Pablo Escobar Gaviria the Lord of the Drugs Thesis

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Pablo Escobar and the War on Drugs

It has often been a centerpiece of conservative American governance to attempt at making inroads to beating substance abuse. Its approach, however, is one that has rarely acted in direct response to the symptoms of addiction, social penetration of drug use or the demand for pragmatism in a heavily nuanced debate. Instead, drug policy as law is typically pursued in this country with an impetus that is somewhat incongruous to the actual nature of the problem. In seeming contrast to everything that clinical science has illustrated to be true about the formation, sustenance and diminishment of chemical dependency or recreational drug use, the United States' more right-leaning leaders have made the nation an international bastion for militant and draconian policies in combating import, trade and use of illegal drugs. This is an effort which has taken place under the umbrella term, the War on Drugs. Since its inception during the Nixon presidency in 1971, this war has been a jewel in the crown of many Republican Administrations as well as a fulcrum which had drawn massive criticism from civil libertarians.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Thesis on Pablo Escobar Gaviria the Lord of the Drugs Assignment

However, the War on Drugs has been remarkable not for any detectable success which it might report in stifling the global drug trade but instead for actually helping to create some of the most monstrous deformities of the drug trade. Particular among them, the United States may be credited for helping to militarize the state of Colombia, which it perceived as one of the root locales in the production and sale of cocaine and marijuana. In doing so, it also helped to provide with motive, impetus and support structure the notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar. Though killed in a shootout with Colombian police officers in 1993, Escobar's name remains synonymous today with the extreme lavishness, excess, violence and ruthlessness of the global drug business. As the report here notes, the extreme nature of his character is something of a microcosm of the extremes in the drug war. The militarization perpetrated first by the United States and its allies in the Colombian government would help to up the ante and the stakes of the conflict. Here from, the specter of Pablo Escobar would arise.

Escobar would be forged in the fires that were meant to burn him, with the inception of unique structure ambitions necessitated by the accelerated pressure on his business upon Nixon's aggressive intervention. (Eldredge, 12) With a sense of their own vulnerability now evident by the unwelcome foreign intervention "Escobar and other traffickers formed the Medellin Cartel in the mid-1970s and turned it into a multinational industry. It grew to embrace thousands of Andean peasants who cultivated the coca leaf in Peru and Bolivia, smugglers who brought coca paste to Colombia for refining and shipped it out as white powder and distributors who spread it to dealers in the United States, Europe and Japan." (Boudreaux, 1) and without question, there would be an inexorable rise in both Escobar's notoriety and success, and in the intensity of the War on Drugs.

During the Reagan Administration, the text by Eldredge (1998) notes, the government tied its military intensification in Latin America to the obtuse public information campaign revolving upon the phrase 'Just Say No.' Here, by failing to create an open dialogue on both recreational and addictive drug use, and instead offering an image of the drug user as a marginalized subset, the War on Drugs had become misdirected from an institutional perspective. Eldredge observes that this contributed to a larger proclivity by the federal government to cast illegal drug use as something which only exists as a destructive and dangerous force. The public information campaigns, however, are central to inciting popular support for programs which utilize harsh penal codes in response to drug abuse and trafficking. Every year, Eldredge indicates, literally billions of taxpayer dollars are spent in an effort to stop the entrance of drugs at all of our borders, to undertake the demolition of growing operations and trade rings and to employ the judicial resources necessary to contend with the presence of drugs in cities, communities and neighborhood. And far worse than simply being an initiative which has diverted many important and needed resources to an undeserving front, the War on Drugs has claimed far more lives than it has saved. Eldredge points out the troubling fact that the respondent military operations in South America, the Border and Coast Guard Patrol efforts and internal law enforcement busts have taken more lives in a hail of bullets than have all of the illegal drugs utilized in that time. Worse still, all of these efforts fall well short of preventing anything more than a quarter of all drugs from entering the United States and its towns and schools.

This cycle would serve to elevate Escobar during the 1980s as a formidable businessmen and an uncommon arbiter of brutality. The extent of his wealth, strictly on the basis of his oversight of Colombia's cocaine trafficking, was only matched by the extremity of his violence, which is somewhat legendary. According to Pearce (2006), Escobar had essentially recognized the hypocrisy in America's intervention, arguing through his action that capitalism would prevail where drugs were concerned. This perspective might well have been borne out in the result of his ideology. And as the United States employed violent and destructive tactics which cost lives and property to the Colombians, a resentment formed which would help to bring greater public support to Escobar in many contexts than would be afforded to America's military special operatives who began to inhabit the country against the will of its citizenry.

The support which Escobar garnered would reach its greatest pitch in the early 1980s, and particularly in 1982, when the known drug lord and murderer was elected to a public office. His economic savvy in an industry of great importance to many Colombians would win him a seat on the nation's Chamber of Commerce. (Pearce, 4) and more than the support that it would demonstrate had been engendered by resentment against the Americans, it would suggest that many of the public voters and officials who helped to place Escobar in this position would themselves be intimately engaged in the drug trade in some regard. Indeed, this helps to highlight one of the most significant logical fallacies for the United States and one of the forces which brought Escobar such great power. The sheer economic permeation of cocaine and its trade through the state and populace of Colombia would invoke a core interest impact too many sectors of the public to undermine.

And of course, Escobar's singular economic status would help to reinforce this point. For a time, "Pablo Escobar was arguably the richest and most violent criminal in history. Forbes Magazine in 1989 listed him as the seventh-richest man in the world." (Pearce, 1) From atop this perch, he was able to purchase the protection of his own police force and militia, and to employ bribery and brutality to take possession of Colombia's legal and judicial system.

Ultimately, he proved capable of sustaining a greater stranglehold on power than either his government or that of the United States. This is perhaps a perspective endorsed by the extreme tactics which Escobar succeeded in implementing. According to a text by Grant (2001) on Escobar's life and legacy, he "was a drug emperor of such unquenchable savagery that sometimes it all palls, the statistics and paragraphs of brutality that come and go like the stuff of snorted dreams: 30 judges killed, 457 policemen, 20 murders a day for two months." (Grant, 1) for these rough approximations, Escobar is a legendary villain, acting with a temperament and impunity that might well have been molded by the chaotic tenor of the broader drug war.

With the United States essentially removing from Colombia any balance with respect to the provocation of violence -- using its military presence to immediately render drug-trafficking an offense with a potential capital punishment -- Escobar would become a looming figure indicative of the outsized violence here accorded.

Indeed, the continued health of the cocaine industry in Colombia and the continued failures of the War on Drugs are collectively illustrative of a point made by many observers with a keen understanding of the cycle now in motion her and throughout Latin America. Namely, Escobar would only be demonstrative of what is possible in the War on Drugs, with many of his practices have since become normalized. To this extent, "observers here regard Escobar largely as a symbol of Colombia's inability to stem the spiral of drug-related violence. Journalist Antonio Caballero wrote in a column in the magazine Semana before Escobar died that even if the police managed to put an end to his activities, nothing would change. 'The assassinations, the bribes, the violence and the corruption will continue, because the business (drug trafficking) will continue,' he said." (Ambrus, 1)

This has proven both prophetic and insightful with respect to the drug war's relative… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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