What ledd to Colombian entry into the heroin business?

2. What ledd to Colombian entry into the heroin business?

What led to Colombian entry into the heroin business?


The first time I heard about Colombian heroin, it was when a friend told me that the U.S. government was trying to stop drug smugglers from taking over their country. I thought he was joking at first, but then my friend explained how Colombia became an important transit point for opium after World War II—and how the plan backfired spectacularly on both sides of the border.

The United States

You’re probably aware that the United States is a large market for Colombian cocaine and heroin, but what you may not know is that it’s also a major market for all kinds of drugs. The U.S. has been a major destination for illegal substances since its inception as a nation, so it’s no surprise that when people began to realize how many people were dying from overdoses or other drug-related illnesses, they would want to find out who was responsible for this problem.

So why did Colombia enter into the heroin trade?


Peru was the first country to grow opium poppies and produce a significant amount of heroin. The Peruvian government tried to stop this trade, but it was too late.


Mexican opium production increased from 2 tons in the 1930s to 10 tons in the 1950s, with Mexico being a major producer of marijuana and poppy seeds. The Mexican drug cartels started smuggling heroin into the United States through South Texas.

Colombian drug lords tried to take over the U.S.

Before the drug trade began to go global, Colombian drug lords were already well-established in America. The U.S. was the biggest market for cocaine and heroin in the world; it was an easy target for Colombian drug lords because it was so close to their home base and had a large population base that could easily be manipulated by them (and paid off with drugs).


After the U.S., cocaine was exported by planes and boats to Europe as well as to Africa, Asia and South America. The next biggest market after the United States was Mexico, which became a leading supplier in the 1980s when Colombia began exporting more than it could legally produce for domestic consumption. Other major producers include Peru and Burma (now Myanmar).


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