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United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Addressing the Threat Posed by the Medellín Cartel and Countering Transnational Organized Crime along with Combatting the Medellin Cartel: The Pablo Escobar Dossier


In the 1980s, the Medellín Cartel, led by notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, became one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world. Its primary illicit trade was cocaine, and the cartel was responsible for a significant portion of the global cocaine trade. As the cartel's influence expanded, it posed a serious threat to international security, prompting the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to convene a special session to address the issue of organized transnational crime. Escobar was instrumental in setting up the Medellín Cartel, feeding booming demand in the United States during the 1980s. He oversaw each step of the cocaine supply chain as the Medellín Cartel’s undisputed leader. The organization sourced coca leaf from primary production points in Peru and Bolivia, processed it in Colombian jungle labs, and then shipped cocaine to the United States, where operatives sold it on the streets. He focused on international markets for cocaine and never sold the drug domestically to Colombians for consumption. Instead, Escobar initially used a Caribbean air route to feed the US market. This alarmed the international security scenario and thus, delegates are required to come up with tactics to find this cartel and end it, and establish peace.

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