Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - narcotictrafficking
The United Nations estimated the international drug trade generates $322 billion
dollars per year (“International: Crime…2010). In comparison, the estimated global
profits of trafficked persons is $32 billion annually (Jones et al. 2007). These values
alone show that drug trafficking is a bigger market and threat globally than human
Narcotics trafficking can cause an entire country to become unstable and once it
takes hold in a country, it is difficult to exterminate. As the crime in an area grows, the
law enforcement tends to shrink, leaving room for organized crime members to take over
political positions (Felbab-Brown, 2009). Once the political party is taken over by
members of organized crime, the corruption becomes institutionalized (Holt & Boucher,
2009). These illicit networks will then work together to undermine the law so that illegal
activities become the norm, and no one will get penalized (Holt & Boucher, 2009). For
those who do report a load of drugs, the reward can be death or jail, just for bringing
attention to illegal activity. This occurred in Ituri and Kivus, where officers were killed
over reporting the illegal import of uniforms to an army unit, because the shipment
violated UN sanctions (Holt & Boucher, 2009). Human trafficking can also cause
corruption among politicians, as tracks are covered and documents are forged to allow
trafficked victims to cross borders.
The profit earned from narcotic trafficking provides the primary source of funding
for terrorist groups and has been used to fund terrorist activity. The 2004 Madrid train
bombings partially funded by hashish sales (Jacobson & Levitt, 2010). The DEA
pronounced nineteen out of forty-three foreign terrorist groups that are linked to the
global drug trade, with 60% connected to the narcotics industry (Jacobson & Levitt,
2010). By focusing on illicit narcotic trafficking, authorities are also indirectly focusing
on terrorist groups. The drug trade has more people involved in it than human
trafficking, but traffickers are learning the “increased value” of trafficked human because
of the ability to resell people (Jones et al. 2007).
More attention should be given to narcotics trafficking because of its ability to
quickly spread to weaker, surrounding countries. This has taken place in West Africa,
where the countries have been impacted from drug trafficking. In the past, the failure to
stop the drug flows from the coast in Africa made the inland islands susceptible to take
over by the military coup (Shaw, 2012). This led to the downfall of the democratic state
of Mali in 2012, a state that was already frail to the influence of corruption and drug
profits (Shaw, 2012). Now, the problem in West Africa has grown to be uncontrollable
because the “window of opportunity” has closed and West Africa has grown to be a hub
of illegal transactions (Shaw, 2012).
In Mexico, narcotics’ trafficking has resulted in the “unprecedented power” of the
drug cartels (Bonner, 2010). The government is corrupt, with nearly all elected
government officials campaigns having been funded by drug profits or at least having a
hand in the profits. Additionally, there is much fighting over the drug cartels for control
over territory, with the number of drug related deaths being 9,000 fatalities in 2009
(Bonner, 2010). Mexico is bordered with the United States and the crime caused by
trafficking should not be ignored, the effects of which can leak out into the U.S.
The economic aspects of narcotic trafficking have far reaching effects. In
Mexico, the drug cartels have harmed the tourism industry (Felbab-Brown, 2009).
Mexico is losing vacationers, as people would rather vacation in safer countries. In turn,
this leads to fewer jobs making it difficult for those already struggling for work, leading
some to participate in the drug trade. Other economic aspects include real estate
speculation and currency instability since being involved in the drug trade can make more
money than one can make legally (Felbab-Brown, 2009). In comparison, human
trafficking affects a minor part of a countries economy. The loss of people from their
home country causes the country to suffer from loss of people, and the trafficked victims
are more willing to work for less (Jones et al. 2007).
In conclusion, human trafficking and crimes against humanity are horrible but do
not affect the world as much as illicit narcotic trafficking. The political and social
reaction to illicit narcotics trafficking are justified in comparison to crimes against
humanity, such as human trafficking, because narcotics trafficking has a global impact on
national security and regional instability
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Jacobson, Michael and Matthew Levitt. 2010. Tracking narco-terrorist networks:
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Felbab-Brown, Vanda. "Transnational Drug Enterprises: Threats to Global
Stability and U.S. National Security." Brookings, 2009. Accessed November 7, 2014.
Holt, Victoria K., and Alix J. Boucher. 2009. "Framing the Issue: UN Responses
to Corruption and Criminal Networks in Post-Conflict Settings." International
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(accessed November 27, 2014).
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19, 2010. 1-3
Jones, Loring, David W. Engstrom, Tricia Hilliard, and Mariel Diaz. 2007.
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2: 107-122. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed October 16, 2014).
Shaw, Mark. "Leadership Required: Drug Trafficking and the Crisis of Statehood
in West Africa." Institute for Security Studies 37 (2012): 1-6. Accessed November 7,