edgar Wolf Film for ZDF/ARTE
Original Title Im Visier der Kartelle – Drogenkrieg in Westafrika / Drogue: La nouvelle guerre des cartels
Year 2015

web 1_Antidrogen-Polizeieinheit in Dakar; konfisziertes Kokain web 5_Die Inselwelt vor Bissau; ein Paradies für die internationale Drogenmafia
web 7_Kapverdische Küstenwacht; eine Routine-Patrouille web 4_Chico Barros, kapverdischer Staatsbürger in Guinea Bissau; die US-Behörden halten ihn für einen der mächtigsten Drogenbarone weltweit

Over the past few years, West Africa has become a transit region for drugs. This film traces international drug trade routes and examines the social and political consequences of this drug business.
In West Africa, authorities are fighting what appears to be a hopeless battle against drug cartels. Cessna planes from South America carrying tonnes of cocaine continue to land there at regular intervals. In the capital city of Guinea-Bissau, criminal gangs have seized power and now occupy key positions. High-ranking officials, government members and military figures are all involved in international drug smuggling. The cartels are also targeting more stable countries like Cape Verde and Senegal. Approximately 30 tonnes of cocaine are smuggled annually through the Cape Verde islands. In the port and airport of Dakar, huge quantities of drugs are confiscated every day. The narcotics unit of the Senegalese police force has only 75 employees and not a single sniffer dog at its disposal. In all of these countries, drug use has risen dramatically. Increasing corruption and an alarming erosion of state power are destabilising the entire West African region. Interviews with investigators and politicians, users and drug bosses tell the shocking story: in countries like Guinea-Bissau and Mali armed conflicts over drug profits have been ongoing for years, not unlike the situation in Mexico.

Current affairs
Length 52’ HD
Film by Antonio Cascais
Production Edgar Wolf Film for ZDF/ARTE, 2015
Original Title Im Visier der Kartelle – Drogenkrieg in Westafrika / Drogue : La nouvelle guerre des cartels