Colombia Drug Trafficking

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Pages: 5

In the 1970’s and 80’s, the country that distributed the most cocaine (the drug of choice at the time) was Colombia. One reason for Colombia’s success in drug trafficking was its location. Being located directly between two of the countries that grew the most cocaine, Peru and Bolivia, was a great asset. Along with the prime location, Colombia had Pablo Escobar, a leader of the Medellín cartel, the largest cartel at the time. In his prime Escobar controlled eighty percent of the cocaine that was exported from Colombia. From the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s the Medellín cartel had enormous and complex impacts on Colombia’s government, economy and social systems. Before the height of the Medellín Cartel, Medellín was already an …show more content…
During this year liberal and conservative leaders met to create the National Front and they agreed to alternate presidents for the next 16 years. This agreement ended up helping strengthen a centralized government and lowered violent crime rates. However, in rural areas this new system started a rebellion and the violence continued. Peasants in rural areas began creating insurgent groups to fight back against the government. The first and most influential guerilla group was FARC-EP, which stood for Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo. At the same time other rebel groups were forming, and although they were not causing a lot of harm in big cities, the rural violence continued. The National Front, which had been created to find an agreement between the liberal and conservative parties, was doing a very poor job of setting up programs and helping the lower classes. This world of violence, disagreement and warfare is the world Pablo Escobar was born into. Being born as a peasant only made things worse because the government did not take care of the peasants …show more content…
An example of this is that Escobar and his brother would walk four hours every day to get to school. This tenacity and grit, the feeling of being unstoppable, served Escobar well later in his life as he built his empire.
As children they had to put up with incredibly horrendous violence from the mobs and rebel groups. Many people think that Escobar and the drug trade are what brought violence to Colombia, but as Roberto states “the killing in Colombia had started long before my brother. Colombia has always been a country of violence. It was part of our heritage.”
Escobar’s parents did their best to stay out of politics and the violence that went with it at that time, however, they ended up suffering the consequences nevertheless. They had no political views but lived in a liberal village and were sometimes targeted by conservative groups. One specifically horrible night, a group of guerilla soldiers, called chusmeros, raided their village. The whole family was extremely frightened, but when the men came to their door they were unable to knock it down. This was a blessing in disguise because instead of entering the house and murdering the family, they poured gasoline around the outside and lit it on fire,