September 2009

One of the most visible of the Mexican drug cartels now at war in that country is called La Familia Michoacana. 

The “family” is one of at least seven cartels spread across the republic. NPR provides a useful map to locate them.

“La familia” has influenced the political life inMichoacan.  10 mayors and 20 other officials wee held in relation to this.  los Angelos Times provides an article discussing how the political life has been corrupted along with a picture showing Rafael “El Cede” Cedeno Hernandez along with others being arrested.

For those who know spanish here is a video capturing  Rafael “El Cede’s” Cedano Hernandez arrest.


La Familia Michoacana

                                                By: Michelle Alvarado


La Familia Michoacana is a newly formed Mexican drug cartel group formed in the west-central part of the state in Mexico, Michoacana according to Corey Flintoff’s A Look at Mexico’s Drug cartel.[1]  The “Family” is suspected to have begun around 2004.  They had a goal according to the article Mexico’s Drug War of “eradicating the trafficking of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice”, and other narcotics, kidnapping, extortion, murder-for-hire, highway assaults, and robberies”.  Originally the group was portrayed as an organization fighting against drugs.  To make their family name known “The family” was responsible for entering a dance club and throwing five severed human heads on the floor of the night club in the town of Uruapan.  This group is very powerful and dangerous that they have lately even been involved with political corruption of this south central state.  Even though the alleged leader of La Familia Michoacana, Alberto Espinoza Barron, (AKA “La Fresa”), was arrested last year the group still remained strong and powerful.  Recently in late April Rafeal “El Cede” Cedeno Hernandez was arrested for his involvement in La Familia.  “El Cede’s” brother Daniel soon after stepped down from federal deputy candidate in the congressional election, which a small Mexico Green Ecological Party had nominated him. In reality it was less of a political organization than a corrupt family enterprise.  However, corruption just doesn’t stop there.  According to the Los Angeles Times [2] in late May the political corruption of La Familia became very clear.  Ten mayors and twenty other local officials were detained as part of a drug investigation.  George Grayson who wrote La Familia Michoacana: Deadly Mexican Cartel Revisited, [3] back in July that the “Family” “ambushed units of armed forces and federal police in eight cities, beginning at Michoacana’s colonial capital, Morelia”. The family used high powered rifles and grenades against its enemies in Guerro and Guadalajara states.  They are upset about their leaders being taken out, that on July 13th along the Morelia-Lazaro Cardenas highway the “Family” executed twelve federal officers and left them in a pile alongside the road reading “Vengan por otro, los estamos esperando” or in English “come for another (of our leaders), we are waiting for you”.  The cartel is now moving from its Mexico’s market into the US markets like Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles.  Underneath the trailers of fruits and vegetable lays drugs and weapons being imported into the United States.  The law enforcement agencies from both coasts have very little to no experience with “La Familia”.  Military intervention is obviously necessary, but more than just this action needs to be done to stop the drugs from entering into the United States.  Many will agree that cleaning house is needed.  If you get rid of the corrupt politicians and government official, this will remove “La Familia” from being above the law.


[1] In Focus, Mexico’s Drug war, June 2, 2009.  

[2] Turner, La Familia Michoacana, 2009.        

[3] Grayson, La Familia Michoacana: Deadly Mexican Cartel Revisited.

 Recently, Mexico has been in the news quite often because of its war on drugs or the “Mexican Civil War II”.  For as long as anyone can remember there have been drugs present in Mexico; however, in our modern day, the drug industry has exploded.  Due to the drug industry booming, there has been turmoil between various drug cartels leading to many deaths of innocent people.  Many people, not only Mexican, have suffered from the violence of this drug war.  Mexican drug cartels are all over the United States, which is negatively impacting our country because of their extreme violence and murderous acts.   Many young American’s have become involved in the Mexican cartels and most of them voluntarily.  One specific example on BBC news is about a young man, 20 year old Rosalio Reta of Texas, now in prison, became involved with the Mexican drug industry by the age of 13.

 “I thought it was cool. Got involved. That’s how everything started. There’s no way out once you get in.” comments Reta on why he became involved in this Mexican drug cartel. 

This is an excellent example of how the Mexican Drug War is negatively affecting the United States.  They have come into the US and not only have they brought drugs in with them, they are giving more opportunity for our youth to become involved in drugs, crime, and even in the cartels themselves. 

