Recently, a Brazilian drug smuggler was killed by his own product when he was crushed to death by the 1,100 pounds of marijuana he was carrying in his own car. The smuggler, who police have not yet identified, was crushed by the massive weight of the marijuana he was carrying when he smashed into a tree after being pursued in a police chase. Police apparently had asked the man to pull over at a roadblock, then pursued him for three miles after he failed to comply. The man had apparently been traveling from the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, to Sao Paulo, one of the country’s biggest cities. The car and the drugs remain in custody of the Bataguasso police.
Drug Trade in Brazil
Brazil, like much of South America, is among the world’s most affected countries in terms of drug trafficking both inside and outside of the country. In addition to illicit marijuana trade, the country has seen a growing amount of cocaine smuggled into its borders. Many drugs are smuggled into the country by small planes on secret missions, but perhaps an even larger amount of drugs are brought in via boat along the Brazil/Bolivia border, which is very long - 2,126 miles and thus very difficult to monitor. The fact that Brazil is bordered by water makes it very difficult to spot drug traffickers, because so many boats travel the waterways, and the boats carrying drugs are very difficult to spot. Further, Brazil is dotted with a number of ports, which makes it easy for traffickers to quickly enter via an alternative port if they suspect they may have issues with entry at the port they originally planned on entering.
Addiction Feeding Drug Trade and Vice Versa
The drug trade in Brazil is flourishing, not only because the country borders not one but three drug producing countries (Columbia and Peru also border Brazil), but also because the country has the second biggest cocaine problem in the world. An estimated 1.5 million Brazilian people are addicted to cocaine. It is not surprising that the numbers of cocaine addicts are rising. Cocaine has long been identified as a highly addictive substance, and recent studies suggest that a user may become addicted to it after using the drug just once. This lethal combination of being highly addictive and readily available has spelled trouble for many living in the region.
The steady rise in addicts has meant profit for distributors and traffickers. As people become addicted, they create a demand that drug lords are happy to provide a supply for. There seems to be plenty of opportunity for those in the illicit drug trade to profit off of the millions of addicts living in Brazil. This means that curbing this growing problem requires a task force set to thwart cartels directly, and a major attempt to help people addicted to cocaine recover from their addictions. It seems that as addicts and frequent users become fewer and fewer, drug trade and its related violence may decrease.
Mato Grosso One of Many Bizarre Incidents
The death of the drug smuggler in Mato Grosso may be unusual because it represents an instance wherein a trafficker or person involved with drug transportation has inflicted death or harm to himself rather than another individual. One reason that Brazilian officials are working diligently to stop the efforts of cartel is that along with the drug trade comes many instances of gruesome and bizarre violence. It is not uncommon for members of rival cartels to engage in territory or turf wars, which often involve visible homicides.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.