Securing the Pacific through International Cooperation
By Geraldine Cook July 03, 2013
Flying in a Colombian Pacific Naval Force helicopter over the thickly vegetated Bay of Málaga makes it clear why drug traffickers use this area as a transit point. This bay, near the midpoint between Colombia’s southern and northern borders, is a labyrinth of islands, inlets and shallow groves ideal for concealing fast boats or semisubmersibles. Southern Colombia also provides the most fertile and remote areas for growing coca and processing it in well-camouflaged jungle laboratories. Waterways like this along 870 miles of Pacific coastline mark the beginning of the sea journey of illegal drug shipments bound for Central America, Mexico and, eventually, the United States.