Anti-drug method: In Ecuador they mix seized cocaine with cement to prevent its reuse

Ecuadorian authorities have begun using a method called encapsulation by which they mix cocaine powder with cement. to manufacture concrete blocks and thus avoid their recovery and reuse and quickly destroy this illegal substance.

Cocaine hydrochloride is ground into a powder, mixed with cement, salt, and chemical accelerators to form a slurry that is then poured into molds. After drying, it hardens completely. in such a way that it is impossible to extract the cocaine.

The Undersecretary for Drug Control of the Ministry of the Interior, Edmundo Mera, has explained the method in an interview with the InSight Crime portal and has highlighted that from the beginning of the year and until October 14, 2022, Ecuador had destroyed almost 180 tons of drugs in total, and 61 percent were destroyed using the encapsulation technique.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recommends encapsulation as a viable way to dispose of drugs and toxic materials used in drug processingBut Ecuador is the first country to destroy cocaine on such a large scale using this method, a UNODC synthetic drugs expert, Martin Raithelhuber, told InSight Crime.

It is also a fast and very necessary method in Ecuador, where only in ports seizures have increased by 42 percent in 2022. Encapsulation allows the destruction of up to 1,500 kilos of drugs per hour, while incineration is limited to 70 kilos per hour.

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