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Netflix Show NARCOS Tells Hidden Truth in Drug Trade

Netflix Show NARCOS Tells Hidden Truth in Drug Trade

Author: Justin Mckibben

Ever since August 28, 2015 anyone and everyone seems to have something to say about Narcos, the new hit series that debuted on Netflix and has a monumental momentum that has not stopped since. The show has been talked about on practically every channel, has flooded all Facebook (not to mention other social media) news feeds, and has become a centerpiece of conversation in every medium.

Even the people who have never seen a single episode have chattered about how the plot must be well worth the hype, and everyone else eagerly awaits a second gripping and climactic season.

So why has Narcos taken over, and what hidden truths of the drug trade can we learn from it?

Breakdown

Narcos is an American drug trafficking crime drama television series that was created by various talented writers and producers, including:

  • Chris Brancato
  • Carlo Bernard
  • Doug Miro

Narcos has Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha in the captains seat, and thus far he appears to have done a great deal of justice to the material.

This uniquely epic is so far a 10 installment long episodic portrayal of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel has a thrilling way of packing a serious punch, while also entangling the tales of United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.

Narcos unravels a dramatic reenactment of the real life events surrounding of the progression and expansion of cocaine drug cartels across the globe, while highlighting law enforcement efforts to bring it all crashing down. Wagner Moura stars as notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, with plenty of blood and brutality to go around.

True Narco Cinema

The series is set during the 1980s Colombian drug war, but it’s more generally about the myths that drug lords, politicians, and cops tell the communities they serve, which has historically been a way they preserve their power; feeding into the fear and mythology that surround them.

Narcos producers call this “magical realism,” but it is actually an old Latin American genre of a storytelling tradition called “narco cinema,” comprised entirely of B-movies about the drug trade. Narco cinema works its own magic through a deeply romanticizing the power and violence of drug lords; turning cops into villains, drug kingpins into underdogs turned heroes, and beauty queens into narcos.

Underneath all this, Narco cinema skillfully exposes the weaknesses and corruption of government systems that have allowed the cartels to infect them and take advantage of the people, which is a clever way to show the truth of how cocaine and cocaine traffickers like those on Narcos have devastated the lives of those around them.

Many people who have made a habit and even a living of dissecting and evaluating films and media have praised the series, and one thing many have pointed out is even though the show has bent the truth a bit to make for more entertaining television, it may more accurately portray the uglier, more sinister side to the reality of drug cartels.

Narcos has been valued by many as the first American production in the true narco-cinematic legacy. Unlike most American depictions of the drug trade, Narcos manages to glamorize its protagonists while still revealing the disturbing structural problems they are working within, exposing the world to the key dynamics in the real life drug wars; specifically the way drug lords and corrupt cops and DEA agents mold their own myths and do everything in their power to instill those terrifying yet empowering legends about them in order to preserve their power over the people.

Drug lords oppress the people, they terrorize communities and they destroy lives across the board. Yet because they are made into these grandiose legends of rags to riches through overcoming injustice, they are idolized. What Narcos has done in the eyes of many is it has continued to stroke the ego of the drug lord just enough, while trying to show the viewer just how disturbing and tragically wicked the world of the drug dealer can be. It is not all fun and games, not all a hero’s journey. It is a twisted and ugly world, and the hidden truth they try to display is that the legend is more important to the drug lord than the truth, because the truth is a lot uglier and a lot less heroic than the stories they tell about themselves.

Along with dramatic series about drug abuse and drug trafficking, Netflix also features some excellent drug documentaries that may also give you insight into how substance abuse and addiction destroys lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

In the News: Is US Involvement in Mexico’s Drug War Making Things Worse?

US involvement in mexican drug war

The Mexican government is losing the drug war. That’s why the Obama administration is now sending U.S. security forces directly into the war zones in Mexico, as never before.

The increasing involvement of the United States in Mexico’s drug war is only going to make a bad situation worse.

It will likely lead to more deaths. It will be a drain on our treasury. And it’s unlikely to stem the flow of drugs. This is because the U.S. intervention ignores the root causes of the drug trade and the spreading international character of the cartels.

The Merida Initiative

Also called Plan Mexico by critics, the Merida Initiative is a security cooperation agreement between the United States and the government of Mexico and the countries of Central America, with the declared aim of combating the threats of drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and money laundering. The assistance includes training, equipment and intelligence.

U.S. involvement began with the “Merida Initiative,” a $1.9 billion aid package signed by President Bush in 2007 to provide training and equipment to Mexican drug enforcement efforts. It coincided with Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s initiation of a military offensive against the drug cartels.

President Obama then expanded the scope of the Merida Initiative in 2009, emphasizing coordination and information sharing, including the establishment of joint command and control centers in Mexico. This has led to the training of thousands of Mexican agents, the transfer of high-tech weaponry, the deployment of unmanned drones within Mexico and now the direct involvement of Drug Enforcement Administration and CIA agents, U.S. military personnel (from the Pentagon’s Northern Command) and private contractors.

Since the launch of Calderon’s military operation, an estimated 35,000 people have been killed. And the death rate has been increasing for each year of the conflict.

Fallout

Mexico has now surpassed Colombia in kidnappings and has seen a dramatic spike in assassinations of journalists and political figures. Corruption has exploded, as drug money has been poured into politics to subvert the war effort from within. Six out of every 10 municipal governments in the country are infiltrated by drug dealers. Mexico’s Department of Public Security estimates that 62% of police nationwide have also been corrupted by drug money.

Rather than suppress the drug trade, the war has driven it deeper into the social and political fabric of Mexico and has spread it to other countries in Central America.

 

Implications for the U.S.

U.S. society is intimately tied to the Mexican drug trade. Earlier this year, for instance, 34 U.S. citizens and legal residents were convicted of running weapons to cartels from Arizona. According to a 2010 Washington Post report, more than 60,000 U.S.-origin guns have been linked to drug violence in Mexico. Some U.S. banks have been implicated in laundering drug money. And according to Justice Department statistics from 2010, the cartels now operate in 231 U.S. cities, taking in nearly $40 billion in annual sales from within our country, as the consumption of illegal drugs in the United States is increasing.

What to Expect

No one had come up with a quick, realistic alternative to Calderon’s novel use of the Mexican military with U.S. support. But stopping the cartel violence had become newly elected Mexican President Peña Nieto’s top priority during the campaign. The U.S. administration didn’t know what that meant. Some fear that this means a scaling back of united efforts and instead, a willingness to trade the relentless drive against cartel leaders for calmer streets.

The new administration has shifted priorities away from the U.S.-backed strategy of arresting kingpins, which sparked an unprecedented level of violence among the cartels, and toward an emphasis on prevention and keeping Mexico’s streets safe and calm, Mexican authorities said.

Some U.S. officials fear the coming of an unofficial truce with cartel leaders and therefore mass corruption. The Mexicans see it otherwise. “The objective of fighting organized crime is not in conflict with achieving peace,” said Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States.

If you or someone you love is in need of drug addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://progressive.org/

http://www.washingtonpost.com

www.wikipedia.org

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