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Unstable Colombia; The Drug Cartels


            The United States is trying to combat the problem of illicit drugs for a long time. Various states are supplying and trafficking different kinds of drugs. In Colombia, the war between the government and narcotics traffickers is going on against the practices of distributing and the production of illicit drugs. The drug-related criminal organisations like Medellin Cartel are frequently cooperating with other guerrilla groups for the protection of illegal drugs. The production, distribution and the expansion of narcotics from Colombia are negatively influencing the regional partners that are associated with its geostrategic and geopolitical location. It also impacts on the distortions of Colombian markets, vanishing social and human capital, and significant loss to the government and people of Colombia.


Located in the South America Colombia is the centre of the illicit drug trade. It is producing around the eighty percent of the cocaine that supplies to the different states of the world. The country of Colombia is bordered by the Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela. The state of Brazil is also linked with Colombia. Both the Pacific and the Caribbean oceans are accessible and attached with Colombia. The geostrategic and the geopolitical location of the country opened the ways for the drug traffickers in 1970. The state was an excellent transhipment location for the drug suppliers and firms. The organisations move their cocaine by using the air, land and the sea routes of the country.

Colombia has the fifth largest economy in Latin America. It became the internationalised production sector by the speedy growth. The states are enjoying the successful democratic setup. However, after 1990 the image of the sate became change with the label of drug trafficking and criminal state. The bad reputation of Colombia was because of the excess supply of the illegal drugs. People and the government became impaired due to the weak economy and the control of the government in curbing the menace of drug cartels. It led to the increasing corruption and violence in the allocation of the funds for the public. The rates of homicides with the production of drugs has also destructed the lives of the ordinary Colombian population.

After many years the drug traffickers of the Colombian state have had the advantage of the favourable climate that provides them to produce more and more drugs. The firms and the groups have created large-scale coca through the local cultivation (Arias, 2017). The efforts from the US to eliminate the drugs failed in the Peru and Bolivia which provided the central role to Colombia in producing and cultivating the coca. The country is building twice cocaine in contrast with its competitors. The majority of the Colombian cocaine is growing in the south-western and the Amazon basin region. The producer of the cocaine pushed by the American aerial fumigation towards the north and the eastern part. The planting was picked in the northern areas like Arauca, and the Antioquia.

The industry of cocaine establishes through the production, trafficking and the cultivation of the cocaine. It remains as one of the significant business industry. There are around three million people are associated with the business and generating the three billion dollar revenue for the country (Arias, 2017). The revenue estimated as the three percent of the overall GDP of Colombia. However, the nature and the function of the illicit drug business has changed in recent years. The two firms that are associated with the business industry of drugs are Medellin and the Cali cartels which are influencing the lives of people. Both have complete control over the business of cocaine and illicit drug in the international market. The death of the Pablo Escobar in the year of 1993 along with the arrest of the Rodrigues brother lead to the collapse of the cartels. The drug trafficking business owner has adopted new conditions for the promotion of their business.

The stakeholders that were involved in the drug business became disintegrated and formed alliances with the small decentralise group. The independent operators have taken over the responsibility of the risk of spreading and expanding the activity of the drugs in different regions. The arm groups in the different parts of Colombia became involved in the trade of drugs along with the decentralised groups. Their strategy includes the exacting of tax on those shipments that move from their territories (Bedoya, 2017). They also hire individuals from outside of the cartel for the protection of smugglers and became directly involved in the trafficking of the drugs.

Currently, the group that are serving for the control and trafficking of drugs are dispersed in the small cells. By implying the variety of methods, they smuggle the cocaine to the United States. The land routes are used for the trade through Mexico to reach the US markets. The traffickers in Colombia also uses the sea routes through the Caribbean to move drugs for the European and eastern coastal region. There are around four percent people that consume the cocaine in their life. Among those half of the drugs came from Colombia. During the recent year around seventeen million people have used illicit drugs. The pure cocaine was around eight hundred tons. Similarly, the value of the illegal drug used by people in last year was twenty billion dollars.

