11 Shocking Facts About Colombia’s $10 Billion Drug Industry

colombia drug war
Packs of cocaine stand piled up

[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drugpackscorpion.png”]

Colombia remains the world’s biggest cocaine producer despite the government crackdown on drugs.The drug trade is worth $10 billion each year — more than any country except for Afghanistan.

Although drug money accounts for around 1% of GDP, down from 6% in the 1980s, this decline is due to the growth of Colombia’s legal economy.

Moreover, experts say that Colombian traffickers under the microscope have rerouted the drug trade through Mexico, and have increasingly formed allies wih thin Colombia’s government which has made figures harder to report.

We’ve picked out some incredible facts about Colombia’s drug economy.

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[slide
permalink=”colombia-is-the-worlds-largest-cocaine-producer-and-accounted-for-43-of-global-coca-cultivation-in-2009-1″
title=”Colombia is the world’s largest cocaine producer and accounted for 43% of global coca cultivation in 2009″
content=”Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010
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[slide
permalink=”colombias-drug-trade-is-worth-10-billion–one-quarter-as-much-as-the-countrys-legal-exports-2″
title=”Colombia’s drug trade is worth $10 billion — one quarter as much as the country’s legal exports”
content=”Source: Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC) / Miami Herald

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[slide
permalink=”although-drug-money-accounts-for-less-of-columbias-economy-1-than-afghanistans-30-both-countries-export-around-10-billion-yearly-3″
title=”Although drug money accounts for less of Columbia’s economy (1%) than Afghanistan’s (30%), both countries export around $10 billion yearly”
content=”Source: Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC)
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4db042364bd7c84521280000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”colombian-and-mexican-drug-cartels-made-46-billion-in-profits-from-exporting-to-the-us-4″
title=”Colombian and Mexican drug cartels made $4.6 billion in profits from exporting to the US”
content=”Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4daca1e5cadcbb2d110e0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”colombias-defense-spending-has-gone-up-to-12-billion-since-it-began-its-crackdown-on-drugs–thats-about-three-times-the-defense-budget-of-average-south-american-countries-5″
title=”Colombia’s defence spending has gone up to $12 billion since it began its crackdown on drugs — that’s about three times the defence budget of average South American countries”
content=”Source: Colombia Reports
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dac9e88ccd1d54d011f0000″
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[slide
permalink=”68000-hectares-of-land-were-used-for-illegal-coca-bush-cultivation-in-2009-thats-the-size-of-about-153000-football-fields-6″
title=”68,000 hectares of land were used for illegal coca bush cultivation in 2009. That’s the size of about 153,000 football fields”
content=”Source: International Narcotics Control Board, 2010
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4daca0b3ccd1d51d05270000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”colombia-produced-410-metric-tons-of-cocaine-in-2010-which-is-about-twice-the-weight-of-a-blue-whale-7″
title=”Colombia produced 410 metric tons of cocaine in 2010, which is about twice the weight of a blue whale”
content=”Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010

image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4daca4344bd7c82a210d0000″
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[slide
permalink=”nearly-90-of-cocaine-used-in-the-us-originates-in-colombia-8″
title=”Nearly 90% of cocaine used in the U.S. originates in Colombia”
content=”Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dad84b3ccd1d56c041d0000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”colombian-groups-controlled-cocaine-and-heroin-distribution-channels-in-40-american-cities-mostly-in-the-north-east-in-2008-9″
title=”Colombian groups controlled cocaine and heroin distribution channels in 40 American cities, mostly in the north-east in 2008″
content=”Source: Mother Jones
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dad870249e2aefd6c190000″
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”gross-wholesale-drug-sales-in-the-us-generate-as-much-as-38-billion-for-mexican-and-colombian-drug-trafficking-organizations-in-2009-thats-more-than-googles-global-revenue-for-the-year-10″
title=”Gross wholesale drug sales in the US generate as much as $38 billion for Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking organisations in 2009. That’s more than Google’s global revenue for the year”
content=”Source: Mother Jones
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4dad83c54bd7c83e10220000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”since-2001-the-us-has-spent-about-6-billion-to-help-fund-colombias-crackdown-on-drugs-and-marxist-guerrillas–thats-more-than-the-budget-for-the-us-army-corps-of-engineers-11″
title=”Since 2001, the U.S. has spent about $6 billion to help fund Colombia’s crackdown on drugs and Marxist guerrillas — that’s more than the budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers”
content=”Source: Wall Street Journal / Office of Management and Budget

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[slide
permalink=”now-look-at-how-brazil-has-been-fighting-crime-in-its-favelas-12″
title=”Now look at how Brazil has been fighting crime in its favelas…”
content=”PHOTOS: Brazil’s Slums Are Reborn After Gang Crackdown >
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