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The drug trade in Latin America solely surrounds itself in the production of Cocaine and Marijuana. Production of these drugs are in area of Columbia, Peru and Bolivia, which is the only source region for coca (cocaine). To get these narcotics to places such as the United States, the pathway would be through Mexico and Central America. The limitations set now by the Mexican government makes it much harder to supply these drugs. However, the cartel is forced to operate through Guatemala and Honduras as an alternative. Going back much further to the 1980s and some part of the 1990s the pathways set to smuggle drugs was the Caribbean into Florida.
The cartels in Latin America and the friends they have in politics as well as business, have overextended their networks all around the globe. Majority of these cartels are deeply rooted within their own communities. They blend in with the civilians making it hard for the government to fish them out. They also bribe governments to protect their assets and use it as a means to control them. Take Columbian cartels for example, when the US created a program called “Plan Columbia” with military and economic aid its main focus was to reduce drug related violence and crackdown on the cocaine producing country. Though it was successful with controlling the areas in which coca grows, Columbia still remains a major factor in the production of cocaine. According to the reading, “Alternative development efforts for coca farmers or populations vulnerable to coca cultivation are improving lives of those whom they are available, but they reach only a small percentage of the population in need. (Brown-Felbab)” And still Colombia remains the world’s largest cocaine supplier signifying 90% of the whole. What’s happening now is the big cartels have disbanded and now the ring has been taken over by mini cartels.
From some research I’ve gathered, a lot of what is allowed when it comes to the flow and distribution of illegal drugs has to do with the governments within the US and outside being involved and present. They turn a “blind eye” and permit many of these illicit drugs come in to the country. I am not condemning these entities as a whole but, some people within these organizations definitely have a hand in being a part of the growing drug ring. Gregg Webb a journalist from the 1980s spoke on the corruption in the government and its involvement in the flow of drugs to the country. He was ultimately fired because of this but, it shows how that the government is willing to go through great lengths to cover up what is deemed as a criminal act. That’s exactly what it is, a criminal act. His (Gregg Webb) findings were investigated and proved accurate however, nothing has been done about it.
The profit in the drug trade for illicit drug dealers is the black market. The black market is the biggest earner from Narcotics. Estimated about $100 billion per year. A lot of people pump massive amounts of resources into these criminal empires. The war on drugs hasn’t changed the percentage of individuals still consuming illicit drugs. These narcotics are still in demand. It’s at the point where people are no longer interested in the usual meth or cocaine but, marijuana has found to be more preferred. People are also starting to lace marijuana with other narcotics to get an even stronger high. Many people still believe that cannabis is less harmful than that of cocaine, meth and even alcohol. Hence the reason for the drug policy reform. The drug trade seems to be the only market that is so innovative because it’s fast changing. Sadly, I don’t see this particular market dying at any point in the near nor distance future.

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