Drug Cartels, Shows and Policy

A summer ago my family and I had our eyes glued to the TV every Monday-Friday night at 9 p.m.  We watched as El Senor de los Cielos directed his drug cartel.

You can say watching narco dramas are a recurring family activity.

Pablo Escobar also became a familiar character in our home two summers ago. The opening credits begin with “Whoever does not know history is condemned to repeat it.”

Now I’m watching Netflix’s Narcos, another show about Pablo Escobar told from the perspective of a DEA agent

Am I obsessed with drug lords?

No. But, I am fascinated by the history around them. I’m interested in learning about the steps that were taken to try and curb the booming drug trade. The drug war years in Colombia and Mexico have had huge social and political ramifications.

Judges, policemen and everyday citizens have been either the targets of violence or caught in the crossfire.

But the drug production didn’t just affect Latin American countries back in the 80s and 90s.

The US was also feeling its effects.

Before the boom in the 80s, the US focused mainly on curbing demand for drugs like marijuana. There was more focus on drug rehabilitation and law enforcement.

But Regan turned that around later and focused more at getting at the supply of drugs.

I’ll be looking at those policies next week and the effects they’ve had on Latin American countries.






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