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Drug Trafficking, Consequences, And Accountability Essay

1703 words - 7 pages

The illegal drug trafficking found throughout Latin America is not an issue that can be solved by either a government or an individual alone. Unfortunately, it is also an issue that requires more than one solution in order to solve the problem. Each Latin American state is unique, as are the various citizens who inhabit them. As drug trafficking is a transnational force, Latin American governments often find themselves not only at odds with one another, but with larger political and economic powers such as the United States (U.S.). In addition, how many of these states have decided to address the illegal drug trafficking business, often through the use of armed force, have put them at odds with their respective citizens. Despite the continued efforts of Latin American governments and individuals to stem drug trafficking, this illegal business has produced catastrophic political consequences weakening the relationship between the state and civil society.
There are many variables associated with drug trafficking, among them are violence, accountability, rights of citizenship, and the basic principle of supply and demand. At its most basic core, the illegal drug trafficking industry interferes with the goals of the nation at multiple levels of the institution. These levels are the state, regime, and government. The state is the mechanism that ensures the continuation of the regime. It establishes economic, political, and social boundaries that see to representation of citizens, public good provisions, and internal and external security. The regime is the national constitution that sets the rules for leadership selection and the distribution of power; efficiently, the regime sets the boundaries for government. Finally, a nation’s policies and political leaders make up the level labeled as government. When a nation encounters drug trafficking and proves unable to eliminate it, all three levels spiral into disarray and many questions begin to arise. Citizens may begin to question who controls the monopoly of force, who is extracting revenues (taxes), and have resources been diverted from public goods in an effort to improve security. Ultimately, when a Latin American nation proves unsuccessful in eliminating the illegal drug trafficking industry, it calls into question who and what bears political and social responsibility for this industry.
Accountability for the illegal drug trafficking industry neither falls solely upon the back of a Latin American government nor upon its citizens. Like the multiple levels of the institution found in nations, accountability can be divided into three tiers: vertical, horizontal, and social. With concerns to drug trafficking, vertical and social accountability best reflect who and what bears political and social responsibility for the violence associated with the illegal drug trafficking business. Both the state and portions of the populace interact with this industry on a daily basis. In the favelas (illegal...

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