cocaine cowboys

Katie Beeler

Cocaine Cowboys

Cocaine Cowboys is about the drug trafficking of Cocaine from Columbia to Miami in the 1980’s and how the Columbian operation affected the entire city of Miami. After reading both readings on the history of Columbia it is clear that power in Columbia would be hard to achieve just like in Rio de Janeiro in the slums.

The constant warfare, political, and social strife that goes on in Columbia can attribute its cause to drug trafficking. To make a quick dollar one would assume that in Columbia the idea of selling or smuggling drugs would be a much easier rise to power than going about education and legitimate employment.

The culture that allows for drugs and violence to become a part of everyday life will eventually spread that wherever it spreads. For example, the film point out the violence associated with the Columbians and their dealers, buyers, etc. It is impossible to fathom that the violence is readily accepted outside fictional films. But how is it justified and how can there be no value for human life?

Does the answer lie in a culture that surrounds itself with violence and puts a price on drugs and power rather than the sacredness of life? The violence in Columbia has been going on for decades. The over throwing of political parties, the guerilla warfare, and the stark differences in social hierarchies show a society more concerned with a dollar than humanity.

The other point that the film made was the amount of money that was involved in the import of good through Miami. Literally the entire sky line of Miami in the drug wars years was built with drug money. The ‘paradise’ described in the film is still a commodity for every spring break destination. How can such a short time evolve so much money and power and take over an entire city and it’s economy?

This exemplifies that life in the slums as portrayed in the film before last ‘The City of God’. The idea that the economy of a country is so poor yet can produce such large figures really questions at the core of the government and it’s regulations. The Miami police were clearly untrained and understaffed for the problems that they were dealing with in the 80’s. It reminds me of Bus 174 and the police being completely unaware of how to react to the grave situation at hand. Had the police and federal departments worked together to safeguard borders and keep tabs on the money laundering that was taking place in the city then would the problem have gotten as out of control as it did?

The answer is no, if you can’t trust the very basics of security of money, borders, etc then how can you trust any kind of government regulations?