Illegal drug trade in Colombia is the practice of producing and distributing narcotics domestically and around the world. As of 2012, Colombia was the world leading cocaine producer in the world (Neuman, 2012). Cocaine, marijuana and heroin along with other illegal drugs have become a big part of Colombians lifestyle and a major source of income for many people. Since the establishment of the War on Drugs in the late 20th century, European countries and United States have provided billions of dollars, logistics and military aid to the Colombia government to combat the illegal drug trade (Lilley, 2006). As of 1999, Plan Colombia has been one of the biggest movements towards Colombia’s biggest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The movement was implemented as Colombia supplies 80% of cocaine to American citizens (Vellinga, 2000). The US Drug Enforcement Administration estimated that Colombia’s annual profit ranges between $5-7 billion from drugs smuggled into the United States.
This paper will take an inside look into Colombia’s third largest city; Santiago de Cali in the department of Valle del Cauca, home of the Cali Cartel, to see how the production of illegal drugs affects the economy and whether Colombia is benefiting from the illegal activities. First we will focus on a general background of illegal drugs in Colombia then narrow down to see how the Cali Cartel greatly affected economy in Colombia. Employment, Money laundering and land ownership will play major roles in establishing the current situation in Colombia and whether or not illegal drugs are beneficial to the economy in Cali and Colombia entirely. Finally the paper will have my opinion on whether or not the illegal drug trafficking is benefiting or setting-back the economy in Colombia.
Information for this paper has been taken from books located in the University of Ottawa’s library, as well as online journal articles that have been peer-reviewed from the University’s online library. There has been information gathered from numerous websites, which will be listed in the referencing page of the paper. These will be useful to have various opinions about how the drugs affect the economy in Colombia. Newspaper articles will also be vital, however some of these articles have been translated to English from Spanish and some information could have been lost while being translated so I have looked at these thoroughly and will determine the necessity of them as the paper progresses.
The Cali Cartel was at one time the world’s largest supplier of cocaine and was based in Colombia’s third largest city, Cali, and was estimated, by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, they generate $5-7 billion annually. In the 1970’s the Cali Cartel was small and was experimenting with marijuana while making small profits in the domestic market (Esguerra, 1997). Within a short period of time, the Cali Cartel went on to...