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Italy strengthens global ties to combat drug trafficking

The government has introduced a national plan to prevent opioid misuse, focusing particularly on substances like fentanyl. It enhanced the collaboration closely with countries in Latin America to develop shared strategies. Today's annual report to Parliament highlights Italy's proactive approach and its commitment to addressing this global issue, including participation in the US-led Global coalition on synthetic drugs

The war on drugs continues. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the Italian government has placed strong emphasis on combating drug addiction and enhancing international cooperation to tackle drug trafficking.

  • In March, it introduced a national prevention plan to address the misuse of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Although Italy is not currently facing an emergency, the government aims to proactively prevent potential crises.
  • Today, the annual report to Parliament highlights the crucial role of enhanced international cooperation in tackling drug trafficking.
  • As a central focus of Italy’s G7 presidency agenda, combating fentanyl has become a priority. Italy joined the US-led Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats in July.

Strengthening alliances. At a press conference today, Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral agreements and promoting effective exchanges between police forces and judicial authorities, particularly with countries in Latin America.

  • According to Mantovano, some South American nations are interested in learning from Italy’s effective institutions and methods for combating the mafia and drug trafficking.
  • He also mentioned that Italy maintains ongoing communication with countries such as Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina to develop shared strategies and provide support from experts in the police and judicial sectors. Mantovano believes that this collaboration “will only strengthen in the future.”

The Ecuadorian collaboration. In particular, the Italy-Ecuador connection has become increasingly significant recently, as Ecuador remains a major hub for international drug trafficking.

  • This rising crime epidemic has resulted in the Italian government taking substantial action to tackle the illicit trade, as reported by La Repubblica last week.
  • Latin American drug traffickers frequently team up with Italian organized crime syndicates, particularly the ‘Ndrangheta, which has prompted the two administrations to collaborate closely in addressing this growing issue. Italian judicial experts and law enforcement agencies are working alongside Ecuadorian authorities to effectively implement these strategies for fighting crime.

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