Rotterdam mayor visits Colombia to discuss fight against cocaine trafficking
Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb traveled to Colombia on Saturday with Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever to meet representatives of the Colombian government, secret service, port workers, mayors and the local population. They will discuss how to tackle cocaine trafficking from Colombia to Europe.
Drugs often enter Europe through Rotterdam or Antwerp. Last year, custom official confiscated 70.5 tons of cocaine in Rotterdam, 30 tons more than in 2020. Belgian customs officials discovered 89.5 tons of cocaine last year.
"The ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are just one part of the cocaine trafficking chain," Aboutaleb said. "From poor coca farmers to users who look away from the world behind the line. We will work together with Colombia to put a stop to drug crime."
The mayors hope to combat the drug trade by collaborating with Colombian authorities and improving coordination with other EU countries. "The consequences of the cocaine trade and use affect all of Europe. It is precisely the lack of coordination and direction that makes Europe attractive for drug criminals," Aboutaleb said.
The mayors said they want an EU umbrella agency to combat drugs.