Perhaps because of the cocaine industry’s multifront challenges to the Andean governments, Washington has expressed concern about a connection between the cocaine industry and Marxist guerrilla groups. Indeed, the Reagan administration analyzed the drug problem within the framework of the East-West conflict. Administration officials spoke publicly and privately about a “deadly connection” and an “unholy alliance” between cocaine kings and guerrillas. A 1985 U.S. government report on Soviet influence in Latin America warned of an “alliance between drug smugglers and arms dealers in support of terrorists and guerrillas.”1 The idea of a narcoguerrilla alliance played very well in Washington, Bogotá, and Lima. In general, governments found it expedient to depict cocaine traffickers as hostile to the political order—working outside of the system—and the narcoguerrilla label served that purpose admirably.
KeywordsDepression Shipping Income Cocaine Explosive
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