Skip to content

The Hemispheric Drug Trade

The drug trade passes through many countries in the Americas before the product reaches consumers.  Cartels behave as multinational corporations, outsourcing distribution and production to local gangs and producers.  In each country of operation they behave differently, in some cases dominating entire communities and in others addicts.

This series of posts attempts to shed light on some aspects of this multi-billion dollar a year industry.  Please feel free to send us your thoughts, questions, and opinions by commenting below.

U.S.-Mexico Border


The Spider and the Rhino: the Transformative Process of Mexican Cartels in the U.S.

By COHA Research Associate Trevor Cohen

Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) tend to behave in a specific way on different sides of the border.  While in Mexico they employ explosive tactics that threaten state sovereignty, in the U.S. they maintain a much lower profile as they ship their products throughout every state.  



Canada: the Drug Trade’s Northern Frontier

By COHA Research Associate Tristan Mohabir

Canada’s Marijuana production is estimated to be a USD 20 billion annual industry, making it the largest agricultural crop in the Canadian economy.  60-90 percent of the harvest is exported to the U.S. to meet growing demand.

Central America 







Low Taxation Perpetuates Insecurity in Central America

By COHA Research Associate Christina Curtin

Central American countries have very small tax bases and regressive tax codes.  As a result these states lack the revenue to adequately improve their security forces and social services in a way that combats and discourages organized crime.  With Mexican DTOs moving south, this issue becomes increasingly more pressing. 

Andean Region







Déjà Vu: Peru’s Cocaine Resurgence

By COHA Research Associate Elizabeth Rust

After years of drug eradication efforts in Colombia, Peru is experiencing a sharp rise in coca cultivation and cocaine production.  However, this increase in Peru is merely the resurgence of an industry that once dominated the narcotics market during the early 1990s.  With production now squeezed in Colombia; the “balloon effect” reverts is course.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: