Narconomics

Narconomics

Tom Wainwright

Peru’s crackdown triggered a coca-growing boom in Colombia. When Colombia redoubled its efforts and drove the farmers out, the coca terraces reappeared in Peru. Western observers call this the “balloon effect”: if you squeeze in one place, it bulges up somewhere else. Latin Americans have an earthier name for the same phenomenon—the “cockroach effect.” Just like cockroaches, you can chase drug traffickers out of one room, but they soon take up residence somewhere else in the house.

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