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Saturday, October 06, 2007

We cannot verify this source as reliable. It claimes to be based on channel four news somewhere, but his post hit the web on 5 October, 2007. I corraborates earlier reports about Ginnea Bissau, and gives specific locations.

-Shimron

Friday 5 October 2007, 7.35pmColombian drugs traffickers have taken advantage of one of the world's poorest countries and turned it into the main transit point for hundreds of tons of cocaine smuggled into Europe every year.
article continues below...

Unreported World reports from Guinea Bissau in West Africa, and reveals the astonishing extent to which Colombian drugs traffickers have taken advantage of one of the world's poorest countries and turned it into the main transit point for hundreds of tons of cocaine smuggled into Europe every year.

With chronic poverty, rampant corruption and almost no police or customs, the Colombians have virtually "bought" the country, flooding it with drugs money and creating Africa's first "narco-state".Reporter Kate Seelye and Producer Edward Watts begin their journey in the country's run-down capital, Bissau.

  • Traveling at night and trying to avoid the ubiquitous armed security guards, the team is shown several mansions owned by Colombian drug dealers who are using Guinea Bissau as a warehouse - storing the drugs until they are distributed to various destinations in Europe.
  • Much of the cocaine is flown into the Bijagos islands - just off the coast - and the team travel to one island in particular, Bubaque, which has an old, Portuguese-built airfield which they've been told regularly receives flights from Colombia carrying massive amounts of cocaine.
  • The last journalist who tried to film the airfield was arrested and beaten, so Seelye and Watts have to stay undercover, posing as game fishers.
  • They find the runway, which is several kilometers long.
  • One local tells them that many villagers are involved in the operations, helping to unload the drugs to earn money.
  • He also claims that the police are protecting the operation and that government officials often turn up to collect crates of cocaine.
  • Back in Bissau, the team meets a local human rights activist in hiding after he received death threats when he accused the authorities of cooperating with the traffickers.
  • Mario claims that he has information proving that the authorities are cooperating with the traffickers and tells Seelye that for foreigners to come in with hundreds of kilos of cocaine, buy large mansions and move freely around the city they must be receiving some kind of official protection.
  • To check out his claims, the team makes contact with someone inside the secret services. He tells Unreported World that because of the poverty of the country, everyone is involved in drug trafficking - from businessmen through to government ministers, the military and the police.
  • He says that with so much money at stake, different branches of the military are likely to fight over the spoils...and an already failed state could fracture even further.
  • The team arranges an interview with Prime Minister Martinho Ndafa Cabi - who tells them that fighting drugs is a priority, but that as a fragile country with no resources, it needs help from the international community to fight this growing problem.
  • However, Unreported World shows that while the anti-drugs chief struggles to work without any usable vehicles, many government officials are traveling around in the latest Mercedes limousines.
  • As the team leaves West Africa, it's clear that without intervention Guinea Bissau faces a future as a state effectively run by the narco-traffickers and Europe will be flooded with ever more cocaine.

The Rest @ Unreported World

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