Cocaine In Colombia

2372 Words 10 Pages
The strong presence of cocaine in Colombia dates back to the 1970s when participants in the industry started seeing the potentially enormous profits to be made with the drug. Within the next couple of years, the trafficking of the drug became highly profitable and was predominantly controlled by the Cartels. These cartel leaders, and other groups that profited from the cocaine industry like the Revolution Armed Forces of Colombia – Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionnarias de Colombia (FARC), were able to infiltrate many sectors of the country, economically, socially and politically, by buying power and leverage across the Andean country.
The first origins of cocaine in Colombia date back to the 1950s when the drug was being produced in small amounts,
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Many politicians worked for the cartels solely for the financial incentives, and many generous donations were made to political parties that were well-suited to help the cartel’s goals; such donations were usually the main contributions to the party to insure the cartels got what they needed. The Medellin and Cali cartels had different approaches when it came to their involvement in the political sector. The Medellin cartel had more of a direct involvement with the government to the point where “Pablo Escobar was elected to the Colombian House of Representatives as an alternate” in 1982 (Filiponne, 1994). However, Escobar’s spotlight caused a lot of attention and problems and he was forced to end his career in politics after the opponent he defeated accused him of being “one of Colombia’s top drug lords” on ABC television the following year (Filippone, 1994). The Cali cartel had a more discrete approach to the political scene and used their drug money to buy influence with certain politicians, including President Ernesto Samper. After Escobar withdrew himself from the political scene, his cartel stuck with paying off politicians and judges, more specifically criminal court judges. Every judge that was involved in a case regarding the cartel was given an option (by the cartel), plomo or plata (lead of silver), death if convicted, …show more content…
The cartel leaders took advantage of the ever growing and prosperous industry and used their profits to buy power across Colombia which influenced important decisions around the country. The industry engulfed the whole country and “[i]n no other country has the illegal industry had such dramatic social, political and economic effects” (Thoumi, 2002). The Colombian government at the time was unable to adapt to all these changes and rendered them paralyzed in calling their own shots for the country; constant violence and treats from the cartels limited their power, as well as the continuing battle with the FARC. Today, with a declining cocaine industry and the weakening presence of cartels, Colombia has been able to overcome most of the turmoil it was facing politically and socially, and has miraculously managed to almost achieve a peace deal with the FARC, and is on its way to bringing back a true democracy to its

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