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a drug deal

inside the $400bn global business: The ability of the U.S. government to stop illegal drugs is handicapped by the size and power of the international narcotics business. Drug production, smuggling and distribution have exploded into a sophisticated multinational business structure, estimated at $300-$400 billion worldwide. Here are reports on this ever-expanding business and first hand accounts from the 'businessmen' themselves.


A CIA 2000 map of major narco trafficking routes and crop areas.
special reports

From FRONTLINE's reporting team for the "Drug Wars" series, reports on narco dollars' infiltration of legitimate businesses; the black peso money laundering scheme; and "Do the Math," a primer on why the illegal drug trade is an ever-expanding global business.
Inside the Drug Traffickers' World

From kingpins to mid-level businessmen to street level dealers--seven narco traffickers tell how they set themselves up in business and stayed two steps ahead of the law.
Major Drug Traffickers: DEA Briefing Book

The DEA presents this overview of the major organizations supplying drugs to the United States since the 1970s, including the Medellin and Cali cartels from Colombia and Mexico's Arellano-Felix Organization. It also covers the major trafficking routes and methods of transport.
The Arellano-Felix Organization

The DEA calls the Arellano-Felix Organization "one of the most powerful, violent, and aggressive" drug trafficking groups in Mexico today. This Tijuana-based operation has for over ten years shipped tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin annually into the United States. A video report tells the story of the educated young men from the Tijuana-San Diego area whom the AFO befriends and recruits; articles and interviews with U.S. drug agents explain why the AFO has been able to survive so long.
Culiacan: The Place Mexico's Drug Kingpins Call Home

What Cali and Medellin are to Colombia's traffickers, Culiacan is to Mexico's. It is a city in northwest Mexico where a patron saint of narco traffickers is worshipped and where souvenir shops sell items commemorating the drug culture. Here are two reports, one by journalist Sam Quinones from his forthcoming book on Mexico.
Norman's Cay:  Playground for Drug Smugglers

From 1978 to 1982 this tropical island was a refueling hub for Carlos Lehder and the Medellin cartel's operation that shipped tons of cocaine into the U.S. via small aircraft. Narco trafficker Carlos Toro called Norman's Cay "a Sodom and Gomorrah" of drugs and sex binges. Trafficker George Jung described it as "something out of a James Bond movie." And U.S. drug agents say they realized too late what was going on there. Here are pictures and a short report.
in the shadow of california's dot-com economy

This report offers an inside look at a 1999 FBI investigation on the edge of Silicon Valley which uncovered a distribution chain of drug money and cocaine connecting California, Mexico and Colombia.

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