In recent years, drug trafficking has become a major global issue. Governments across the world are spending billions of dollars in an attempt to control the production and distribution of drugs. However, as any fan of Breaking Bad will tell you, drug trafficking is a very profitable business. In some areas, drug traffickers are more influential than politicians. The majority of the world’s drugs are produced or trafficked from just a few countries and their forgotten communities. Here are some of the worst examples:
Mexico is a major producer of illicit drugs, including cannabis, meth, heroin, and cocaine. Drug cartels in the country generate an estimated $19 billion in annual revenue, much of it from the sale of meth. In recent years, Mexican drug cartels have diversified their product range to include heroin and cocaine.
El Chapo and his Sinaloa cartel are the most prolific dealers of illicit drugs in Mexico. With an annual production of 5,000 metric tons of heroin, they control around 60% of the world’s supply. The cartel is also closely linked to the cultivation of opium poppies in the country, making them a major player in the illegal drug trafficking business.
In recent years, cocaine production in Colombia has declined significantly. This is largely thanks to the crackdown on drug production in the country in 2016. The Colombian government was fed up with drug traffickers and decided to eradicate their coca crops—which are needed to make cocaine—by force. The government sent troops to destroy the coca fields, sprayed harmful chemicals over them, and offered farmers money to stop growing them. This extreme measure succeeded, and cocaine production in Colombia dropped by 50% within a year.
Coca leaves are the main ingredient in cocaine, and Colombia is by far the largest producer of coca leaves in the world. It is estimated that Colombia produces 14,000 metric tons of coca leaves annually, which is about 80% of the global supply. Not only does Colombia produce a large number of coca leaves, but it is also one of the biggest exporters of cocaine in the drug trafficking world.
Afghanistan is the world’s biggest producer of heroin. The majority of the world’s heroin is made from opium poppies, which are harvested from the seed pods of the opium poppy plant. Around 90% of all opium poppies are grown in Afghanistan.
Most of this heroin is processed into a fine powder and packaged into small bags. It is then smuggled from Afghanistan to other countries, such as Iran and Pakistan, via the Middle East.
Afghanistan is world-renowned for its production of opium. The country is the source of 90% of the world’s illicit opium and heroin. A significant portion of the Afghan economy is dependent on drug trafficking. The country is also home to the largest supplier of opium, which is used to produce heroin. Despite this, Afghanistan remains a beautiful and culturally rich place.
The Dominican Republic has long been known for its production of cannabis and coca. However, in recent years, the country has seen a sharp increase in drug production. The Dominican Republic is now one of the world’s largest producers of high-potency weed, which is used to make the dangerous black-market blend known as spice. Spice has been linked to numerous health problems, including organ failure, strokes, and death.
Cannabis is cultivated and trafficked from the Dominican Republic for many reasons, including its affordable price and easy availability. The country’s climate is ideal for cannabis production, and authorities have failed to regulate it effectively. The Dominican Republic is also an important transit point for cocaine from South America, as well as synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
The Philippines has long been a hub for drug trafficking, with dealers peddling everything from “white heroin” to meth. In recent years, however, the country has become increasingly known as a major producer of methamphetamine. In fact, according to some estimates, the Philippines is now the second-biggest producer of meth in the world. This country is also a key transit point in the international meth trade.
The drug is initially produced in the form of crystals, which are then dissolved in water to create a liquid solution. The Philippines is also a major supplier of heroin, with an annual production of 1,500 metric tons of the substance.
The country of Laos is unfortunately well-known for being the largest producer of crystal methamphetamine, or “ice.” It is estimated that this Southeast Asian country produces around 40% of the world’s supply of this highly addictive drug. The high rate of production is due to the availability of precursor chemicals needed to make meth in the country.
But Laos isn’t only a major producer of crystal meth; it is also a significant exporter of heroin. This, combined with the fact that Laos is a source country for human trafficking (particularly women and children), fosters an environment of criminality and exploitation. This is largely due to Laos’ proximity to China, where there is a great demand for sex trafficking and drug trafficking.
Bolivia is the world’s leading producer of coca leaves and cocaine. It is estimated that the country produces 10,000 metric tons of cocaine annually. This is a significant increase in production compared to the 1990s and 2000s when Bolivia was responsible for only one-third of the global supply of coca leaves and cocaine in the drug trafficking business.
In the past, Brazil was not known as a major player in the global illicit drug trade. However, drug trafficking in the country has seen a sharp increase since the 1990s, particularly with regard to cocaine production. Currently, Brazil is the world’s second-largest producer of cocaine after Bolivia, with an estimated annual output of 2,000 metric tons. Bolivia and Brazil are the only two countries where illegal substances are domestically produced on a large scale.
Nigeria is a major producer of cannabis, the world’s most widely used illegal drug. Cannabis is popular because it is relatively cheap, easy to get, and has mild side effects. Nigeria is also a major source of methamphetamine, or “ice,” a synthetic drug.
It is estimated that the country produces 500 metric tons of the drug annually. Ayahuasca, an herbal brew containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is another drug trafficked from Nigeria. DMT is a synthetic hallucinogen, and Ayahuasca is primarily used in religious rituals.
In recent years, Venezuela has become a hub for drug smuggling. Political instability and economic hardship have created opportunities for criminal gangs to traffic drugs through the country. Border towns have seen an increase in drug-related crime as a result. Residents say their communities have become “transit points” for illicit trafficking.
The drug trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that is difficult to eliminate entirely. One of the reasons why it is so extensive is because there is a high demand for illicit substances. While some countries have been prosperous in repressing drug trafficking, the overall problem remains a global one.
Drug trafficking is a global problem that endangers public safety and individual health. The illegal drug trade also fuels human trafficking, especially of women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
Organized crime relies heavily on the drug trade for revenue, and this fuels corruption in politics. Together, these are major reasons why governments prioritize fighting the drug trade. All over the world, efforts are underway to end the drug trade and the destruction it causes.