News of a Kidnapping Historical Context

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The Rise of Drug Trafficking

Narcotics emerged as a major national problem in the late 1970s when Colombia began exporting agreat deal of marijuana to the United States. With the profits from marijuana, drug leaders diversified their operations to include cocaine trafficking. Two major drug cartels—Mafia-like organizations— evolved, one in Medellín and the second in Cali. The Medellín cartel was led by Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, and a few other men. Escobar bribed and threatened government officials to ensure their cooperation. He also attempted to get involved in the government himself and was elected to the Congress as a member of the Liberal party.

The End of the Medellín Cartel

César Gaviria Trujillo, elected in 1990, also held a hard-line anti-drug policy, but he believed that extradition should be only one way to fight the war on drugs. Instead, he...

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This section contains 682 words
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News of a Kidnapping from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.