History and uses of the Coca leaf 
Other uses of coca, including the production of cocaine
The Drug Trade
Drug Wars
Andean History

Latin American Drug Trade News Report

God . . . is that you?

     Okay, so you want the current scoop on the drug trade, well, this is about as good as it gets unless you want to go door to door asking drug lords to fill out your survey. Yeah, thatís right, I would just stay here too. God only know why you want to know this stuff, maybe youíre a wanna-be Keith Gordan, but sit back and relax . . . here comes your LATIN AMERICA DRUG TRADE NEWS REPORT!
      The main source areas of coca and the opium poppy have plateaued in their production levels. This is most likely due to either bad weather and crop diseases, so make sure your little guys get plenty of water and light, and bag Ďem if your plants on the perimeter start to look sick. This drop in production is not common throughout the coca belt; with increased efficiency growers in Colombia and Bolivia are improving their overall hectare yield. It would appear that the cultivation of "the wonderful plants" has spread to some areas that are new to the game. We have reports that the former-Soviet states in central Asia have begun cultivation (Stares, 3).
      Speaking of new crops, we have news that opium fields have sprung up in Peru, while our Colombian boys are now a source of heroin. For those just coming up in the trade this is an important lesson, diversify your portfolio. Often drugs will take a hit in sales or youíll have a bad crop, Pat in Saint Louis knows what Iím talking about, and if your not diversified you could go under, maybe way under, like six feet. 
      The Anglo growers have some news from the lab that may jeopardize the value of the Acapulco Gold you have in inventory. Theyíve been increasing the THC, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the stuff that cotes the nerve cells in the brain giving pot heads the delayed reaction speed when they are high, in the chiva grown in North American and Europe. These are big markets so beef up your importation crew and get your payoffs out there while you can.
     Okay, hereís an inside tip. Are you having trouble making your sales quotas? Is your trafficking department constantly screwing up? Move to the new Asian markets. All the former-Soviet states are great place to start. These States, and China, are the hotbed for growth in terms of new users. Importation is not nearly the problem it is in the West, but I do recommend that you take your goods through the western border of China, it is significantly less patrolled than the east, but thatís were all the users are so you better figure out how to get it there. You might want to land of the coast and ship it in or you could ship it the whole way, either way if your boat gets popped a payoff will rarely get you buy. 
      Letís cover some of the basics for those who might be new to the game. By the way, if you are staring out, welcome to an industry that generates $122 billion in the United States and Europe alone. Worldwide, on illicit psychoactive substances we rake in upwards of $300 billion. You can get your piece of the pie, but it better not be my piece (Stares, 1-2)
      Bolivia, is good friend to those in the chiva market, which means marijuana. It produced between 46,000 to 67,000 metric tons in 1987, and remember that production is up. Bolivia is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti has a poverty level that is lower on the whole, if youíve ever been to Haiti you know this is real bad. Donít fret humanitarians, by the way if any shed a tear at the poor Bolivia stuff, shoot Ďem. He would have been a weak link and this isnít a business for weak links (MacDonald, 51).
      There are a couple reasons why Bolivia is one of our Promised Lands of the drug trade. Yes this is a history lesson, but youíve got a lot to learn so put down the pipe and get your mind right. Remember that there have been 200 coups since the Bolivians became independent of the Spanish in 1821. The government always has a hard time solidify power in the periphery. That is the rural countryside, where The Shining Path was busting it up in Peru until í92. Power was concentrated around La Paz, with regional patrons always holding power in the hinterland. 
      Although the M.N.R. Revolution would have appeared to create a situation where rich drug lords would be stomped by peasants, the opposite is actually true. After the revolution geographical areas were centers of fragmented power and were only weakly held together by the national government. The programs designed at modernizing the countryside, during the late 1950ís and early 1960ís, and helping the campesinos actually just strengthened the existing powers in agribusiness. The increased flow of goods heightened the demand for cocaine in the 1960ís (MacDonald, 52-53).
     The real boom to the cocaine industry came on July 17th, 1980. Basically a bunch of drug lords came to power, I'll tell you the story just hold on a bit. What is of interest to us would-be drug lords is the personal history of Roberto Suarez Gomez. This guy had money from day one, he was a latifundista owner and a cattle farmer. In the 80's he went into the drug trade. He started growing coca, bought a couple of planes, and PAY ATTENTION ROOKIES, he got a class-A act to cover his security. An ex-Nazi, Klaus Barbie, headed the "Fiances of Death" and SS-like group of bodyguards and hired killers. Gomez calls together a meeting of all the top drug lords in Bolivia, of which he is the alpha male, and bribed the military officials to stage a coup. The coup was successful and President Carter got all upset. Apparently the coup violated a policy of human rights and antinarcotics (MacDonald, 55-58) 
     Bolivia has the weakest government in all of Latin America and its climate is heaven for growing coca. Peru and Bolivia have passed Columbia as the major producers of coca. What remains, as the crown jewel in the Bolivian drug crown is the weak central government. It is speculated that Bolivia is the only nation where the drug Mafia could take over the government. If you going to start up in Latin America, Bolivia is the place to be, but be aware that this the NFL of drug markets. A local operation in one of the growth states might be a better choice. 
                                             DRUG TRADE BASICS
         The sisters: Marijuana and Heroin
     These ladies will form the foundation upon which your empire rests. Marijuana is mostly produced in Mexico, Columbia, spots in the Caribbean, I think you know where I'm talking about, and in basements across America. The heroin of Latin America comes mostly from Mexico. Although these drugs are not as glamorous as their cousin, cocaine, they have a steady group of consumers. Cocaine use is spreading though, at the cost heroin and marijuana use, so once again remember to diversify (MacDonald, 19).
source: is an odorless powder, Ha! drug dogs, that is derived from morphine. The technical name is diamorphine hydrochloride. Here's how you get the goods. You take an opium poppy after the petals have fallen off and you cut a hole in it. You take out this goo called the gum, which then has to be treated to take out the morphine base. You dump the base in to acetic anhydirde and get diacetyl morphine (the heroin base). It will take you ten pounds of opium poppies to make a pound of heroin. This means you need fields of the stuff to have a good harvest. The heroin trade is labor intensive as you might have gathered. Impoverished tribal peoples in the highlands will happy to get your business going though (MacDonald 20).
source: marijuana: "the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant". Chiva can be sold throughout the world, but it is a hard product to move in large amounts. It has been consumed in China for over two thousand years to treat hypertension and glaucoma. Marijuana first came to the West in the early 1800's, but it already is the second largest cash crop of the United States. Production has dropped in places like Columbia because the cost to possible reward ration no longer makes it as appealing a choice for cultivation. You could start you own farm here in the States, or you could purchase it from a Caribbean group. Remember when dealing with the chiva in the Caribbean to call it ganja (MacDonald, 21)

Page Created By:  Tricia Spencer, Seth Westby, Mark Massey, and Tom Haddox