Fig1.1 Routes for the Suppliers of Drug Cartels

The states that included in the growing consumption and demand of the cocaine are Europe, South America, United States, and Brazil. Colombia is one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the multiple states of the world. Peru and Bolivia come next in the line of suppliers (Bergman, 2018). These countries have the frequent consumption of the coca, a substance used for cocaine. In Colombia, coca is grown in those parts of the states where state authorities have the lack of control. The land in the Colombian countries is available for any illegal activity. The farmers have the 2 lac hectares area for the production of the cocaine.

Fig 1.2 Departure Points for Drug Traffickers

The calculations of the United Nations reveals that in 2016 one million families in Colombian state live off the coca. By selling the coca, families have the income of twelve hundred dollars in a month. The revenue depends on the region and the rate of the particular buyer.  In the United States, cocaine gets into the streets and drastically impacting the life of average man. In the same way, one-kilo cocaine will generate revenue of sixty thousand for the individual having the business of cocaine. The authorities are trying to combat the disease of illicit drugs. In the last year, Colombia has the production of cocaine up to nine hundred tons.

The defence ministry of Colombia has revealed that they destroy fifty thousand hectares in the year of 2016. However, authorities have the view that in the coming years it will be increased. The Colombian state lacks the program for the effective substitution of the large crop as their farmer are consistently cultivating the plants, despite the fact that the current harvest is destroyed by the authorities (Caicedo, 2015). Converting of the coca leaves into the coca is primarily done by the farmers, the drug traffickers have the lesser role in exercising the practice of conversion. 125-kilo leaves are required for the making of one-kilo cocaine. The local drug trafficking clans have control over the drug labs that are run by the farmers. It includes the international organisations, units of guerrillas and those that traffic cocaine to the southern cone, Europe, and the US.

A meagre amount of the cocaine is supplied through the airports. Most of the trafficking was done by using the routes of Colombian two coastlines and the border of the state. Trucks and the cars are used for the transportation through land while boats are frequently implied for the sea routes. The rivers and the dense jungles provide corridors for unhindered trafficking. By intimidating the locals and bribing the officials the traffickers clear the roads and the shipment which otherwise might be exposed. The drugs when reach at the Caribbean and the Pacific coastlines of Colombia are loaded into the ships for transportation to the hubs in the Caribbean and Central America.

The groups like the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel supervise the sailing of the drugs to the United States and other regions (Ceron, 2018). In other cases like the port cities, the crime gangs in collaboration with the port authorities load drugs in the containers. They also have the links and cooperation of international trafficking cartels. Recent years have seen development in the transportation of cocaine, like Venezuela who became the transit hub for the business. There are the number of airstrips that are implied for the transferring of cocaine to Central America. It also includes the other regions like Caribbean islands, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Dominion Republic.

The proximity of Panama towards Colombia is providing a significant place for the criminal groups of Colombia (Estrada, 2016). According to the coastal authorities and the officials the Mexican are supervising and training the local criminals for the drug trafficking. There is also lack of beach which could stop the movement of the smugglers. In the recent years, the US department has listed the Guatemala which provides the smugglers with a reliance on the routes of other border regions. In the same way, the Medellin Cartel was one of the dangerous firms that have its origin the Colombian city. The organisation operated in the decade of nineteen seventy to eighties. Colombia, Peru, United States, Europe, and Canada were the many regions for its trafficking and the criminal movements.

The firm of Medellin cartel was founded by the Ochoa Vazquez brothers along with the Pablo Escobar. Under the drug trafficking eradication operation of the United States in cooperation with the Cali carter have killed many members of the organization. During the increase operations of the firm the owner smuggled tons of the cocaine in different countries. The daily profit of the organization was around one hundred million. At a time the corporation of the criminals associated with the Medellin had supplied ninety percent cocaine to the global market along with the United States (Gaviria, 2017). The group was put under the task force on questionable activities by the state government for surveillance.

