War on Drugs in Columbia Research Paper

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War on Drugs

Following the Colombia's history, there has been a sequence of violence and conflicts perpetuated by class warfare ever since the Spanish era during land allocation and slavery in the country. The focus of this article will be to satisfactorily analyze the situation facing the Columbia, considering the efforts United States has been undergoing to militarize and centralize conflicts related to class. The States has been working ever since the era of J.F. Kennedy to try and take charge of the Columbian citizens and eradicate the drug related transactions. The United Sates, through their intelligence unit CIA, have been involved in many missions trying to get to the drug cartels in Columbia and have in circumstances succeeded. One of the New York Times magazines in 1997 had the story confirming that the CIA approved shipment of a ton of cocaine which was pure, to the Miami International Airport with intentions of gathering information concerning Columbian drug cartels. After the investigative processes, it was later reported in the wall Street Journal that a famous smuggler, General Guillen, had done the business for long, and had smuggled drugs amounting to over twenty two tons (Villar & Cottle, p.14).

Regardless of the scarcity of information regarding drug smuggling and the returns from the same, statisticians have been successful in the estimation of this data. The mostly traded drug in Colombia ever since the beginning in the early 1980's is cocaine. By 1987, for instance, Kalmanovitz estimated the value of drug exports from Colombia reached over five billion U.S. dollars as the annual income. This clearly explains the estimated amounts of drugs that were in circulation. In fact, others were of the view that this estimates were much more underestimated, and that the U.S. agencies doing the studies were relying on estimations, which were hardly true/confirmed.

Money from drugs earns entry to Colombian economy

It is ironical that as the United States tried to suppress and eradicate drug trafficking in Colombia, large amounts of the money was entering the country's economy according to economic statistics. This could be made possible in different ways and most of this economic resources from drug trafficking are registered in the country's balance of payment. This is because of the fact that laundering illegal dollars can, by manmade inflictions, either deflate or inflate the earnings of legal transactions outside Colombia (Bergquist & Sanchez, p.78). All the operations from the drug trafficking industry therefore affect indirectly the legal economy of Colombia. In the last decades, for instance, the capital entering the Colombian economy from drug trafficking transactions is estimated between 0.5 to 4 billions of dollars, each year (Bergquist & Sanchez, p.75).

Colombia verses the United States Imperial States

Colombia is currently seen to be the hub of American theater of war, both on issues related to drugs and terrorism. Why there is consistent drug trafficking in Colombia is still a mystery to many, and cannot be understood even in the current times. To begin with, there is a need to analyze the Crystal triangle, which was a coca growing zone covering the nodal points of Colombia, Bolivia and also Peru. The Crystal triangle notions can be phased back to the Asian Golden triangle, which involved the United States CIA unit trying to curb heroin trade in Vietnam. During and towards the end of the Vietnam War, the entire United States was completely flooded with heroin which came directly from the Southwest part of Asia. Immediately after they were defeated in the Vietnam War, this prompted the entrance of a new drug to the markets of America, cocaine. This was gotten from the coca leaf which was also known for the manufacture of crack. This led to the United States concern on 'war on drugs' (Villar & Cottle, p.18).

Ronald Reagan was in power during the conceptualization of the war on drugs situation after the Crystal Triangle managed to process cocaine for Americans especially in the United States. The victims mainly comprised of Latinos and African-Americans and within Colombia, cartels managed the shipment and supply of drugs both in its rock and powder form and United States was the destination. Investment in this business resulted to increased profitability in many sectors of Colombia's economy. Popular drug cartels were tolerated by the government then, due to their interests in the business. Within a short time, Colombia was referred to as national business elite, as it relied on its powder and wealth through trading cocaine.

The less privileged and poor of the society were the ones that grew the coca leaf. The 1980's came to be popular as the cocaine decade and this called for over-dependence and relying on the United States for support and assistance with their military. Washington later condemned guerilla armies to be narco terrorists. This further deepened and legitimized the war on drugs by the proceeding governments under Clinton and later Bush. The region of Colombia had been shattered by the long wars and the country was extremely doomed considering their economy was fuelled by illegal economies perpetuated by cocaine dealings, terror and also death squads (Villar & Cottle, p. 20).

Paradoxically, the so-called narco-imperialism was a transformation of recolonization which was phrased as narco-colonialism. Narco-colonialism was pursuing the imperial objectives, contrary to state objectives of the States, hence making Latin America more dependent on the United States. The war on drugs by the United States for the Colombians was actually controlling cocaine related transactions and trade through terror that was sponsored by the state.

Trading drugs in Colombia

Different from other drugs, specialists suggest that the conversion of coca leaves to cocaine is a lengthy process that involves specialized equipment and chemical reactions. Though Colombia's drug trafficking and trade can be linked historically to the wars experienced in the country, the country is also assisted by its economic relatives including United States, Britain and Spain, where they import their machinery from to use in processing cocaine. The external demands for drugs have kept Colombia in business for long periods of time, not forgetting they have been known to export minerals such as silver and gold. Cocaine, however, was noted to be the highest exported commodity of all times, beating all the other export commodities in terms of export sizes (Villar & Cottle, p.29).

Towards the end of Cold War, CIA and NSC officials of the United States highly protected the people against drug-trafficking promotions showing evidence of the adventures of the imperialism on the 'war on drugs' in Colombia. One of the processes of cocaine manufacturing is done in the northern parts of Colombia, and these operations are protected from the public by private paramilitaries. The manufacturing organizations/firms are concealed and their identities not revealed for security purposes. The traffickers have to pay prices demanded to the guerrillas who also levy drug taxes on the dealers. The chemicals required for processing cocaine are currently absent in Colombia, necessitating that the chemicals be transported, mainly by sea, from China, Europe, United States and Germany. The high processing expenses have lead to high cocaine prices. A gram of cocaine, as by 2010, ranged between 150 dollars to 164.91 dollars.

These drugs are transported to the United States via air departing from remote airstrips. They also export the drug by sea, especially from the northern and western Colombian coasts. Helicopters which are paramilitary forward the drugs to Antioquia where they are sorted and exported. The helicopters are reported to originate from army bases in Colombia, and the routes of transport gradually change according to issues of policy.

Failure of U.S. counterinsurgency policies

Policies adopted and implemented by the United States in the entire region of Latin America was not as effective as projected and they failed contrary to their expectations. This was due to the ever increasing numbers of guerillas in the late 1970's. However, the policies did work elsewhere, including the southern part of Argentina, and the Mexico borders to America. To counter the United State policies, Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL) used drug-traffickers and other operations to resist communism. Dictatorships and right wing groups together with other criminal sects met annually thus creating associations that were closer. This led to strong political parties that controlled drug trafficking in Colombia, supplying both Europe and United States.

In the 1980's, about eighty percent of the entire cocaine came from Bolivia, which resulted to the name general motors' of cocaine. This brought interest to Argentineans, who started to fight for seizure of Bolivia by deploying numerous army personnel for the task leading to many wars and fights where thousands lost their lives in the fights. At the same time, United States had not given up, and tension rose every time as Colombian cartels were sent to the United States for prosecution such as Escobar Pablo. Funds from the war on drugs campaigns aided Colombian military, through advancing their training, proving backup assistance and purchasing better technology and weaponry. Drug war critics however confirmed that the funds were not against the traffickers…[continue]

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