The Grasp Drugs Have On Colombia Essay

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The Grasp Drugs Have On Colombia Essay, Research Paper The Grasp Drugs Have on Colombia The paper is going to examine the effect and extent to which drugs have a grip on the country of Colombia. This subject runs deep into the Colombian culture, and effects a huge range of people. People all the way from the President clear down to the farmer/peasant. Drugs and drug trafficking are part of the every day society, the economy, and severely tangled in the political structure. The first, and largest, problem is that of Politics. The Colombian government is wrought with corruption. The endemic corruption that undermines the drug war is rooted in the high profits that make it a rational choice for government officials and police and military officers whose low salaries cannot

compete with traffickers bribes. (Bertram, Blachman, Sharpe, Andres p.170) These bribes are often used by drug dealers to buy legislators. In 1995 several congressmen, the attorney general, and the president s campaign advisor were indicted for accepting drug money for their cooperation. It is hard to truly speculate today how many government officials are actually on the payroll of the drug cartels. Officials can make anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000 and beyond to just turn their heads and look the other way. This bribery has seeped its way through all levels of anti-narcotic forces as well. This is to say that those who are there to fight the problem aren t fighting at all, and are even profiting from it. On a large-scale one drug lord by the name of Jose Gonzalo Rodrigues Gacha

was said to have spent millions of dollars to pay of an entire army brigade. At the present time the main question is what can be done to change the government and make it legitimate. In the past there have been many attempts to regulate the drug cartels. Most of these have had a very bloody, to say the least, result. An example of this was August 18, 1989 when drug dealers assassinated Senator Luis Carlos Galan. He was the leading candidate for president, and in his platform was a call to strengthen action against the dealers. In retaliation the current president, Barco, made the same decree. United States president George Bush soon endorsed him. The United States would then indite any dealers that could be captured. The cartels soon realized what would happen if they were sent

to the U.S. These criminals would stand trial, and were guaranteed to be put in jail for years. If they were not sent to the U.S., and simply kept in Colombia they would see little jail time. In most instances they would pay their way out of jail, and be right back into the drug trade as soon as they hit the street. This crack down against drugs was with good intentions, but it had serious negative repercussions that soon hit the government. The drug dealers responded with a massive bombing campaign centered in Medellin and Bogata. (Wiarda and Kline p.191) These bombings were not specifically aimed at anyone in particular. They were to kill as many people as they could government officials or the innocent. After the bombings had ceased so did the tough regulations on the narcos.

In other words, when the narcos do not like some piece of legislation, or something the government is doing it can have it changed in a matter of time. All they have to do start the aimless bombings, and killing innocent people. These people have nothing to do with drugs and the government will back off. In thinking about this, what course of action does this leave the Colombian government? It is just not possible to set there and watch innocent men, women, and children be killed for something they didn t want part of. This makes legitimacy an issue now too. The people of Colombia see their government officials and military turning their head for the cartels, and taking the drug money bribes daily. Why should these good honest people then have any faith in the government or feel