The total business and the revenue of the Medellin cartel was around ten billions of dollars. It influences the people and government. Many criminal groups were running the market at that time. They are Europeans, white Americans, and the Canadian which gathered to transport the shipments of cocaine to Europe, Canada and the US region (Mejía, 2016). Among the members of the groups, the EL Tomotes was part and working for the Escobar. The man was held responsible for the bombing, assassinations and the killing many people. He was considered as the individuals on the mission for the revenge of his leader. There was increase participant from Colombian state, and few were from the United States that run the business of illicit drug trafficking. The number of attaching groups were encountered and taken down by the federal agents and the informers.

The La Oficina de Envigado is considered as the partner and successor of the criminal organization of Medellin cartel. The group has served as an enforcement wing of the Medellin Organization. After the fall out of Don Berna along with Escobar, the rivals of the Escobar have ousted the Escobar. The criminal trafficking group has links with the groups in UK, Mexico, and the United States. It also has the association with self-styled forces of Colombia that are operating for the illicit drugs movements in various regions of the world (Natarajan, 2015). The narcoterrorist and the drug lord of Colombia Pablo Escobar was well known internationally regarding his activities in supplying the cocaine drugs.

With the increasing demand for better cocaine started working with the Roberto Suarez. He provided the help in the expansion of the products in other regions like Asia, Europe, and America. During the height of power, the Escobar brought around seventy million from the business of the cocaine. By smuggling, fifteen tons cocaine per day was worth more than the half billion dollars in the US. The Medellin cartel has control eighty percent of the market related to the business of cocaine. Escobar was the hero to many, and at the same time, he was enemy of the Colombian the US governments.

Escobar was considered that he backed the attack on the supreme court of Colombia. As with the conventional threat for the extradition of the cocaine smugglers by the Colombian the US government he was part of the Los Extraditables. The cause of the attack was the studying of the constitutional status of the Colombian extradition with the US (Niño 2015). The siege of the Supreme Court building was due to the retaliation of criminals against any strict or prolong punishment. The controversial position of the constitution leads them to kill the half of the judges of the Supreme Court. Escobar surrendered to the government on successful negotiation and pressure of the public. He was provided all the facilities in prison. However, as the news circulated of his criminal activities, he was sent to current jail.

Fear of the death and the hard punishment lead the Escobar to escape from the jail. There was the number of attempts by the US joint forces to locate the Escobar, but they were failed, and rest of his life passes in evading the police. The cocaine smugglers are operating all over the world, and certain steps are there to curb the cancer form further expansion. Despite the leading producer of the cocaine, the Colombian government has gradually diminished the drugs that are produced by the farmers (Otis, 2014). In the year of two thousand ten, the state reduces the production of cocaine by the sixty percent; it was relatively in the peak in two thousand one. Similarly, according to the news of Bloomberg during the last decade, Colombia is the most significant producer of cocaine, and the US is the most significant consumer of the illicit drugs.

The drug cartels influence and destroy the environment and the other related sectors. The education, economy and the health are the most affected areas by the cocaine and drugs cartels. The cartels of the drugs profoundly damage the economic, political and the social life of Colombians. The daily activities of the Medellin which is the hub of cocaine industry profoundly affect marginalise and mainstream citizens. By clearing the field for the cultivation of cocaine plants the environment of Colombia is continuously damaging. Soil erosion and the chemical pollution are severely affecting the Colombia (Tickner, 2017). Certain plants provide the prostitutes to sustain with their employees. There are very few advantages of drug cartels that offer jobs to most needy individuals and the contribution in enhancing Colombian GDP. Overall observation of the drug cartels in Colombia contributing to the destruction of lives of the nation along with the people of UK, USA, Peru, Venezuela and other associated regions of Colombia.


Concluding the discussion, the business of the drug cartels are highly influent over the lives of Colombians. The geostrategic and geopolitical location of Colombia provides drug traffickers like Medellin and Escobar to destroy the lives of neighbouring nations of their region. However, the war between the Colombian governments with the drug cartels is continued. The state authorities are hopeful for the long-term success against the suppliers of illicit drugs through the effective and combat strategies. The authorities realise that unstable Colombia will negatively influence its people and other states of the world.


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