IRC Americas | U.S. Drug Habit Migrates to Mexico
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U.S. Drug Habit Migrates to Mexico
By Sam Logan and Kate Kaires
The seemingly insatiable U.S. appetite for drugs manifests itself on every level, from local neighborhoods to the halls of power in Washington. For a long time, the United States' addiction to cocaine and heroin was seen as strictly a U.S. problem. Compared to the United States, drug demand in Latin America remained relatively low and countries south of the Rio Grande kept mainly to production and distribution. As long as U.S. demand created a market, Latin America would supply. Criminals in Colombia and Mexico, in particular, focused on feeding the beast, making billions of dollars in the process.
But the nature of drug demand in the United States has changed. With the heavy and relatively rapid onset of demand for methamphetamine (meth), a new paradigm has formed. In the past, demand for the drugs coming out of Latin America remained inside the United States. Today demand has begun to spread out from the United States to Mexico, and possibly beyond.
Sam Logan (www.samuellogan.com) is an investigative journalist who has covered security, energy, politics, economics, organized crime, terrorism, and black markets in Latin America since 1999. He has reported from Santiago, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Buenos Aires. He currently lives in Rio de Janeiro. Sam holds a masters degree in International Policy Studies, and has earned a specialization in Security and Development in South America.
Kate Kairies is a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC. She reports on economics, trade, security, and cultural issues. Kate holds a masters degree in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
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