West Africa, the EU's Mexico: Extraditions and Drug Trafficking Prosecutions in the EU Could Be the Answer

19 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013

See all articles by Melanie Reid

Melanie Reid

Lincoln Memorial University - Duncan School of Law

Date Written: July 2012


The rise in drug trafficking and the growth of organized crime in Africa has become an increasing national security threat for the European Union [EU]. South American drug trafficking networks have integrated with African and European buyers and distributors, and these organized criminal groups are exploiting governmental weakness, ill-equipped law enforcement agencies, and corruption prevalent in many African nations. Africa is a strategic geographic location to be used as a transit base and storage location for various drugs destined for European markets. The question is what strategies the EU should utilize in order to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug, chemical, money laundering, and narco-terrorism organizations in West Africa. This Article argues that West Africa has become Europe’s “Mexico,” and that the EU should consider prosecuting and requesting the extraditions of top organized crime leaders in West Africa to stem the flow of drug trafficking. Extradition is a powerful tool which can strike fear in drug traffickers who typically believe they are immune from the long arm of the law. The United States has had various successes combating the drug war in Mexico through the Merida Initiative, providing training and equipment to Mexican law enforcement and prosecutors, and through requests for extraditions and eventual prosecutions of Mexican cartel leaders in the United States. The EU should consider utilizing some of the tools the United States uses successfully in a number of its international narcotics trafficking cases.

Keywords: European Union, extradition, narcotics, West Africa

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Reid, Melanie, West Africa, the EU's Mexico: Extraditions and Drug Trafficking Prosecutions in the EU Could Be the Answer (July 2012). Columbia Journal of European Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292025

Melanie Reid (Contact Author)

Lincoln Memorial University - Duncan School of Law ( email )

601 West Summit Hill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37902
United States

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