Seperation and Location of Drug Cartels in the US and Mexico

Seperation and Location of Drug Cartels in the US and Mexico

In my opinion, the Mexican cartels all over the world have become similar to the way gangs act in the United States.  They are not working together as an alliance, more so they are working against each other with the severe violence and hatred. 

“Inter- and intra-cartel violence is responsible for the vast majority of the drug-related murders in the country.”

This quote comes from an article in the New York Times, “Drug Wars: When a ‘Cartel’ Really Isn’t”.   It enforces the reasoning behind my idea of referring to the drug cartels as gangs.  The cartels in the United States and in Mexico that are involved in the Mexican Drug war or the “Mexican Civil War II” would rather fight and work against each other, than work as cartels as they have done in the past.  This change in working as a cartel is the main reason this has became a war on drugs which has spread all over the world.

Mexican drug cartels are spreading, and have found a new location in West Africa.  By having a location in West Africa, they have a greater connection to the European drug scene.  One reason they would like to have involvement in Europe is because of the currency exchange rate.  Drug cartels have caused an immense crisis in their new location and officials and military personnel are finding it hard to keep under control. 

As of now we only see the effects of the drug war spreading and becoming worse, we can only hope that things will soon become tranquil in Mexico for the well being of innocent citizens.

 Drugs have been present in Mexico, the United States, and the rest of the world for a long time.  Just recently, within the past 15 years, has the annual income from illicit drug sales risen for some countries, like Mexico.  Mexico has been a big drug trafficking country for some time but has become more powerful since the downfall of the drug cartels in Colombia. Recently it has been in the news for the violence it has brought upon the public. The need for power and money have taken control of the drug cartels in Mexico.     

Mexican drug cartels in the United States

Mexican drug cartels in the United States


                 In February 2006, according to Mexico’s deputy general for organized crime, Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, an estimated 8.3 to 24.9 billion dollars are smuggled into Mexico from illicit drug sales.  But where is this money coming from? Much of this illegal income comes straight from the United States.  Marijuana has always been Mexico’s biggest drug export, but recently, with more and more Colombian cocaine being cut off in Florida, distribution of this drug by Mexican cartels has grown greatly. Not only do Mexican drug cartels operate in Mexico, but also have many smaller organizations within United States boundaries.  For many years Mexico has grown Marijuana within the United States in places like California, but recently have been expanding to other places in the east.  Above is a picture of where Mexican Cartels are believed to be present in the United States today.

                Much of the money smuggled into Mexico belongs to the major Mexican cartels such as the Gulf Cartel and the Federation.  The Gulf cartel, which is operated by one of the most powerful crime organizations, the zetas, is probably one of the most powerful cartels in all of Mexico.  Although the Mexican government  has arrested over 90,000 people on drug charges this decade,  these crime organizations continue to grow at an increasingly rapid rate.   With these cartels growing, the amount of violence in Mexico as well as the United States has increased greatly.  According to Alex Sánchez a COHA researcher, “In 2006, over 4,000 were killed in Mexico in drug-related violence.”  This number is still increasing each year.  Many times, cartels use murder as a warning sign for the police or as retaliation for one of their leaders being arrested.  They have said they won’t stop killing, unless they get what they want.

Mexican drug cartels have been present for a long time, but recently have been expanding into other countries such as the United States.  Unless something is done by a more powerful government, Mexican cartels are going to continue to grow and create more violence.

Since Felipe Calderón (PAN-conservative National Action Party) came into office in 2006, drug related violence is at an all time high in Mexico’s drug war.  Calderón comes from the state of Michoacán, where drug-related violence is particularly evident.  The war is based on the increasing power of cartels (mafias), weak local authorities, distrust for the government, overall corruption, and worldwide drug consumer markets.  According to an article, “Mexican cartels gained their dominance in drug trafficking in the mid-1980s, when U.S. drug agents and the Colombian government cracked down on Colombian cartels and drug routes through the Caribbean. The vast majority of cocaine headed to the U.S. started going through Mexico.”

