Las addiccciones de nuestro pais

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  • Publicado : 9 de enero de 2012
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A new form of slavery

The story of drugs in Colombia will always focus on the cocaine market until such time as international drug manufacturers and traffickers are finallybrought under control. But while coca leaves have been used as a mild stimulating drug for hundreds of years in Colombia, it was not coca and cocaine that first established the international drugtrade in the country. It was cannabis, known in the U.S. as marijuana.Cannabis Launches the Pattern of International Drug TraffickingColombia gained its independence from Spain in 1830, along withEcuador and Venezuela. A hundred years later, some Colombians began to cultivate cannabis on the Guajira Peninsula in the northeast portion of the country. In the 1960s and 1970s, as cannabis demandincreased, so did the cannabis production industry in Colombia. Cities such as Barranquilla and Santa Marta began to prosper as a result of the infusion of profits. While tens of thousands of people weremaking good livings with this crop, violence was not part of the picture. Not until the cocaine drug cartels arrived on the scene.In the 1970s, the international demand for cocaine also began to grow.Enterprising and ruthless individuals formed the first international drug cartels, centered, at that time, in Medellin. Using bribes, intimidation, violence and murder, they forged their traffickingchannels to South Florida. And the cocaine boom was on.Massive Growth and Massive Counter-EffortsNow, cocaine is tied into the country's economy. Farmers who see growing coca as the best way to supporttheir families plant the crop and receive incomes three times the national average. Government forces attempt to locate the fields and spray them with defoliants from the air or by hand. Farmers movetheir fields or plant in smaller, more easily concealed fields. The cycle continues, year after year.The number of hectares devoted to coca topped out in 2000 at an estimated 163,000 hectares. In the...
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