Cartel VI: Fall, 2013


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Operation Fast and Furious Fast Facts

In comparison, statistics report 73, ha in terms of area under cultivation.

As the Uribe administration and the US-backed Plan Colombia succeeded at least partially in Colombia in the war against cocaine traffickers, the major drug trafficking networks in Mexico took advantage of the vacuum left in the drug trade to take over control of cocaine smuggling operations from Colombia into the United States. As a consequence, drug-related violence and criminality shifted northwards into Mexican territory as various Mexican trafficking organizations vied for control over the highly lucrative smuggling trade from Colombia and the southern Andes into the large and profitable US market.

The most likely outcome is that it will drive both further underground in Mexico while pushing many smuggling activities and criminal network operations into neighboring countries such as Guatemala and Honduras and back to Colombia and the Andes. Indeed, evidence that some Mexican drug trafficking operations Sinaloa, Zetas are moving from Mexico into Central America is already abundant.

How large the reductions in Colombian coca cultivation in the past three years have actually been is a controversial topic, plagued by inadequate data, methodological problems, and major uncertainties regarding the actual extent of cultivation and yield levels.

The Drug Cartels' IT Guy

Given similar caveats, coca cultivation in both Peru and Bolivia, after almost two decades of decline, appears once again to have expanded. Evidently, the balloon effect that allowed coca cultivation to shift north from Bolivia and Peru to Colombia in the s continues to operate as cultivation moved back into Peru and Bolivia from Colombia at the end of the first decade of the s. Various observers have speculated about the possibility that the tropical variety of coca — known in Portuguese as Epadu — might well balloon coca cultivation from its traditional growing areas on the eastern slopes of the Andes into Brazil and elsewhere in the Amazon basin in coming years, if ongoing or renewed eradication efforts prove successful in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

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First, it is important to note that year-to-year variations are commonplace owing to climate factors and short-term disruptions; declines over several years are required to identify enduring trends. Second, the UN statistics are approximations along a range rather than firm data points; it is entirely possible that the UN report underestimate the real levels of production. Third, innovations in more productive hybrid plants, yields-per-hectare and processing can produce higher levels of refined cocaine production than anticipated by the UN analysts.

Finally, the ongoing decentralization and dispersion of cultivation in Colombia makes accurate mapping of the total numbers of hectares under cultivation a very problematic endeavor. As a consequence of the weakening of FARC control in vast stretches of rural Colombia and the partial demobilization of the paramilitary bands engaged in drug trafficking over the period , marked the beginning of an important decline after at least three years of steady increases in total production.

To sustain this decline will certainly require that Colombia continue its manual eradication efforts and that it provide additional funds for well-designed and executed alternative development programs in coca growing areas throughout the country Youngers and Walsh, ; also Felbab-Brown et al. To forestall a recurrence of the balloon effect — pushing cultivation out of one country only to have it reappear in others — the Obama administration will have to seek to reestablish a workable relation with the government of President Evo Morales in Bolivia and find effective ways to combat the resurgence of Sendero Luminoso Shining Path and coca cultivation in Peru.

Failure to achieve more effective drug control policies in both countries will likely result in a continuing shift of coca production back to Peru and Bolivia, thereby nullifying any real progress made in reducing coca cultivation in Colombia over the medium term. They were quickly replaced over the mid to late s and early s with new routes that used Panama and Central America, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Corridor to reach Mexico and then cross from Mexico into United States Bagley, ; Scott and Marshall, As a result, some of the Mexican trafficking organizations have begun to move into Central America — especially Guatemala and Honduras — to take advantage of these much weaker states to conduct their smuggling operations, Bagley, ; Farah, ; ICG, 3; Dudley, passim.

Venezuela is a jumping off point for smuggling through the Caribbean to the east coast of the United States or across the Atlantic through West Africa into Europe. Venezuela also is used for drug flights into Honduras or Guatemala where the shipments are then transferred to trucks and transported by land across the Guatemalan-Mexican border northwards to the United States. Over the past twenty five years and more, the war on drugs conducted by the United States and its various Latin American and Caribbean allies has succeeded repeatedly in shifting coca cultivation from one area to another in the Andes and in forcing frequent changes in smuggling routes.