Distrust for the government relates to Mexico’s unstable political past where local militant leaders, or caudillos, took control; cartel leaders could be seen as modern-day caudillos.  Cartels have become powerful as they offer protection, jobs, and support filling a void where the government has marginalized so many citizens living in sub-standard, impoverished conditions.  Cartels also gain control through fear by utilizing extortion, money laundering, and violence, including torture and kidnapping, in addition to having expert military connections and access to weapons through the trafficking of arms.  Some of the most dominant cartels include the Sinaloa Cartel, the Zetas (Gulf Cartel), and La Familia, which has ties to the Zetas.  As mentioned in an article, “the Zetas act as assassins for the Gulf cartel. They also traffic arms, kidnap, and collect payments for the cartel on its drug routes.”  The drug cartels often have more control than local authorities; such is the image portrayed by an article which states, “Cadillac Escalades and Lincoln Navigators with low tires and chrome rims patrol the streets of Zitacuaro, even as trucks of army troops roll past.”

In order to combat corruption within the government, “President Calderón purged 284 federal police commanders, including federal commanders of all 31 states and the federal district. These commanders were suspended and subjected to drug and polygraph tests. The Mexican government immediately named replacements for the 284 dismissed commanders. The new commanders all successfully passed an array of examinations designed to weed out corrupt officers, including financial checks, drug testing, and psychological and medical screening. These tests are to be repeated on a regular basis…In addition to the anti-drug operations, President Calderón has increased salaries of troops involved in counter-cartel operations by nearly 50%.”

In more recent news, Mexico elected a new attorney general after the prior attorney general, Eduardo Medina Mora (PAN) recently resigned,  Arturo Chavez Chavez (PAN), the main candidate supported by Calderón, received opposition from the Senate.  Mexico New Attorney GeneralChavez, from Chihuahua, is being criticized by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and human rights activists for potential mishandling of investigations of the killings of hundreds of women in Juarez, where mass femicide is currently taking place.  Chihuahua is currently one of the most violent areas in Mexico.  In present Mexican politics, it is important to look for candidates with high moral standards that can stand against the corruption of the Mexican government; for this reason, Chavez is seen by some as a controversial choice.  The attorney general plays a key role in combating the corruption involved in the drug war.

Another interesting approach to calming the violence is censoring a popular genre of music.  Narcocorridos, banda ballads praising drug culture, are being taken off the airwaves in hopes of diminishing the exposure of the glorification of the drug cartels.  “The Mexican Senate, unable to act itself because of freedom of speech legislation, exhorted individual states to restrict narcocorridos, saying the songs create a virtual justification for drug traffickers.”  Since the government cannot ban the extremely popular genre, individual states have voluntarily enacted bans with local radio stations.  According to an article, “the first thing a drug runner would do after a successful run was to hire someone to write a corrido about it.  Corrido performers normally charge thousands of dollars, or tens of thousands of pesos, to write and perform such a piece.”  As an example, one of the most famous Sinaloa Cartel leaders, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is “celebrated in corridos for repeat­edly escaping from Mexican prisons and avoiding extradition.”

In conclusion, steps are being taken to solve the issues of corruption in the Mexican government.  With increased solidarity and international intervention, we can hope Mexico promptly resolves its ghastly violent drug war.

Women throughout Argentina cry out for help daily due to the horrific trafficking many of them fear or have suffered through.    Women trafficking by definition is the illegal commerce and trade of people.  It is essentially the facet of slavery which relies on direct purchase.  The victims of human trafficking are used for prostitution, forced labor and other forms of involuntary servitude.  Women trafficking is most common in the cities of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and Tucuman in Argentina.  These articles will explain how trafficking women is successfully accomplished, explore specific cases of victims and will address the amount of involvement the Government has in this issue.  

Argentina is one of the most popular places for women trafficking.  It’s seen as a business to many pimps, gang members and businessmen.  In Buenos Aires, advertisements encourage women to be lured into the business of prostitution without even knowing it.  However other women recognize the ads and convince themselves that it’s the answer to their problems.  With over 40 percent of the population in poverty, prostitution is an easy and fast way to earn money.  Many women result to this job in order to feed their families and give them a better life.  Unfortunately having a degrading job isn’t the only downside of this business.  Many of the women go into the business not knowing the amount of danger they put themselves in.  Most cases of trafficking result in the women getting highly addicted to drugs or even worse, death.

