America’s cocaine habit fueled its migrant crisis

America’s cocaine habit fueled its migrant crisis


This is the US Coast Guard
intercepting a shipment of cocaine. Here’s the same crew intercepting
another one… and another one. This was all in the summer of 2018. They seized more
than 9,000 kilos of cocaine that was headed to the US. That may sound like a lot but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In 2017 the Coast Guard
intercepted almost 227,000 kilos of cocaine, here. Along the eastern Pacific. That’s because the US is the largest cocaine
consumer in the world. And to get to the US, most of that cocaine has to travel
this way, through Central America and Mexico. With that comes violence and today Guatemala and Honduras are some of
the most violent places in the world. It’s a big reason why so many people are
traveling north to seek asylum at the US-Mexico border. But the story of Central America’s crisis isn’t just
about America’s demand for drugs. Another big part of it…is America’s war on drugs. Cocaine is produced in South America along the Andes mountain range that
stretches from Bolivia to Colombia. Starting in the mid 1970s most of the
world’s cocaine came from here; distributed by groups like the Medellin
Cartel led by Pablo Escobar. But they needed to get their product, here, to the US.
Where by the late 80s Americans were spending tens of billions of dollars on
cocaine annually. And they did it this way:
Cartels sent boats and planes loaded with cocaine through the Caribbean to
South Florida. For example Escobar’s cartel primarily flew cocaine from
Medellin to the Bahamas and then over to Miami. “Miami is one of the principal branch offices for what can be called
cocaine Inc. It’s got to be four or five times as much cocaine as we’ve ever seen
before… The drug has killed at least 34 people just in South Florida so far this year.”
So the US cracked down on the Caribbean route. “To stop those drugs on the way to America I propose that we Spend more than a billion and a half dollars on interdiction. They started catching shipments along the coast line.
Like this speedboat called a go-fast boat that was intercepted by the Coast
Guard. And they worked with the Colombian government to destroy coca and fight the
cartels in Colombia. The Caribbean route was dismantled but
the cocaine industry kept going. Cartels just needed a new route to the
US, and they found it in Mexico. Mexican cartels already had ways to get drugs over their border and into the u.s. So, Colombian cartels shipped their cocaine to Mexico but their boats and planes had to stop somewhere along the way to avoid detection and to refuel. And the ideal place to stop was Central America,
especially Honduras and Guatemala. Not only were these countries directly south of Mexico, but they had just been through decades of civil wars and foreign
interventions. Their governments were weak and easily bought off and criminal
organizations had power. It was an easy place for the cartels to turn to. Back in Mexico, the new cocaine routes turned lucrative, fast. The Mexican cartels got bigger and more powerful and started controlling
more territory. And the government responded… “It’s a war! 10,000 federal
troops and police to Juarez. Mexico cracked down with the help of the US. “He will not allow his country to be taken over by narco traffickers” This crackdown
was largely a failure. It caused chaos and violence spiked. But it did make it more difficult to send cocaine directly to Mexico. So cartels started shipping
cocaine to Central America, to landing points along the coasts, and would move
it into Mexico overland. Central America wasn’t just a stop along
the way anymore. Suddenly it found itself at the center
of cocaine trafficking. And all the things that made Central American countries ideal as refueling stops made them vulnerable to the violence that
comes with drug routes. Criminal organizations, already powerful in their countries, started forming alliances with Mexican cartels. In Guatemala, this group
aligned with the Zetas while these went with the rival Sinaloa cartel.
Violence surged here: along the northern Honduran coast where cocaine shipments arrived and at the border where the cocaine is transported north by land.
With violence on the rise it was now Central America’s turn to
crackdown throughout the region… Governments embraced harsh policies to
combat not just drug traffickers but all organized crime. A policy, backed again,
by the US: “To find ways in which we can come up with more aggressive action
plans to improve security. We have a shared responsibility when it comes to
dealing with drug trafficking.” Newly militarized police forces arrested
thousands, prisons filled up, but the violence didn’t stop. And that’s where we
are today. Honduras and Guatemala have violent death rates on par with active
war zones. And thousands of migrants are taking dangerous routes through Mexico to the US to escape the instability and violence. For decades the US has tried to
stop drugs from coming in but it’s only really succeeded in changing how those
drugs come in. And Central America might be the place that’s feeling those
changes the hardest. Hey if you’ve made it this far in the video you’re probably the kind of curious person that appreciates learning. Brilliant is a
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100 thoughts on “America’s cocaine habit fueled its migrant crisis

  1. There hasn't been good blow on the east coast in 15+ years .I live near the biggest open drug market in America n it all suks even if u shoot it it sux so Idk what they are doing with it it ain't coming here

  2. 2:21 George Bush only did it because of the communist connections, he could’ve cared less about the cocaine

  3. I can’t wait for the day when all countries effected by America’s bastard imperialism team up and level the grounds in America

  4. Why doesn't the US improve its drug rehab programs and treat the addictions? Its a supply and demand market, reduce the demand and the supply/profits will reduce for the cartels leading to less violence.

  5. I'm confused. To you libs drug addiction is an illness. In this video though we make excuses for murderous drug dealers and blame the users. Oh ya I forgot Americans bad everyone else good. My apologies.

  6. Right, so instead of NOT making drugs and taking responsibility to fix your own country's problems, you immigrate to another country and create more problems. Two wrongs dont make a right.