But it has proven unable to disrupt seriously, much less stop permanently, either production or trafficking in the hemisphere. The traffickers constant, successful adaptations to law enforcement measures designed to end their activities have lead to the progressive contamination of more and more countries in the region by the drug trade and its attendant criminality and violence Archibald and Cave, The demise of the major cartels opened the way for illegal armed actors such as the FARC and the paramilitaries.

In Colombia, the rise and fall of Medellin and Cali and subsequently the Norte del Valle cartel vividly illustrate the perils and vulnerabilities of large, hierarchical criminal trafficking organizations, especially when they attempt to confront the state openly. Both major cartels in Colombia were hierarchically structured and proved to be vulnerable targets for Colombian and international law enforcement agencies.

Although there may be counter-tendencies leading to re-concentration among criminal trafficking organizations in Colombia today e. As of , this struggle was still playing itself out in brutal and bloody fashion.

How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Impact of Social Sciences

If it does, the trend would be warmly welcomed by Mexican governing authorities because it would portend a considerable diminution in the capacity of organized criminal networks in Mexico to directly challenge state authority and national security. Unlike its predecessors and current rivals in Mexico, the Sinaloa cartel is less hierarchical and more federative hub and spokes in its organizational structure. To date, Sinaloa, also known as the Federation, seems to be winning the war against its rivals, although its fight against the Zetas a paramilitary-style organization is proving to be prolonged, costly, and bloody.

Under former mayor now governor of Antioquia Sergio Fajardo, Medellin did see a significant decline in violence rates for several years — especially homicide statistics — via informal negotiations with the gangs, new mayoral initiatives to reduce gang violence e. In such neighbourhoods, drug traffickers have found readily accessible pools of new gang members and many potential drug consumers, as well as efficient corridors for smuggling drugs and arms.


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While no recent statistics are available, anecdotal evidence indicates that the numbers of maras active in Juarez and Mexico more generally appear to have increased steadily to above 25, Figure 2 Municipalities with five or more organized crime-related deaths Guatemala and Honduras are currently targets for both the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas. Criminal organizations, in contrast, do not determine the type of state, although they certainly can deter or inhibit political reform efforts at all levels of a political system from local to national.

The United States, for example, has eliminated the Italian mafia model and seen it replaced by fragmented and widely dispersed domestic criminal organizations, many affiliated with immigrant communities. Europe is characterized by a similar evolution of organized crime groups affiliated with immigrant populations.

Antitrust Working Groups and submissions

Japan, in contrast, has coexisted with the Yakuza, a more corporate-style criminal network. In China, state capitalism coexists with the Chinese triads and other criminal organizations. In Russia, the Putin government, in effect, subordinated and incorporated various elements of the Russian mafia as para-state organizations Bagley, In Mexico, the formerly dominant PRI party developed almost tributary relations with organized crime groups.

Mexico is experiencing precisely such a transition. The old institutions — police, courts, prisons, intelligence agencies, parties, elections — no longer work. Indeed, they are manifestly corrupt and dysfunctional. Nevertheless, in practice, few new institutional mechanisms have arisen to replace them. Moreover, reform efforts can be, and often have been, stymied or derailed entirely by institutional corruption and criminal violence intended to limit or undermine state authority and the rule of law. Rather, they highlight challenges and obstacles along the road to democratization that are frequently overlooked or ignored altogether.

Democratic theorists have only recently begun to seriously examine the problems for democratic transitions that emanate from organized and entrenched criminal networks. In the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, such neglect of institution reform may well imperil both political stability and democracy itself. Rather than democratic consolidation, the consequence of ignoring organized crime and its corrosive effects may well be institutional decay or democratic de-institutionalization. Countries emerging from internal armed conflicts are significantly more vulnerable, although such conflicts are not the only source of institutional weakness.

