cocaine cowboys

As the popular Rhythm and Blues singer James Ambrose Johnson Jr. once put it, “Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.” Johnson, better known as Rick James, was absolutely right, cocaine is one hell of A drug, and in Miami in the early 1980’s it was not just a drug, it was the drug.  Cocaine cowboys tells the story of how Latin American immigration and the cocaine industry transformed Miami.   My mom is actually from Miami, and I’ve always thought of it as this beautiful tropical metropolis by the ocean.  She moved here in 1976 just in time to miss all the chaos that went down in the late seventies and eighties.  Its crazy to think that Miami has such an violent and tumultuous past.  The part I enjoyed most but wish they would have expanded on is  the idea that much of Miami was actually built by cocaine money.  I noticed they talked a lot about the great building projects, rise in banks, and cash deposits on houses and luxury items.  I would have liked for them to delve further into some of the building projects in the downtown area.  Are there any records that show these projects were cocaine funded?  Were they directly funded by Cocaine traffickers attempting to go legitimate or were the banks just generous with loans due to the large amount of cash surplus they were receiving?   Are there still rich influential business men and reality speculators in the Miami area that are ex-drug dealers turned legitamite?  But I was super interested in seeing how such a large busting metropolis city was so greatly affected by cocaine.   In a strange way the movie makes you want to go out and start selling cocaine.  It seems so simple, go get a package that worth almost nothing there, and sell it here for thousands.  If anyone wants to go in on a small plane I’m in, I hear the job market sucks out there right now anyways.    But it is  also interesting to see how greatly the Latin American community had on this drug phenomenon.  You have to understand, Columbian and Cuban society is extremely poor and often live surrounded by violence.   When Latin Americans came here they brought the renegade violent lawless cowboy culture they are accustomed to with them.  I’m sure decent paying jobs were hard for Latin Americans to find, and there was so much money in the family business that it was only normal for them to be involved in drug trafficking.  When there is lots of money to be made in an unregulated business, there is chaos and often unregulated regulating.  For many Latin Americans, accustomed to violence, the most obvious way to do this was to take matters into their own hands. We see this with Griselda Blanca, a poor Colombian immigrant who killed her father at young age turned to prostitution and Basically raised herself from a very young age in a violent Columbian society.Once these types of people migrated to Miami and were given the keys to a multi-billion dollar a year industry, they would stop at nothing to ensure they persevered.  I often wonder if  there are any smart drug dealers with Columbian ties, maybe from a business back ground, who came in and said, alright, this killing cowboy thing is not working for anyone.  Yes the boys back home are still getting a good cut, but there is way too much heat on us every time we start killing people and I really don’t want to die.  Let’s call a meeting between the top dudes, there is enough money to go around to everyone if we do this right.  Lets work out some rules and regulations, maybe some checks and balances, combine our resources, set up some ways to filter the money into legitimate business’s In the U.S. and back home.  In a matter of years we can build credibility, and run shit in the American Southeast, and build up our economies back home to a point where we will be making more money on legitimate business than Cocaine.  At that point we’ll sell our business model to the Mexican’s for even more money and eventually the whole Western hemisphere will be running shit  on a global scale.  We just figured out how to end world poverty with cocaine. 

Taylor Ross