  7. Consumption of drugs finances violence, corruption and thus, people immigrate. I hope someday people around the world be more thoughtful about that and refuse drugs at all.

    You think it's your money and you can do whatever you want with it not expecting consequences?
    That's ignorance at its finest

  8. Vox would love to have a video on why certain areas becomes hotbeds of drugs like–> golden crescent and golden triangle.

  9. belize too…..the cocaine trade is killing belizeans in this poor country……with no airforce……

  10. What’s worse is that our own government is the one who helped get the USA population hooked on cocaine.

  11. You cut off supply, drug consumption goes down. Look at what happened when the U.S. super meth labs were shut down. Meth consumption and the crime rate plummeted. But now it's made in Mexico. If there's a good use for the U.S. military, this is it. Of course, the Mexican and U.S. governments are bought, so that's not going to happen.

  12. I'm all for flooding the market with cocaine laced with cyanide. Killing off cocaine users is a win for everyone.

  13. If the war on drugs never happend there will be no imigrants crisis at central america, no violence and deaths to other countries like Guatemala and Honduras. The US should make it a health problem like Portugal for the user

  14. Funny how every picture you see of the caravans coming to the border, they're all men. Or men who stole a child to help get into our country – traffickers. The women and children thing is very exaggerated.

  15. Umpteen examples of how the war on drugs has caused worldwide death and misery. Far beyond its promised "solutions". Ending the war on drugs would like improve the world economy and boost the world peace with a true renaissance for most developing countries which are currently run by violent drug cartels.

  16. Thank you for addressing the general immigration problem and why it exists. And can we all just admit that money is a disease as much as it is a necessity?

  17. We are also the ones who destabilize the governments of Central America and allowed drug cartels to take power from power void. We did this during Cold War when the Central America country’s were trying to do some socialism and we allowed brutal dictatorship to form instead of what people wanted. Don’t believe me look into the banana republics.

  18. ¿pa qué andan quitando a presidentes pues? Jacobo Arbez Guzman quería ayudar a la gente y ustedes lo quitaron, Guatemala sería diferente si no hubieran intervenido.

  19. Wow. A Progressive echo chamber like Vox reflexively blaming the US for the immigrant crisis? Who could have guessed? Generic talk about "violence", but no actual data? No sources quoted? More echo chamber Muzak. Thoughtful, well-informed writers like Fareed Zakaria and David Frum have written on the subject, noting that while mass migration at the southern border has dramatically increased, that violence in general in Central American countries has actually decreased. Honduras has half the murder rate they did in 2011, for example. The world is a complex place. If you're going to call yourself a news outlet, then approach it from that standpoint. Don't insult the nonechochamberists with simplistic ideological driven narratives.

  20. Remind anyone of the Opium Wars between China and the UK? Drug reliance can do a toll on a country. The US needs to focus on suppressing demand INTERNALLY, by reducing our dependence on cocaine, and only then will we see them magically stop coming. This will also help improve conditions in Latin America. Meanwhile, if you just try to suppress the routes, Americans will pay higher prices, and the drug traffickers will engage in more violent and sneaky initiatives to get us cocaine. Stop the cause at its root, not the effect: the US's cocaine addiction.

  21. Half the immigrant will stop in US if they make cocaine legal.
    Legal trade means no war in central and south America and finally no migration into US.

  22. I love it when they say how much cocaine they seized, let’s be honest that’s what they lose because they drop it or fell in the ocean on an hourly basis. You can’t stop this it. Supply and demand that simple

  23. Not finished watching yet, but I want to just say this video is very well edited. The music is not distracting, the information is portrayed clearly and simply, and the visuals are entertaining without taking away from the content. Who edited this?

  24. War on drugs my goodness, it is a war on the people. With this budget and death toll, I think we could have made more progress by now. Like how about "THE WAR ON WAR"??? "THE WAR ON HUNGER" "THE WAR ON HOMELESSNESS" "THE WAR ON CANCER"??? We can not fight those wars because the previous one is still going on… and in the war on drugs it seems like that the drugs are winning!

  25. the cocaine debacle does not fund war, the american government funds war, poor people don't fund war they have no money, governments fund war, the christian government loves the drug war in the misery it creates, the God of hate is not here to rescue humans God has hated humans from the beginning, a christian church in love with jails and prisons is not here to rescue humans its here to torture them in the name of God

  26. 5:21 on the left side, unfortunately we can see a Honduran drug king (disguised as a politician) sitting next to Obama.
    He seems to have been taking bribe from El Chapo, the truth that eventually surfaced in public recently when El Chapo himself admitted it.

  27. I love how people blame small dealers at home. Yet, when it's big dealers than it is the users fault not the dealer. If you are a small time dealer you are blamed for addicting people. But if you are from Central America and sell in massive bulk then it is America's fault…Those growers and dealers are good because they sell more? They are good because they can claim victim-hood? Why are small time dealers horrible people but giant drug gangs are victims?

  28. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 why because drugs are now ravaging white families they want to find someone to blame but in the 90s when black people were dying they were carted off to jail in droves and given twenty years for selling on the streets!!!
    GTFOH with that ish.

  29. Well don’t worry when space x finally introduces the BFR, these guys will be able to send 60 tons of drugs straight to american in a matter of minutes. এটাই সায়েন্স

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