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 Drug War

Violence grew along with the drug trafficking. In 1984, Medellín traffickers assassinated President Belisario Betancur's minister of justice, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, who had taken an aggressive policy against drug dealers. Betancur invoked his state of...

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This section contains 682 words
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