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Drug Trafficking and Political Movements

  • By: Gary R. Potter
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Links between political movements and drug trafficking can be seen across the world, with a variety of political movements involved at different levels of global and national drug markets. The most important links, from a policy perspective, are those that exist at the upper levels of global drug markets in countries where drug production (including narcotic crop cultivation) is well established. Such countries, often referred to as “narco-states,” are generally found in the developing world, particularly the opium producing regions of Asia and the cocaine producing areas of Latin America. They are often characterized by political instability, repressive political regimes, or a degree of political unrest rather than being free democracies. They include examples of weak or “failed” states, countries experiencing internal politico-military unrest, and ...

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