Drug Abuse in the Global Village
Drug Abuse in the Americas

Arrests, Convictions and Types of Offences in Central America

The number of arrests for illicit drug traffic or possession has ioncreased from 105 persons in 1989 to 487 persons arrested in 1992 (CICAD 1993b).


In 1992, 226 persons were arrested for traffic or possession of illicit drugs (CICAD 1993b).


In 1989, 117 people were arrested for possession of cannabis. Most are males aged between 20-29. A total of 220 people were arrested for drug trafficking, mostly males over 30 years of age. A reported 182 people were arrested for cannabis traffic, 26 for cocaine, 9 for cannabis resin plants and 3 for traffic of morphine (U.N. 1989).


In 1992, a total of 409 people were arrested for traffic or possession of illicit drugs (CICAD 1993b).
            In 1988, a total of 687 people were arrested for illicit drug possession: 659 were related to cannabis possession, 14 to cannabis plant resins, 13 to cocaine and 1 to heroin. A reported 274 were convicted, 259 cases were for the possession of cannabis, 14 for the possession of cannabis plant resins and 1 for heroin possession (U.N. 1990).

            It was reported that 57 people were detained for cocaine traffic and one for the traffic of heroin. A total of 122 people were convicted for illicit traffic of cannabis (64), cocaine (57) and heroin (1) (U.N. 1988).

            Most of the 396 people convicted were male, over 25 years of age and unemployed (U.N. 1988).


The number of people arrested for traffic or possession of illicit drugs has increased from 10,993 in 1991, to 27,389 in 1992 (CICAD 1993).
            In the first half of 1990, 10,045 people were detained for the possession of drugs, 114 of which were foreigners, while 6,770 people were charged of whom 114 were foreigners. A reported total of 4,062 were actually taken to court. From 1988 to 1990, 23,054 people were arrested and 13,528 were charged and brought to court. Between 1982 and 1988, 69,629 people were arrested for the possession or abuse of drugs (mainly cannabis though occasionally cocaine and opiates) (CP 1991; Integral Program 1991).

            According to a longitudinal study in Mexico City, 8.74 per cent (or 4,729) of minors arrested were for drug related offenses. Drug related arrests are the third most prevalent cause for the arrests of minors (U.N. 1991).

            The office of the Assistant Attorney General arrested 6,700 people involved in federal crimes in 1990 for such offenses as illegal possession of firearms, stealing, generic or banking trickery, bribery, misuse of authority, embezzlement, tax evasion, violations to the General Population Law and violations to royalties (Integral Program 1991).



In 1992, 657 people were arrested for traffic or possession of illicit drugs (CICAD 1993b).