From colonial China’s opium wars to Cold War US politics, we trace rise of global drug trade and its political backers.
Drug lords, wealth and power – episode two of this three-part series goes to Italy, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and Mexico.
As the United States’ war on drugs progressed, a new generation of drug lords emerged at the end of the 1970s, more powerful than ever. These criminals were not only in it for the money, they also wanted power.
Pablo Escobar was the most notorious, but Toto Riina in Sicily, Khun Sa in the Golden Triangle, and Felix Gallardo in Mexico were all big players. They all changed the destinies of their respective territories by taking drug trafficking to a global scale.
They defied states and threatened the powers-that-be. It took almost 20 years for various governments to get organised and come up with strategies to bring down the drug barons.