Cocaine Cowboys began by explaining that the quiet town of Miami exploded when immigrants were deported here, bringing cocaine with them. With its’ unguarded shores and great location, Miami was perfect. The middlemen quickly began figuring out how to work the system, coming up with brilliant plans.
The US caused a great bit of damage regarding drug control on an international level. According to the author of Collateral Damage, American authorities caused a lot of tension in other countries. The so call drug wars became increasingly serious with alleged planting of fungus on crops, resulting in the relocation of the epicenters of production. The US provided a large amount of funding to control the problem in Columbia. Eventually most projects paid for by this ended up largely unsuccessful though. The other countries had to answer to the American government and basically get approved or we would cut them off. This reflects greatly the importance of power here. This segment (drug regulation) of the government, like many of the others, has many issues it has to work out. The film reflected what Younger stated about many of the people involved in drug stuff had ties in the government. This proves that as long as you have money, you have enough power to get what you want. Specifically one of the big guns who mediated cocaine trade donated to the Republican Party and became a member of the inner circle there essentially. The author also said that the problems in the other countries are hard for Americans to see because here drugs are cheap and easy.
According to the CIA documents, and confirmed by the movie, money made from drugs funded indirectly (because the dealers would pay into the government to keep them in the inner circle) many purchases. Specifically one document states that weapon were bought, to the tune of fourteen million dollars. The government documents also revealed many of the major players code names, also shedding light on under the table agreements and sneaky schemes
Gootenburg examined the history of cocaine and its middlemen, including details about the economic situation. He focuses on specific areas in the Americas except Colombia; these frequently ignored areas contribute greatly to this story. Chile, for example, used to be a huge hub for cocaine dealing, being a dominant source of the product seized in the US in the late 50’s according to the author. The crackdown of cocaine was staggered in different locations, meaning that there was always a pretty steady influx of the narcotic. Even with enforcement, somehow it still continued to flow; this was shown explicitly in Bolivia following the prohibition. It should also be noted that this drug never became a huge enemy of the government until violence began to arise. This was shown well in Cocaine Cowboys.
In conclusion, Cocaine Cowboys provided a unique insight on Miami’s as America’s first cocaine epicenter. With interviews from active contributors, it helps teach the viewer about how it must have felt to be them.