Transitions from authoritarian to democratic political systems may also engender such institutional deficits even in the absence of prior prolonged internal conflict. During this preliminary phase, the DI may carry out inspections and submit formal requests for information. The Council can adopt interim measures at any time during the course of the proceedings and for an undetermined length of time. The Competition Act provides that the maximum length of the procedure is 18 months although under certain circumstances this deadline can be extended.

The Royal Decree also determines the maximum length of the investigation phase, i. Therefore, the prohibition described above will not automatically apply, provided the criteria set out in Article Furthermore, the EU Block Exemptions will also apply to those agreements even in the absence of any cross-border impact. In addition, the Government can adopt block exemptions. In addition, agreements decisions or concerted practices may benefit from an exemption if they improve the production or distribution of goods or promote technical or economic progress, subject to specific requirements established in Article 1.

Moreover, pursuant to Article 4 of the Competition Act, the prohibition set out in Article 1 does not apply to conducts deriving from the application of a law. However, this exception on the application of the Spanish competition rules is without prejudice to the enforcement of EU competition law provisions when both are simultaneously applicable. In this regard, it is worth noting that according to the Competition Act, any conduct restricting imports or exports is considered to be a cartel conduct see question 1.

However, the Spanish Authority ignored this fact when it included the affected sales in Morocco for its fine calculation. Nevertheless, it is relevant to consider that when there are several defendants, a person may also be sued in the Courts for the place where any one of them is domiciled, provided the claims are so closely connected that it is expedient to hear and determine them together to avoid the risk of irreconcilable judgments resulting from separate proceedings in different Member States. This provision may be applicable in cartel cases in which the infringers may have their domicile in different Member States, allowing the claimant to initiate actions against several defendants in Spain if any of them is domiciled there.

Moreover, Article 7. The case law of the European Courts has clarified that victims of cartel infringements have the alternative option of bringing an action for damages against several companies that have participated in the infringement, either before the Courts of the place where the cartel itself was concluded, or one specific agreement that implied the existence of the cartel, or before the Courts of the place where the loss arose.

Therefore, a claimant who is domiciled in Spain would be allowed to initiate actions before the Spanish Courts. Even though none of the companies involved are registered in Spain, the Spanish Tribunals are competent. Foreign companies are also subject to sanctions under Spanish competition provisions for antitrust infringements committed by their subsidiaries.

In particular, under Article 61 2 of the Competition Act, the actions of an undertaking are also attributable to the undertakings or natural persons that control it, unless its economic behaviour is not directed by any such persons. It is nevertheless important to take into consideration the fact that, according to well-settled European case law, if a company is wholly owned by its parent company, there exists a rebuttable presumption that the parent company dictated the economic behaviour of its subsidiary.

The CNMC repeatedly cites this European case law in cartel cases to extend the liability of cartel members to their parent companies see question 3. Since Spanish regulations do not provide for criminal sanctions for competition infringements, Spanish judges will be unlikely to accede to extradition requests from foreign jurisdictions. The Directorate for Competition, which is in charge of enquiries, is the authority invested with the powers referred to below.

The powers of inspection granted to the CNMC allow the authorised staff to enter not only any premises of the concerned undertakings, but also all land and means of transport owned by them. They can enter not only the private homes of the entrepreneurs, but also those of managers and other members of staff of the undertakings concerned.

Under Spanish law, as mentioned in question 2. Access to premises is only mandatory if authorised by a Court through a warrant.

How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Impact of Social Sciences

In the absence of such a judicial warrant, undertakings are entitled to deny access to their premises although not to oppose to the inspection, which is mandatory. In practice, the CNMC usually requests a warrant in advance to secure access to premises. Personal and privileged documents must be identified during the inspection. Some CNMC inspections have been annulled by the Supreme Court since it considered that officials had exceeded the original scope of the inspection orders, which constituted a violation of the fundamental right to inviolability of domicile.

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