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Official: Drug trafficking up in the Caribbean

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June 26, 2013 09:39 PM EST | AP


MEXICO CITY — U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield says the amount of illegal drugs entering the United States from the Caribbean has risen, a sign drug cartels are looking for new routes as Mexico and Central American boost anti-drug enforcement.

Brownfield says that last year about 9 percent of all illicit drugs that entered the United States came from the Caribbean, compared to about 4 or 5 percent in 2011.

He says authorities should focus on promoting development in the Caribbean because logic suggests drug cartels will return to trafficking routes used during the 1980s and 1990s.

Brownfield spoke Wednesday, the same day the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released its annual report saying there are indications cocaine trafficking has increased in the Western Hemisphere's Atlantic Ocean.