Research Paper: War on Drugs

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[. . .] As the power of the Colombian economy grew as a result of trading cocaine, the influence was not only experienced in the country's political system, but was also institutionalized virtually into the very system. Many poor people were enriching themselves by indulging in the cocaine business. A good example is Escobar, who was a dealer for cars which had been stolen. Once he got to know about the cocaine business, he was given responsibility to substitute marijuana with cocaine to the market. He later made contacts with influential cartels both in Peru and Bolivia and due to the expansion of the business; he became one of the most known successful cartels in the sector. Different meetings were arranged and organized with intentions of discussing how to produce and distribute drugs as well as coordinating transportation of the drugs through precise export routes (Villar & Cottle, p. 46).

CIA in Crystal Triangle

According to one of their former agents, Mr. Parker, operatives from the CIA organized two meetings with drug dealers of Colombia. The first was in 1981 and this was attended by over two hundred dealers. The other meeting was held in December of the very year, with intentions of forming cartels. Every member paid $35,000, which was to guarantee security during their operations. The cartels meet regularly, aimed at centralizing the trade of cocaine in Colombia and ensuring Bolivia and Peru are neutralized as they were the main rivals.

The cartel formed in 1981 December, known as the Medellin cartel, maneuvered many drug dealings, denying competitors a chance. They eliminated middle men from other regions and adopted their own, leading to increased profit margins and lower risks due to integration of CIA officials. Regardless of the increased cartel growth which the United States had involved in, most of the raw materials still originated from Bolivia, forcing that Colombia had to work as per the crystal triangle in fear of depletion of raw materials in Colombia. The CIA, who was aware of the flights bringing in drugs to United States, could do little, due to the collaborations they held with the cartels. This made trafficking of cocaine and other drugs easier for the Colombians, who exported the drugs that were distributed in U.S. through Bolivians and some Colombians (Villar & Cottle, p. 49).

According to reliable sources, cocaine trade had saved Colombia from a series of poor economic crisis that had hit the entire continent, characterized by the hyper inflation rates and high devaluation possibilities. The balance of payments of Colombia hardly collapsed due to the trading of drugs. This trade has affected the country politically and economically, even socially. The other parts of the crystal triangle such as Bolivia and Peru were also affected in equal measure. The market was easily introduced in the United States following cartels and other collaborations.

Imperialism and the cocaine trade

The duty of Imperialism (United States) in the black market came about as a result of efforts by U.S. To secure economic and political positions globally. As the cocaine decade came to a halt, a common scandal known as Iran-Contra was a revelation that the United States were involved in drug trafficking. This started in the Reagan era until the time of Bush. CIA was also involves, as already suggested by the preceding paragraph. It is imperialism that brought about organized crimes and money-laundering expeditions under orders from above, that is government officials and CIA officials. Groups in Colombia could freely exploit the United States in terms of availability of middlemen, the safe warehouses to transact in and the safest airways to traffic the drugs through.

As the drug trafficking in Colombia increased, it opened ways for regimes that aimed at extending the markets in the United States. Examples included the Bolivia's narco-militarists, the Honduran military, Argentina's military junta and many others. This ignited stronger involvement of the United States in the business, when they sent their police together with Colombian police to Tranquilandia, which was believed to be a complex that was of large capacity containing laboratories that processed cocaine. There was an assumption that the complex was used by the common FARC guerillas to store weaponry and uniform. Reports involving the fight against terror and drug trafficking failed to reveal that the United States was involved, both directly and indirectly, in the drug business (Villar & Cottle, p. 53).

Colombian business benefiting the U.S. economy

Specifically during the cocaine decade, drug trade in Colombia emerged to be a source to the capital of the United States leading to high profitability for banks which were initiated to invest and launder money from drugs into U.S Corporations that were acting legitimately and were legally registered. As the United States continued to convince its citizens that they were against drug smuggling to their country and terrorism by Colombia, the fact remained that the United States imperialism was in collaboration with Colombian to ensure continued production of cocaine, whose marketing was to flourish as far as Western Europe and United States.

Effects of drug trafficking on Colombia's economy

The cocaine decade led to Colombia's construction of strong political and economical strengths. The trade revolutionalized the country's stability and self-dependency abilities. As a result, the country took advantage and invested greatly in their paramilitary and army forces. This lessened their struggles as measures where developed that ensured coca was cultivated in large scale, cocaine was produced in large amounts, marketed and distributed to different regions, just to secure opportunities for making extraordinary profits. Traffickers of drugs and militia who were paramilitary were absorbed into the political and financial institutions that were operated legally (Villar & Cottle, p.55).

Money laundering was the main reason why Colombia and the United States got along. It was the narco-connection between the two countries. Laundering happens when illegal organizations and personal criminals disguise their acquired proceeds and invest in financial and commercial opportunities which are legally run. This happens both in the developing and developed countries. However, for Colombia's case, the country not only indulged in money laundering activities but also drug trafficking related operations. Some of these operations were done so secretly, raising different opinions concerning cocaine processing and trafficking. Some argued that cocaine was not the source of Colombia, and that it was not important as perceived. Others thought that the United States government officials and CIA agents did not take part in drug trafficking and that cocaine trade existed because of corrupt individuals and not any legal institutions or bodies. Only those who understood the relationship between the United States and Colombia could comfortably unravel the mentioned myths (Villar & Cottle, p.56).

As a matter of fact, it is evident that the drug cartels in Colombia came to be respected and were influential even to the leaders of the country. The ruling class was subdued by the individuals that led different drug cartels. The Medellin cartel, for instance, waged battle against any individuals or organizations that were reluctant to make deals with them. They were either murdered or blackmailed by the cartel. Rivalry enterprises had to face unintentional or compulsory liquidation, hence running for refuge to the United States who was a collaborator. The United States retaliated by declaring war on drugs targeting Escobar Pablo. According to the UN Drug Control Program, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Burma are the leading cocaine and heroin trade states. All of this militaries were trained by the United States, in efforts to reduce drug trade (Villar & Cottle, p.58).

Colombian's Perception on 'war on drugs'

Despite the United States trying to extradite influential drug traffickers and trying them in the United States, were they believe victims would face more severe and tougher sentences, the countries involved such as Colombia and Mexico, consider extradition to be imperialism. They also think that these steps shows excessive affront of sovereignty. Their perception is that the production of illicit drugs is income generating for many poor citizens who are farmers. Their opinion remains to be that the trading of drugs is vital and fundamental given they source income for survival through trafficking of drugs.

Steps by the United States to extradite drug dealers have been conflicted strongly, propelling violence and aggressive protests. This has been noted in many countries including Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and many others. For instance, when drug dealer Matta Ramon was extradited people went on the streets staging anti-American protest in Tegucigalpa. Different drug traffickers have also gone to the extents of intimidating their governments such as the Medellin Cartel did by paying guerillas to counter government powers. The group went beyond boundaries when they held hostage justices of the Supreme Court of Colombia and destroyed evidence that was to be used in extradition trials (Chepesiuk, p.72).

This resistance from the drug cartels prompted the Colombian government to wilt and change their position regarding extradition in the last decade. In 1997, the government restored the processes of extradition, but it was not retroactively applied. Many traffickers… [END OF PREVIEW]

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