There are numerous cases that have both happy and sad endings.  In one specific case, a young 16-year-old girl named Otoño Uriarte was kidnapped and forced into a life that was unfamiliar to her.  Being a minor, she was sold on the market for an extremely high price.  Minors are rare but valuable because the younger the victim, the easier it is to get them addicted to drugs and the prostitution business.  Although her story ended in a tragic death, her case was a breakthrough in the business of women trafficking.  Between 5 and 10 years after her death, investigators were able to uncover evidence for the first time leading to the conclusion that there was in fact a connection between the police and the prostitution network.  The police were being paid by not only the Government but also the traffickers to keep their mouths shut, avoid any investigations of missing people and in some cases even loaning their police cars out in order to make it easier to abduct women.

For years, the Government has done nothing but participate and encourage the progress of trafficking women.  The Government was satisfied with the amount of money that was coming into the country and the power they were gaining over Latin America.  What they failed to recognize was the damage that it was doing to their people.   Although it is known that the Government has not taken the proper steps in improving the trafficking problem, in January of 2009 the Government under President Christina Kirchner was finally convinced that Argentina needed a change.  Being a woman that was previously in office beside her husband, Nester Kirchner, she knew that human trafficking has been a reoccurring issue in Argentina.  Kirchner tried her best to enforce numerous laws and distribute more money to investigating the police system.  Unfortunately this plan was short sighted and there has been no evidence that a change has actually occurred.



Starting in East Asia then coming over to Brazil then engulfing the whole Latin America area, poor economy has brought unemployment and poverty to an all time high. Many speculate that the reason for a down fall in the Latin America economy may be because of the emerging markets. Now expectations have decreased for Latin America. World Bank estimates that Latin America 2009 growth potential will decrease from 4.2 percent to between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.

The decrease in growth potential will mainly affect two areas for the Latin America economy; the credit market and commodity prices. Latin America is one of the main suppliers for commodities to the rest of the world. Since people will always demand goods, all Latin America can do is wait out the storm.

Latin America’s has an extremely hard time holding a credit pool. Since South America is divided up by mountains, jungles, and rivers, transporting goods is extremely difficult. So South America has depended to heavily on foreign credit to build roads for easier transport of commodities. Since the 1982 debt crisis, Latin America still experiences heavy debt to this day.

Unemployment has only risen since the debt crisis in 1982, also called “the lost decade.” Overall, unemployment has risen up 10% since 1990. Argentina current unemployment rate is 19.7% and in Uruguay it is 17%. And since now more and more Natives are without jobs, the people below the poverty line has increased.

“According to Panorama Laboral, 19 million workers were unable to find work in 2003 despite regional economic growth of 1.5 per cent of the GDP. The report said labor market performance was weak during the past year, with unemployment reaching 10.7 per cent – or nearly the same as in 2002 when it was pegged at 10.8 percent. What is more, the report also said that even an accelerated growth rate of 3.5 percent in 2004 would fail to reduce unemployment significantly.” (

Argentina and Uruguay population about 40%-30% are below the poverty line. The main countries that experienced the greatest impact on unemployment were Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. The terrible rise in unemployment has also developed terrible child labor practices. (

Child labor in Latin America is now a large concern with law official and child right activists. “The study found that, after begging, the most common forms of child labor included street performers (14 percent), children who work as cartoneros, helping their parents scavenge through trash for recyclables (11 percent), and children selling things in bars, mass transit or the streets (4 percent).” (

It’s hard to write what Latin America needs to do in words, but here are some given suggestions. The number one thing would be creating more stainable jobs for blue collar workers. Jobs are not that easily created in a weak economy though. Another thing would be to strengthen the relationship between the government and workers. Mexico and other Latin American countries are known for protests due to bad working condition and poor pay. Minimum wage is quite low in Mexico, only a few pesos a day.

Link to a graph of Latin American countries unemployment rates (male vs. female).

We are losing Earth’s greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered about 14% of the Earth’s land mass; now they cover a messily 6% and professionals estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed within the next 40 years or so.

This should put a chill down everyone’s spine because the Amazon Rainforest alone provides more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and with one and a half acres of rainforest being lost every second, this is a problem we should really be concerned more about.

Most of these losses are caused by logging, fires, and land-clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing. Specifically, in Para and Mato Grosso states from July 2008 – June 2009, a grand total of 4,700 square kilometers of rainforest was chopped down. Just in the recent month of June there was an estimated sum of 578 square kilometers lost from these rainforests. To put that in perspective, that is the size of the city of Los Angeles. If we are losing as much rainforest, in one month, as the size of the second largest city in the United States, there is definitely a problem.

