In the year of 1987, Juan’s home in Colombia was assailed by Colombian authorities and he was killed along with many of our business colleagues. I was in Los Angeles at the time preparing the expansion of my market when I heard the news. This came to me as a surprise, but I wasn’t saddened at the news. As it had done with my friend Carlos, it opened new perspectives in my mind: I would take over what Juan left behind. I new enough people, new a lot about how the business worked and I had the financial capacities to achieve my plan. I flew straight to Colombia and held a meeting with those that I knew and that were still alive.
I told them that I wanted to take over the business and become the new big boss. Only a few disapproved my plan and they were taken care of very rapidly. I bought a house in Colombia so that I could be close to my new business partners. Expansion came quickly, my drugs were exported to Europe, South-East Asia and Australia, I didn’t bother with Africa because there was hardly any market there, there isn’t enough money in the continent. During the 90s I didn’t leave Colombia much, the new business partners that I met from different countries around the world came to Colombia to see me, it was much safer.
The Colombian authorities are very easy to bribe, they didn’t give me any problems. I later learnt that the only reason that they had taken Juan out was because he wasn’t careful enough and the American authorities new exactly what he was doing. The Colombian authorities collaborated with the Americans and shot him down. I am now a forty three year old multibillionaire, and have been nominated Chief Executive of World Wide Illegal Drugs Inc by my business partners. I could stop my business now but I still have plans for the next twenty years of my life.
I want to continue selling the same drugs to the same areas of the world as I have been doing for the past fourteen years, finding new entries into the different countries, new ways to get around the borders. I want to keep up to date with what the authorities’ plans are to stop the drugs market increasing in size, so that I can adapt my strategies to theirs; under no circumstance shall I allow them to adapt their strategies upon mine. I also want to build a family; I am over forty years old and still don’t have a wife (although I am seeing someone) or any children.
I want a family that will benefit from my fortune as much as I am now: villas, boats, sports cars, anything that they could ever dream of having. I will have children who will have this possibility, and so will their children and theirs for generations to come. Once I have died I want half of my fortune to be given away to charity; I want this money to go to the poor, but not to the ones who aren’t doing anything about it. I don’t want tramps and beggars to benefit from my money when they put themselves into these situations.
Except for building a family I still have other plans for the continuing growth and prosperity of my world wide business enterprise. I still have some major rivals in the world that I would like to take over. There are essentially two, one based in India and the other in North-East Africa. These two export more cannabis and opium than me respectively, and these are starting to dominate the European market. They enter into Eastern Europe and then travel to the West. There products are cheaper than mine, especially the cannabis, because it is easier for them to bring them into Europe.
My plan is to find out exactly who these men are and meet up with them; I do not want to start a drug war or anything but just want to have a chat with them and see is there is any possibility whatsoever to do business together. They seem to have great ease with entering their drugs into Europe and I have this same ease in entering my drugs into the USA; my plan will be to propose that we help each other out with our respective borders. I will help them transport opium and cannabis into the States (or course imposing certain quotas so that this doesn’t affect my own business) and they will help me do the same but in Europe.
I see this business plan as an acceptable one; I would think that both of these men should agree with my idea. My only problem now is to contact these men and arrange a meeting. Even if I get through to them and that they accept the meeting it will take a lot of planning to arrange when and where the meeting will take place. There will be many elements in our way for example the one of trust. How will they know that I’m not trying to set them up so as to be able to take control of their area of business once I’ve disposed of them?
Another problem would be about location. When the three biggest drug dealers in the world are preparing a meeting there is a certain group of people who would love to find out when and where it will take place, and involving who exactly: the authorities. Although they probably should have been, authorities were never my biggest concern. The closest they ever got to catching me was when they spotted me dealing an eighth of cannabis in the streets at the age of fifteen but I ran and I knew that there was no way that they were going to catch me.
Since then I have never had any real problems, my main villa in Colombia is surrounded by walls and the police haven’t even asked to enter; they have been bribed into staying away even before they thought about asking. I am very careful about where I keep my money, I don’t do business with Americans anymore (for fear that they might be spies) and I am very selective about my friends. I would know if the police had an eye on me because I would have been locked up or killed a long time ago; if the DEA suspect you of something very big they’ll kill you before even asking questions or having enough proof.
They won’t admit that it was they who did it so that the American government doesn’t get a bad name. The reason that the authorities have found it hard to shut me down in the past is that they have taken the wrong starting point. Like I said earlier on, supply meets demand and in the case of drugs the authorities should have paid more attention to the demand factor rather than spending all their time, money and effort on trying to dismantle the supply framework. If they can control demand the drug businesses will shut down automatically because the lower demand is the lower supply is going to be.
Although more and more crops are being destroyed by authorities (122,695 hectares of coca in 2002 in Colombia (International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 2002)), more and more people are trying the drugs, between 1984 and 1999 there was an increase of 50% of people who tried cocaine “occasionally”(DEA, 2001). Authorities have to ask themselves why people are taking drugs, where the problem is coming from in the first place and they might soon realise that it’s because of the way that society works that some people end up taking drugs, and that it’s these aspects that they have to attack.
We could start by giving reasons like stress for instance. People want to relax from the pressure that the day has given them; some will go home and smoke a spliff whereas others will prefer to snort some coke or have a hit of heroin. They will all very soon feel relaxed and forget about the troubles that the day brought them, and this will of course be the intended consequence of their action. On the other hand there will of course be unintended consequences, such as addiction for a start.
For the ones who take harder drugs there will also be the unpleasant effect of the “come down”, the moment where the drug wears off. Addiction will spoil a person’s life, all of their money will be spent on drugs and when there’s no money left something will have to be found to replace it, leading to things like theft, violence and prostitution. Don’t get me wrong, I think that people who become addicts are the weakest kind of humans and I feel no pity for them; I also went through a lot of stress in my life but I never turned to drugs, at least not in that way.
These people blame their drug problems on stress, what they really mean to say is “I’m not confident enough to deal with my problems or brave enough to reach out for help so I’m going to turn off my brain. ” (TeenOutReach, 1999). The problems will still be there when they come down, the only way to forget about them again is to pass through drugs and so the vicious circle begins. Some people take drugs to rebel against society. They feel that they aren’t free enough and can’t express themselves as they want, so they turn to drugs as a way of putting something between themselves and society (TeenOutReach, 1999).
They see this as a way of showing that they are different from what society wants them to be, by doing this they see themselves as independent. What they don’t realise though is that by doing this they are actually becoming what they don’t want; they are becoming dependant rather than independent, and this dependence is on drugs. Authorities need to do something about these people if they want to win the war on drugs, they must help and take care of these people, and make sure that it doesn’t happen to others. They must find out exactly what it is in society that is making people rebel against it, and try to change it for the better.
Drugs have made me and many others rich. They will continue making people’s fortunes and misfortunes. Authorities have always tried their best to put a stop to this illegal trade but without much success; demand continues to grow and along with it so does supply. They found it difficult to close me down in the past because of the presence of the buyers and my wits in not letting them get close to me, and if they want to do better in the future they’ll have to adopt new methods, especially with regards to the buyers.
They have started doing this now, helping people with problems and giving anti-drug speeches in schools for example. One important aspect that has not been discussed however is that young people who take drugs don’t do it as a mean of escape, an act of rebellion or to fit in, they do it because they like it and for no other reason. And changing the tastes of a whole society of youngsters is going to be a tough one on the authorities.
References: – Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report from 2002 found on site http://www.state.gov/g/inl/rls/nrcrpt/2002/html/