The Drug Trade mid-1990s


Map Code: Ax01130

In the mid-1990s the Colombian cartels controlled 75–80 per cent of the US cocaine market, reaping profits of $6-8 billion per year. The cartels trafficked through northern Mexico, where Mexican drug transporters facilitated movement of drugs across the Mexican/US border. The cartels began by smuggling marijuana but discovered in the 1970s that cocaine smuggling was even more profitable. The cartels even used submarines, which transported marijuana and cocaine directly to Los Angeles. Bolivia, another hard drug producer, supplied around 15 per cent of the US cocaine market in the late 80s. By the mid-90s, one in eight Bolivians made a living out of coca, its psychoactive alkaloid being cocaine. Hashish was transported from Jamaica, Europe and Morocco, while Guatemala was not only a major transit centre for cocaine, but was also a producer and supplier of heroin, with couriers moving opiates from its own poppy fields and Asia.

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