Most of the deforestation around the area of Mato Grosso is being blamed on the governor, Blairo Maggi. Maggi is not only the governor but owns one of the biggest soy bean operations in South America. He is known to many as “The Soy King.” But this Soy King, according to National Geographic, for converting 80% of rainforests in his state to soy bean farms and cattle ranches. He now has over 350,000 acres of soy bean farms. Although he insists that concerns about Amazon deforestation are exaggerated.

So now you know, rainforest deforestation is a real problem, especially in the case of Mato Grosso, but what can we do about it? Now I’m not saying you should take a plane done to South America and chain yourself to a tree, but I will list some practical methods. We first must inform others. If people don’t know there is a problem, how can they help to fix it? Second, we should not only tell people about the deforestation problems but encourage them to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. Finally, we should support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment. Not companies like the kind Blairo Maggi is running in the state he is governing.

June 28th, 2009: For the first time in over two decades, Central America has experienced a military coup d’etat.  Although Honduras has had a civilian government since 1982, in the early morning hours of June 28th, the military raided President Manuel Zelaya’s home in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa.  The democratically elected president was kidnapped and put on a plane to San José, Costa Rica.  Zelaya was ousted over apprehensions with the president’s efforts to remove presidential term limits and for being a leftist aligned with Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez.


The Honduran Congress has replaced Zelaya with the Speaker of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti.  He was sworn in as President by the National Congress.

People of Honduras were left in the dark figuratively- and literally.  Local television stations were either shut down or only played cartoons and soaps.   The electricity was shut off and telephone lines were cut.  Only the very wealthy that had internet access were able to learn about what was going on in their own country.  Later that day Michiletti issued a curfew on the entire country, from 9pm to 6am. 

Pro-Zelaya protests started almost immediately.  On July 1st, a decree was approved by Congress that allowed security officials to arrest protesters at their homes and hold them in jail for over 24 hours.

Exiled Zelaya remained outside of his country until September 21st when he took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.  The ousted president claimed to have taken back roads, rode in a trunk and even a tractor to avoid check points.  The president of Brazil, Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, stated that his country was granting Zelaya refuge because it’s what “any democratic country would do.” 

When word got out to the public about Zelaya’s return, his supporters congregated outside the Brazilian Embassy.  Honduran police forces used tear gas to disperse the thousands.  Micheletti issued a country curfew again, and requested that the Brazilian government place Zelaya in Honduran custody.

The world has a very negative outlook on the crisis in Honduras.  Many fear the coup will lead to violence or guerilla warfare.  Every Latin American nation except for Honduras, obviously, has publicly denounced the coup and agrees that Zelaya should be returned to power.  The United Nations claims it will not recognize any government in Honduras besides that of Zelaya.  The OAS (Organization of American States) has suspended Honduras from the organization when the new government failed to step down and restore control to Manual Zelaya.  The European Union has removed all their ambassadors from Honduras and the World Bank will not be lending any money to Honduras until the situation is solved.

Zelaya’s presidential term would have ended January, 2010.  If the de facto government steps down, Zelaya would finish his term but claims he would not run for re-election or accept a nomination to be president again.  There is no sign of resolution to this crisis, and the people of Honduras have been living in oppression for over 80 days now.  American and world organizations along with Latin American leaders continue to work towards a peaceful conclusion.

For More Information:

Para hispanohablantes:

Ousted President Zelaya

Ousted President Zelaya

New President Micheletti

"New President" Micheletti

We condemn the coup detat and the repression of the Honduran town. Yes to democracy! No to totalitarianism Live Solidarity

"We condemn the coup d'etat and the repression of the Honduran town. Yes to democracy! "No to totalitarianism" "Live Solidarity"

Protesters vs Military

Protesters vs Military

narcoCan music lead to a life of drug dealing and violence?  Well, I believe that the music played by the narco corridos in Latin America are doing just that.  Their music may seem upbeat and fun since it is set to a polka beat, but they have extremely violent lyrics.  According to the Vancouver Sun, many young people are turning to the narcocorridos for inspiration during hard times.  Their songs start out telling of their great houses and expensive cars that make their life seem to be perfect.  Then, they continue the same song with lyrics and words about drugs and killing. 

