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Thread: Central America - what's gone wrong?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinny View Post
    There's inequality everywhere too, and they're not the drug producing countries, cocaine is grown in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia and trafficked through Mexico to the US and Canada and the vast majority of heroin that goes there is produced in Mexico itself.
    Two things. Firstly the wealth from the Mexican drug trade has always seeped into their neighbours, as the drug lords sought to move their assets (and sometimes themselves physically) from Mexico.

    Secondly, all that cocaine produced in Columbia, Peru and Bolivia going to Mexico has to pass through Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. You can track a line of corruption from Columbia into Panama and then northwards. They've bribed and intimidated every custom authority and government in between Columbia and Mexico.

  2. #12
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    I do wonder what would happen if people were allowed to pollute themselves in whatever way they fancied, i.e. the whole trade was legalised. I'd have thought that taxing it and bringing it into the mainstream would get rid of a fair number of problems, over time. Obviously a lot of it is thoroughly embedded, and wouldn't disappear overnight.

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    I presume the production and distribution of it would probably require some sort of licence - and it's likely that most of the current producers/distributors would not be granted one. So the problems would continue. Maybe even get worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scurlogue View Post
    I presume the production and distribution of it would probably require some sort of licence - and it's likely that most of the current producers/distributors would not be granted one. So the problems would continue. Maybe even get worse.
    I can foresee protection rackets and the like, if the bottom fell out of the pricing too. But it's the one thing nobody has yet tried, in this so called war on drugs. And they've tried all sorts of other stupid ideas.

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    The biggest problem would be that those producing it illegally now would continue to do so - and sell it cheaper than the legit sources.

    With cocaine, the source crop is very often produced by small peasant farmers, and it's the only way they can feed their families. If production was legalised, I'd suggest crops would be grown in large scale industrialised plantations.

    The choice for the small farmer is to starve, or continue to produce crops for the illegal market.

    It's the same situation in the UK and anywhere else. For weed alone there are a lot of people currently making a living out of it. It's their job. If the drug was legalised tomorrow, none of these people would get employment in the industry. They would continue to do exactly what they are doing now - and they'd sell it cheaper than the legit sources.

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    Which slashes the profit margin. What do the drug barons do about that? Something, that's a given. Retiring to Panama would be the best result, and the least likely.

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    As long as you have poverty in those countries, you'll always get people willing to grow the coca leaves. It's guaranteed money, and pays better than other crops.

    If I was a poor farmer with a family to feed, I'd do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scurlogue View Post
    As long as you have poverty in those countries, you'll always get people willing to grow the coca leaves. It's guaranteed money, and pays better than other crops.

    If I was a poor farmer with a family to feed, I'd do it.
    Well, yes. Selling it to the highest bidder would come naturally too. You'd need to try to make sure that the legal outlets paid the most. Given the profits in illegal drugs that shouldn't be hard. Watching the illegal sources compete with the legal ones might be either amusing or bloody.

  9. #19
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    Yes. Bloody I'd guess - at many levels. From poor farmers who sell to the corporations, to corporate executives.

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