The drug trade has so effectively penetrated state institutions that even the top echelons of the police force and the military have been linked to cartels
Maria Useche, Javier San Vicente and Nathalie Mercier
The Independent Voices
If you need insight into the alarming levels of social and political violence and the degradation of Latin America’s already fragile democracies in recent decades, you should pay attention to the dramatic increase of cocaine and marijuana trafficking.
Since the promotion of the so-called “war on drugs” by the United States during the 1970s, crime related to drug trafficking has increased, becoming one of the key problems faced by the region. Some 50 years later, it’s worth questioning what it has meant for the countries in which narcotics are produced and trafficked.
It’s all too clear that the drug war has not managed to stop the flow of illegal substances to consumers. In the case of the coca plant, government policies have barely managed to reduce areas of land in which the crop is cultivated, and technological advances have enabled a greater level of production per hectare.
On the other hand, drug use has not visibly reduced; in many countries in which drugs are produced and trafficked, consumption rates have actually increased.
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