It would only makes sense that young adults would want the wealth of the drug traffickers, but they do not realize the consequences that go with it.  Mr. Edberg, a member of the Sinaloan legislature stated, “You’ve got these glamorous mythological figures, and if you take a 12-year-old kid who is living on a dirt road, no electricity, some very high poverty setting and they see these people, it’s a fantasy to be able to live like that. To have all that power and to be able to be so powerful even the government is afraid of you and they can be corrupted by you.”  The narco corridos make drug dealers and traffickers seem like rockstars. 

It is not just the fact that they are advertising them and making them seem like gods, but they are also spreading the stories, in great detail, of the murders committed by drug runners.  According to Elijah Wald, a former blues guitarist who has written a book on narco corridos, the first thing a drug runner does after committing a crime is hiring a narco corrido to write a song about it.  These songs have become so dangerous to not only the people who are negatively influenced by them, but also for the narco corrido members.  If they write a song about a certain gang committing crimes, then the opposing gang might find them and kill them so they cannot help out their enemies.  

Narco corridos have caused so much controversy that many places have banned them from their radio stations.  Mexican authorites are unable to legally ban them due to the “freedom of speech” legislation, but many radio stations are doing this voluntarily.  In conclusion, I believe that narco corridos are a terrible influence on everyone that listens to their music.  Children and teens, especially those in poverty, should not listen to these songs and should not be sucked in by the wealth and infamy of the gangsters.

George Jung is a convicted drug trafficker.  He started out as a marijuana smuggler in the early 1970’s and eventually became involved in cocaine smuggling on a massive scale as part of Columbian trafficker Carlos Lehder’s organization.

In an interview with George Jung, he was asked how he became a marijuana dealer, and how did it happen?  “Well smoking marijuana or most everybody who smokes marijuana deals it in small amounts to their friends, innocently enough.  I think its innocently enough.  Then I begin to see the money aspect of it.  That was the driving force.  I suddenly began to realize that to become an entrepreneur in the marijuana business would make me fairly well off.  And I also liked the lifestyle, my own working hours.  Basically, the whole conception of this came about when a friend of mine came out to Manhattan Beach for the summer in California.  He was attending U-Mass at Amherst and I had a large punch bowl of pot sitting on the table, for anybody to use at their leisure.  He asked me how much it was worth and I told him something like $60.00 per kilo.  He told me that it sold for $300.00 back east in Amherst.  The wheels began to turn and the next thing I knew we were purchasing the $60.00 per kilos and transporting pot back to Amherst making a profit of approximately $200.00 on each one less the airline fare, what have you.  At that time that was a lot of money.”  

George Jung was a very clever man in the drug trafficking world that seemed to run into almost all the right connections.  George Jung was arrested in Chicago with a trunk full of pot and ended up in a federal prison in Danbury.  George Jung said that Danbury was mostly a population of white collar criminals and some major smugglers were in there, but in those days you did very little of your time.  George Jung’s bunkmate was Carlos Lehder, who was from Columbia and acted in a mellow manner.  As time passed Carlos Lehder started to ask George Jung if he knew anything about cocaine and Jung said no.  Carlos Lehder was persistent with George and told him it sold for $60,000.00 a kilo in the U.S.  This sparked an interest with Jung and asked how much it went for in Columbia.  Lehder said it only cost $4,000.00 to $5,000.00.  Jung said “immediately bells started going off and the cash register started ringing in my head.”  “I finally just said I could transport an aircraft in the U.S. and I possibly had a major market for it.

The next step for Carlos and George was to start transporting cocaine back and forth to Columbia.  They started off by hiring two young ladies to fly to Columbia with identical suitcases.  There they would get the cocaine and fly back to the U.S.  Back then it was easy to get through customs because they did not really check luggage thoroughly.  That was the beginning of what is known as the cartel.  The Medellin Cartel.  

Within time Carlos introduced George to a man named Pablo Escobar and the Ochoas.  Basically Escobar was there for supplying.  Carlos and George were in the transporting and distribution.  The Ochoas were in the political aspect of it, taking care of the politicians and authorities as far as protection.  

George Jung is important to Latin America because he started a huge drug trafficking business which has led a lot of followers to Jung’s work.  George Jung had such an impact on people that a movie was made about his life called Blow.

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