This article analyses the evolution of illegal drug economy in the Americas over the past two decades. It identifies eight key trends that have characterized illicit drug trafficking and organized crime as of mid-2011. They are: (1) the increasing globalization of drug consumption; (2) the limited victories and unintended consequences of the U.S.-led 'War on Drugs'; (3) the proliferation of cultivation areas and of drug smuggling routes; (4) the dispersion and fragmentation of organized criminal groups; (5) the failure of political reform and state-building efforts; (6) the inadequacies U.S. domestic drug and crime control policies; (7) the ineffectiveness of regional and international drug control policies; (8) the growing support for legalization debate.
- Drug trafficking
- Latin america
- Organized crime
- War on drugs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)