The White Labyrinth: Cocaine and Political Power (Google eBook)

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1991 - Political Science - 261 pages
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Powerful forces work against efforts to control the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States from the Third World. The potential for conflict and recrimination is built into the situation. The main consumer countries are poor and predominantly agricultural. Cocaine traffic in the Western Hemisphere is a particularly serious example of how this conflict of interests plays out.

Producing countries and consuming countries each blame the other, and depending on which side they are on, advocate either demand-side or supply-side solutions-controlling the demand of users in the United States for cocaine versus controlling the demand of users in the United States for cocaine versus controlling the supply from South America. U.S. concerns are fairly unambiguous. Cocaine imports have increased five to tenfold since 1977 and abuse of cocaine and its derivative “crack” has become a serious social problem in the United States. The position of producing countries is also clear-cut. Political elites in Third World countries view antidrug crusades with hostility because they impose significant new burdens and create formidable new challenges.

The White Labyrinth explains why it is so difficult to take effective action against the cocaine problem. It looks closely at problems faced by producing countries: the economic and political pressures that make it so difficult to address the problem from a supply-side perspective. It analyzes the devastating pressure tactics of “coca lobbies” and cocaine trafficking syndicates. It explores the complex relationships between the cocaine industry and leftist revolutionary movements. It examines the negative consequences of actions taken by the United States. The White Labyrinth is an in-depth examination of a problem that is of paramount public concern. It will be of interest to all those concerned with the development of effective policies, from parents to public officials.


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Coca and Cocaine
The Coca Lobby
The Cocaine Mafia
Negotiating with Governments
The NarcoGuerrilla Connection
The Colombian Pattern
The Peruvian Pattern
The Enforcement Picture
The Role of Governments
The Role of the Military
The U S Policy Dilemma
Selected Bibliography

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Page xv - ... supply side" efforts in these countries face a formidable array of obstacles: national economic dependence on drugs, powerful narcotics constituencies, the limited territorial reach of Andean governments, and relatively weak public support for drug control. Cocaine traffickers constitute an entrenched interest group with extensive resources and political connections, just like the coffee barons in Colombia or the mining elites in Peru and Bolivia. while the cocaine industry causes...
Page xvi - ... formal economy fails to deliver. Ultimately the drug war in the Andean countries can only yield results if it is part of a larger process of conserving stability, progress and institutional development in the region. Still, victory in the war against cocaine cannot be won in the jungles, shantytowns and trafficking capitals of South American countries: only when Americans decide that they will no longer be the drug lords' customers will the cocaine industry collapse.
Page xiv - Coca farmers receive less than one percent of the final street value of their crop — that is, the equivalent value of refined cocaine sold to consumers in industrialized countries — yet, they typically earn several times the income they would receive from growing alternative crops such as cacao, oranges, and coffee.
Page xiii - In recent years, the abuse and control of illicit narcotics have come to pervade US relations with the Third World. The drug issue is a source of conflict and mutual recrimination between North and South. The main consumer countries are rich and industrialized; the main drug-producing countries are poor and predominantly agricultural. The drug trade generates an annual transfer of billions of dollars from North to South and has gained a powerful economic foothold in some Third World countries. Producing...

References to this book

Drugs and Crime
Philip Bean
No preview available - 2008
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