The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean
Colombia’s Defense Minister asserts that negotiations with the FARC will take place only after they FARC’s defeat: “Negociaciones de paz con las FARC se conseguirán cuando estén derrotadas”
After Fidel and Raul,
Click on map to see full view “This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR“:
This inability of the cartels to reach a state of balance is due to several factors. First is the change of products. Mexican drug cartels have long moved marijuana into the United States, but the increase in the amount of cocaine being moved through Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s changed the dynamic — cocaine is far more compact and far more lucrative than marijuana. Cocaine is also a “strategic narcotic,” one that has a transnational supply chain far longer than drugs like marijuana or methamphetamine, and that long supply chain is difficult to guard. Because of this, organizations involved in the cocaine trade tend to be more aggressive and violent than those that smuggle drugs with a shorter supply chain like marijuana and Mexican opium.
At first, Mexican cartels like the Guadalajara cartel only smuggled cocaine through their smuggling routes into the United States on behalf of the more powerful Colombian cartels, which were seeking alternate routes to replace the Caribbean smuggling routes that had been largely shut down by American air and sea interdiction efforts. Over time, however, these Mexican cartels grew richer and more powerful from the proceeds of the cocaine trade, and they began to take on an expanded role in cocaine trafficking. The efforts of the Colombian government to dismantle the large (and violent) organizations like the Medellin and Cali cartels also allowed the Mexicans to assume more control over the cocaine supply line. Today, Mexican cartels control much of the cocaine supply chain, with their influence reaching down into South America and up into the United States. This expanded control of the supply chain brought with it a larger slice of the profits for the Mexican cartels, so they have become even more rich and powerful.
Bank failures and Puerto Rico
Seeing April 11th with Fresh Eyes