Fighting the Cocaine Wars

Drug traffic spreads, and the U.S. finds itself mired in a violent, losing battle

Worldwide production of illicit opium, coca leaf and cannabis is many times the amount currently consumed by drug abusers. Some governments do not have control of the narcotics growing regions, and prospects in several countries are dampened by corruption, even government involvement in the narcotics trade.

--From the U.S. State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, February 1985.

The compound, hidden deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle, 400 miles southeast of the Colombian capital of Bogota, was called Tranquilandia (the Land of Tranquillity). Amid a hail of gunfire, 40 Colombian policemen in two helicopters and a small plane touched...

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