Today’s issue of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor has a Q&A on the Air France bust and drug trafficking in Venezuela with Nicholas Watson, Julia Buxton and myself.

Watson suggests that anti-drug operations in Venezuela have progressively declined since Venezuela stopped collaborating with the US Drug Enforcement Agency in 2005 and says the involvement of the armed forces is extensive. Julia Buxton argues that increased drug trafficking in Venezuela is a side-effect of US counter-narcotic strategies which has displaced routes through Central America and Mexico, towards Venezuela. She argues that Venezuela has been proactive, arresting 100 top drug traffickers since 2006.

In my comments I suggested that there is no evidence that tolerance for drug trafficking is official policy, but that politicization of public administration has allowed corruption of all kinds, including participation in illicit markets, to thrive.