Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking in the Americas: Trends and Challenges
It is not possible to examine trends in organized crime and drug trafficking without exploring the changing dynamics in the Latin American drug trade. The US government has spent billions of dollars on counter-narcotics initiatives, such as Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative, to combat the supply and trafficking of drugs entering the United States from Latin America. This chapter examines the major trends in organized crime and drug trafficking in the region. It also focuses on the connection between Latin American countries and the United States, which is the number one drug-consuming country in the world. This chapter analyzes the evolution of organized crime over time. The result of counter-drug policies has been a splintering of organized criminal groups into smaller organizations that are harder to combat.