Drugcartels which are criminal organizations that supply drug traffickingoperations are many in South America.
Latin Americas geographic zone is key fordrug production and trafficking. Countries such as Colombia, Bolivia and Peruare the world’s main cocaine producers. Cartels such as the Santa Cruz cartelin Bolivia have been extremely involved in the cocaine production that madeBolivia one of the main producers. Mexico and the Caribbean cartels areprincipal members for the transportation of drugs into United States andEurope. One the most famous drug cartelsknown throughout the world in the past is the Medellin cartel which was foundedin Medellin, Columbia by Pablo Escobar in 1976.
The cartel operated throughout1970s to 1980s in Latin America, United States, Canada and Europe. The Medellincartel smuggled tons of cocaine weekly into different countries all over theworld making $60-$100 Million daily as profit. It supplied at least 96% of theunited states cocaine market and 90% of the global. The Sinaloa Cartel isanother international Drug Cartel, it was established in 1989 in Mexico and isstill operating currently it is headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The drugcartels in Latin America that are major are the Mexican and Colombian cartelsthat make a total of $18 to $39bn in drug missions per year. The Mexican cartelcurrently is the largest and greatest crime organization threat to the UnitedStates. The drug cartels themselves have different levels within the structureof the organization, consisting of falcons, hitmen, lieutenants and drug lords.The United States and the Latin America drug control have been trying toabolish the drug cartels in Latin America.
The U.S congress supported andfunded the Central American Regional Security Initiative with $800 million. The U.S has also been funding Plan Colombiawhich aims to eliminate illegal production in the country, the Guatemalanauthorities worked with the United Sates to interfere on the South Americancocaine routes used by the drug cartels which use Guatemala as a location. SomeLatin American and Caribbean countries have been involved with drug cartels andthe illegal drug trade, the president of Panama Manuel Noriega was a long-termdrug trafficker, the drugs brought some governments some power for instance inBolivia. Drug cartels often have issues with rival drug cartels either in thesame country or other cartels abroad. The Sinaloa cartel which is the most powerfulcartel currently is facing intense competition with its former armed wing theJalisco New Generation cartel. The Jalisco cartel was founded in 2010 but thenexpanded rapidly and aggressively across Mexico and is going against theSinaloa cartel.
Even though the members of the drug cartels are local citizensthemselves other citizens that are not involved in the cartels but have goodconnections and relations feel more protected by the cartels rather than thestate. Drug cartels threaten the rule of law by offering an organizedalternative to the states monopoly on the use of force to govern people, thecartels use their power in playing roles states should be playing. The drugcartel members also find ways to have protection from corrupt government officialsand some militia who get bribed by the money the cartel members offer them inexchange to protection and a helping hand in their drug trafficking missions.The United nation does have a branch for drugs and crime known as the UNODC whichpassed several resolutions regarding drugs. The issue of drug cartels in LatinAmerica is large and possible solutions and improvements about this issue couldbe found hopefully during this conference.