The Medellín Cartel: Cocaine In Colombia

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In the 1970s, cocaine resurfaced in South America from its long history as a traditional medicine, and began to generate a large income for those who processed and sold the good. Cocaine was rendered harmless by the public, thought of as a “high class drug”, and by the 1980s, nearly six million Americans were hooked on the soft white powder; it was then found to be an extremely addictive and unsafe narcotic. Because drug use and trade into America started to become a pressing issue, the United States hoped that by stopping cocaine production in Colombia, the drug abuse problem in the US would proportionally decline. Attempting to carry out this plan of action, US military teams relentlessly raided the estates and “drug processing facilities”…show more content…
One of the largest drug trafficking organizations of the 1980s, the Medellín Cartel is largely remembered for its violence towards the Colombian government in a malicious revolt against the Extradition Treaty. However, Pablo Escobar wasn’t seen as a villain by everyone in Colombia. Escobar understood the plight of the poor in Colombia first hand; as a young boy, Escobar’s family was forced to file for bankruptcy after a plague killed their entire herd of cattle. Escobar’s sympathies for the Colombian poor sprouted from his childhood, and later as a drug trafficker, Escobar used his power and wealth to provide more resources and opportunities for the poor than the Colombian government ever did, earning him the loyalty of the Colombian lower class. While Pablo Escobar’s death in 1993 marked the end of his power sway, the effects of his lifestyle continue to echo today. This essay will investigate the research question, “To what extent were the political impacts of Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel in Colombia from the late 1970s to 2006 negative?” by examining Escobar’s two completely contrasting reputations. This topic is worthy of investigation because while many lower class and underprivileged Colombians continue to worship Escobar for his charity, the US and Colombian government villainize him as a murderer, despite his attempt to amend the government’s shortcoming with the Colombian poor. It is undeniable that Escobar helped Colombia’s lower class, and therefore Colombia’s government, substantially. However, Escobar also caused great political unrest within Colombia, so it is important to question whether his virtuous behavior outweighs his
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