Cocaine Industry: Description of the Structure and Economics of the Andean

The Andean cocaine industry has been one of the recent targets of America’s War on Drugs, since the 1990s. As Lowry (2001) notes, ;Between 1995 and 2000, the amount of land in Bolivia with coca cultivated on it declined from almost 50,000 hectares to fewer than 20,000.In Peru, the same period, land under cultivation for coca declined from 115,000 hectares to roughly 30,000;.However, despite these strides forward, the production in Columbia doubled during this time, keeping the production ofthe coca crop the same as it had before the efforts in Bolivia and Peru.
The structure of the industry is made up of powerful drug cartels.These cartels control the cocaine route from its beginnings in the coca fields to more than five thousand miles away where it ends up in American cities.There are millions of workers that are involved in the production and shipment of the cocaine.And, eventually it finds its way to even more users in America.Although most of the workers from fields to street sales will never see one another, they are all an integral part of the process (;Crack and cocaine, n.d.).
Although all nations that are involved in the cocaine trade system repudiate the drug, it still flourishes.The industry is equally as strong, despite efforts to stop it.;The success of this multinational illicit partnership in spite of Herculean efforts over three decades to destroy it is a complex story; (;Crack and cocaine, n.d.).
The Medellin and Cali cartels were two of the largest, best organized, drug cartels in the Andean cocaine industry.The Medellin Cartel originated in the city of Medellin, Colombia, by Pablo Escobar. At its peak, the Medellin Cartel is rumored to have brought in as much as $60 million per month, and was worth an estimated $28 billion in total. (;Medellin;, 2007).The Cali Cartel was also a Columbian cartel.This one was founded by the Rodriguez Oreiue…

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