Today’s sociology class on globalisation had me thinking about Americanisation, ethics and sustainability all afternoon. And then I came home and started season 3 of Narcos. And it hit me. One of the most unethical, unsustainable and exploitive industries is actually the cocaine trade.
Most of us know that the majority of cocaine that is purchased by the west is sourced from South America. The thriving drug trade in NYC, Miami and LA was the reason Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel turned over billions of dollars and killed thousands of innocent civilians in the process. To this day Columbia is still the largest producer of cocaine. And guess which country is the largest consumer?
The National Centre for Historical Memory in Columbia estimates that over 220,000 people have died in the Columbia Drug War. The number of homicides in Columbia is still higher than the United States, despite the population being seven times smaller. Within the context of sustainability, deforestation is at an all time high in the Amazon to make room for the coca crop.
Like in many developing countries, the prospect of earning money to feed your family is the most important thing. And when there’s no jobs available, where do you turn?
As the demand for Cocaine continues, the drug trade in South America will continue to thrive, along with the death toll. And like all multinational companies, the people at the top will continue to get richer and the people at the bottom will continue to be exploited.
Cocaine isn’t just a drug, it’s a blood drug.
Remember that, and put your money where your mouth is.