Title

The Evolution of Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Latin America

Date of Publication

2013 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Transnational Organized Crime

Keywords

srhreports, transnationalorganizedcrime, drug trafficking, organized crime, Latin America, drug consumption, globalization, drug smuggling, organized criminal groups, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, drug trafficking organizations

Description

"What are the major trends that have characterized the evolution of illicit drug trafficking and organized crime (organized criminal networks) in the Americas over the last quarter of a century? Which have been the principal transformations or adaptations — economic, political and organizational — that have taken place within the region’s vast illegal drug economy during first decade of the twenty first century? This essay identifies eight key trends or patterns that typify the ongoing transformation of the drug trade and the organized criminal groups it has spawned as of mid-2011. They are: (1) the increasing globalization of drug consumption; (2) the limited or “partial victories” and unintended consequences of the US-led “War on Drugs”, especially in the Andes; (3) the proliferation of areas of drug cultivation and of drug smuggling routes throughout the hemisphere (so-called “balloon effects”); (4) the dispersion and fragmentation of organized criminal groups or networks within countries and across sub-regions (“cockroach effects”); (5) the failure of political reform and state-building efforts (deinstitutionalization effects); (6) the inadequacies or failures of US domestic drug and crime control policies (demand control failures); (7) the ineffectiveness of regional and international drug control policies (regulatory failures); (8) the growth in support for harm reduction, decriminalization and legalization policy alternatives (legalization debate). "

Comments

Description quoted from report introduction

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

The Evolution of Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Latin America

"What are the major trends that have characterized the evolution of illicit drug trafficking and organized crime (organized criminal networks) in the Americas over the last quarter of a century? Which have been the principal transformations or adaptations — economic, political and organizational — that have taken place within the region’s vast illegal drug economy during first decade of the twenty first century? This essay identifies eight key trends or patterns that typify the ongoing transformation of the drug trade and the organized criminal groups it has spawned as of mid-2011. They are: (1) the increasing globalization of drug consumption; (2) the limited or “partial victories” and unintended consequences of the US-led “War on Drugs”, especially in the Andes; (3) the proliferation of areas of drug cultivation and of drug smuggling routes throughout the hemisphere (so-called “balloon effects”); (4) the dispersion and fragmentation of organized criminal groups or networks within countries and across sub-regions (“cockroach effects”); (5) the failure of political reform and state-building efforts (deinstitutionalization effects); (6) the inadequacies or failures of US domestic drug and crime control policies (demand control failures); (7) the ineffectiveness of regional and international drug control policies (regulatory failures); (8) the growth in support for harm reduction, decriminalization and legalization policy alternatives (legalization debate). "