Drug trafficking is an illegal business that involves the production, sales and distribution of substances prohibited by laws. Cocaine is among the drugs being trafficked to America from regions like Columbia due to its lucrative nature and consumption levels within this market. Even though there are strict legal provisions and punitive measure including extradition, more cocaine is making its way into America. Currently, it is ranked among the most trafficked drugs into the country, hence the need for understanding the driving forces, operations of logistical networks, implications, and practical solutions that are applicable to resolving cocaine trafficking problem.
Massive cocaine addiction is one of the driving factors for its widespread trafficking not only in America, but also across the globe. Statistics indicate that more than 5,000 deaths occur annually from cocaine overdose making it a serious issue in the American context. As such, it has created a lucrative market that drug-producing regions are leveraging upon to make significant profits from this illegal trade. Approximately 90% of cocaine that made its way into the country came through the central American corridor and Mexico from groups in Columbia that produce 70 to 80 percent of world cocaine .
In addition to the availability of a ready market, its consumption is rising due to its tendency for abuse especially after its use as for medical purposes. Its addictive tendencies and experiences make people reluctant to control its use and the only way of accessing the drug is through illegal means. This factor has in fact contributed to the rising cases of trafficking of cocaine. The same demand and supply factors have been observed in producing areas like Columbia where farming of the illegal coca crop has risen creating more supply. It is this supply that forced vendors to seek new markets and ways of increasing quantities in their existing markets; hence, the current cocaine trafficking trends.
The extreme reward to risk ratio of the drug operations has led dominant cartels to seek innovative ways to traffic their merchandise to destination markets. They are constantly seeking new ways to traffic cocaine in order to evade detection from law enforcement agencies. One of the ingenuous methods that has been used for trafficking cocaine is converting it into liquid form or through homemade submarines. Liquid cocaine is made by dissolving it into solvents that are later separated once it reaches its final destination. This has posed a major problem to anti-trafficking agencies because this form is difficult to detect.
On the other hand, criminal organizations throughout south and Latin America build submarines that transport drugs into neighboring nations like America. This form of transportation ranges from semi-submersible to fully submersible vessels that are hard to detect. On other occasions, submarines are complemented by use of drones and ultralight planes to move large quantities of cocaine across borders. Authorities have found it difficult to detect these trafficking techniques giving leeway for more cocaine to enter into the illegal drug market in America and across the globe.
Other methods such as the use of canons and catapults have been employed especially in regions with high bordering walls. Bales of cocaine are blasted across the walls, even though this method is easy to detect and catch the perpetrators. Regardless, this amount no matter how small has come with massive implications on the society in various ways. One of them is that trafficking has made illegal cocaine available on the streets increasing the number of drug addicts. The fact is its availability is fueling the current drug and substance abuse problem because there is sufficient supply in the black market that is relatively affordable and easily accessible.
Another implication of continued trafficking of cocaine can be viewed in the case of America where overdose deaths are the highest. One in every twenty adults aged between 18 and 25 years have used cocaine at some point in their lives indicating its relative implications due to successful trafficking operations. Another implication is creation of illegal markets, corruption, and cross border crime especially from the proceeds. Successful trafficking is predicated on the ability to corrupt agencies to allow uninterrupted movement until destination markets are reached, and at the same time, the proceeds may be used for funding criminal activities such as insurgency.
Due to the social and economic implications associated with trafficking of cocaine, governments have adopted multifaceted strategies to combat this illegal activity from a globalized perspective. The kingpin strategy is among the main approaches that are being used to seek, arrest, and prosecute known cartel leaders even if it means extradition. Even though it has experienced some presented failures, notable cartel leaders and major traffickers have been prosecuted causing a ripple effect that has deterred mass trafficking of cocaine.
On the other hand, governments such as America have also invested in border controls, detection mechanisms, and domestic policies that deter and punish drug trafficking. There are radar technologies to detect the movement of drugs using light planes and drones across borders, agent training to detect certain behaviors, use of sniffer dogs, and so forth. The main intention is to minimize the amount of illegal cocaine that is making its way into the American market as the nation seeks other strategies to address the rising drug abuse problem within its social context.