16 Maps Of Drug Flow Into The United States

Posted: April 2, 2013 in Drug Trafficking
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16 Maps Of Drug Flow Into The United States

Despite growing momentum for drug policy reform in Latin America, continual carnage in Mexico and a U.S. government-sponsoredstudy that rips U.S. drug policy, America’s 40-year war on drugs is still raging. 

This week retired Colombian police Gen. Mauricio Santoyo turned himself in to the DEA on charges that he helped drug gangs and right-wing paramilitaries smuggle cocaine to Mexico and the U.S. while he was the head of security for the president of Colombia.

We’ve covered how cocaine gets from the fields in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia to the world’s largest drug market.

The U.N.’s World Drug Report 2012 showed us how the U.S. has high demand formarijuanacocaine and painkillers. Ironically, the more America spends on the drug war, the cheaper drugs become.

All this got us thinking about how drugs make it from Latin America to American cities, so we put together a series of maps to get a better idea.

Most of the drugs that enter the U.S. come from Central and South America

Mexico is the transit zone between the biggest source of drugs and the biggest consumer

95 percent of American cocaine imports are brought by Mexican cartels through Mexico and Central America

The drugs are shipped in a variety of ways

The drugs are shipped in a variety of ways

STRATFOR

And flow through a variety of cartels

And flow through a variety of cartels

STRATFOR

Despite wars between cartels, most shipments make it through Mexico to the U.S. border

Despite wars between cartels, most shipments make it through Mexico to the U.S. border

STRATFOR

Here’s a look at which cartels tends to handle which drugs (though the dominant Zetas are conspicuously missing on this map)

Here's a look at which cartels tends to handle which drugs (though the dominant Zetas are conspicuously missing on this map)

STRATFOR

The battle to control the border claims the most lives

As a comparison, here’s how heroin makes it to its largest markets

Demand is geographically skewed in the U.S. as the West prefers methamphetamine (red) and the east prefers cocaine (blue)

The supply routes for meth follow the demand

The same goes for coke so sellers can reap the biggest possible profit

Marijuana distribution, like preference for it, is more balanced

And the same goes for heroin

Here are the aggregate answers from local law enforcement agencies when asked: “What drug poses the greatest threat to your area?”

All things considered, the drug superhighway is running smoothly as cocaine is causing more trouble than ever in its largest markets (U.S. and Europe)

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