Cocaine Cowboys

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: .5in;"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cocaine Cowboys, </i>directed by Billy Corben, is a documentary about drug trafficking from Columbia to Miami during the 1980s.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The film is consists of interviews with the actual members of the cocaine trade, including Jon Roberts, Mickey Munday, and Jorge Ayala.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>These are the men that made Miami a drug and cash capital of the United States for an entire decade.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The film begins by showing the increase in demand of cocaine, due to the transition from marijuana in the ‘70s to cocaine in the ‘80s.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Numerous interviews provide background on the changing techniques, causes, and the after effects to the city and people of Miami, which has both negative and positive effects for the city.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Although the drug trade was nothing new to Latin America, the areas making the product changed a few times.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>During the “pre-Colombian” era, cocaine was produced majorly in Peru.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In the year 1949, Peru deemed cocaine illegal, and therefore making it even more desirable to the users (Gootenberg 136). The U.S. government caught Balazero, a major cocaine trafficker, and he was linked to the Peru government.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>This event lead to the illegalization of cocaine in Peru, but it wasn’t long before Colombia stepped up to take the title in the 1970s (Gootenberg 140).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Before cocaine was illegal, Peru shipped all the way to Germany and France, but afterwards the exportation of the drug was more difficult, which lead dealers across the short distance to Miami (Gootenberg 138).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>With cocaine pouring into Miami, the U.S. government attempted a “war on drugs.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Along with the drugs came violence.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Trafficking “breeds criminality, exacerbates political violence, and hence greatly increases problems of citizen security” (Youngers 126).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>The war on drugs was fought selectively, because some of the dealers turned out to be our allies.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In the U.S. backed Contras, guerrillas in Nicaragua, Oliver North was found dealing narcotics.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>But because this was increasing the Contras’ efforts, the charges were dropped (The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations). <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span>Another effect of the war on drugs is that it<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>“clearly hinders efforts to put civilian military relations on a new footing and as such constitutes an obstacle to the strengthening and deepening of democratic governance in the Andes” (Youngers 127).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Because the war caused the dealing countries to loose money, they experienced a mini economic depression (not that it was great to begin with), that basically stalled the influence of democracy in the developing countries.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>While billions of U.S. dollars were spent to fund the war on drugs, the overall result was a mere “dent in the overall coca production, and cocaine and heroin are just as cheap and readily available as they were” after George H. W. Bush attempted the “Andean initiative” at the end of the 1980s (Youngers 129). <span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The cocaine influx into Miami during the 1980s basically built the city.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>In the film, they describe the city’s skyline, and someone says something around, “all of these are running on drug money.”<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp; </span>Because of the drug money, Miami developed rapidly, and even setting bank records while the rest of the U.S. was in a recession.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>