More Uruguay News
Authorities in Uruguay are facing mounting public pressure to pursue hardline security strategies to combat a perceived rise in gang-related violence, but caving to these demands could hamper long-term efforts that have made the country one of the safest in Latin America.
A new report studying marijuana legalization in Uruguay suggests that the industry has a sustainable future despite some expected struggles, and could offer some important lessons for other Latin American governments that may also look to drug legalization as part of progressive drug policies.
An Italian crime boss and one of Italy's most wanted criminals has been arrested in Uruguay after decades on the run, highlighting another case in which an international criminal has sought refuge in the country.
Uruguay's biggest bank is shuttering accounts linked to pharmacies that are legally selling marijuana due to concerns about running afoul of US laws regulating financial institutions, presenting a potentially significant obstacle to the advancement of Uruguay's historic marijuana legalization experiment.
Authorities in Uruguay have announced that funds seized from drug traffickers will be used to finance resources for people with drug addictions, exemplifying one way of using these assets to target core drivers of crime and insecurity.
In our July 20 Facebook Live session, Senior Editor Mike LaSusa and Geoff Ramsey, a research and communications associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), discussed Uruguay's experience establishing a legal and regulated marijuana market, as well as the implications of this for organized crime and future discussions about drug policy.
Beginning on July 19, Uruguay's citizens will be able to legally purchase marijuana from pharmacies, a milestone in the process of establishing a legal market for the drug and a valuable experiment for the region, despite setbacks and potential shortcomings.
A media report blames lack of government control for Uruguay's extensive illegal currency exchange operations along the border with Brazil, but the country's reliance on a vast informal economy is the root cause.
A slew of recent reports indicates Brazil's PCC is stepping up its criminal activities in countries throughout South America, which one expert says is a clear sign that the fearsome prison gang is looking to become the region's most powerful drug trafficking organization.