Cali Cartel vs. Tijuana Cartel

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The drug trade is a very large and complex system. There are many different organizations involved at different levels. There are groups that operate only in growing and selling the product, and only groups that buy and distribute the drugs. In this essay I will discuss the similarities and differences of two of the largest growers and sellers in the drug trade: The Cali Cartel of Columbia and the Tijuana Cartel of Mexico.

The Cali Cartel is the largest, richest, and most complex producers and distributors of cocaine. The cartel concentrates almost entirely in cocaine. Over time they have developed an extremely large and sophisticated distribution system and have generated an extraordinary amount of wealth. Because of their financial stability, they are able to buy planes, ships and warehouses as well as bribe government officials and pay the top lawyers and strongest mercenary groups for protection.

The Tijuana Cartel, also known as the AFO, or Arellano-Felix Organization, runs out of Mexico and is known as one of the most violent drug organizations in the world. The group is headed by Benjamin Arellano-Felix and his brothers Ramon, Eduardo and Javier. Ramon Arellano-Felix is a frequent member of the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List. He is known as the most violent brother and is in charge of the group's security. This group's competitive edge is not in their distribution system or exorbitant riches but in their ruthless tactics. Because the group is conveniently located near the 2,000 mile border between the US and Mexico, they do not have to spend as much money or have as sophisticated distribution systems as The Cali Cartel does. This border consists largely of rugged terrain that is difficult to patrol. Mexican traffickers have mastered transportation methods over this border.

What the Cali Cartel lacks in location for transportation, they make up in location for raw materials. The Cali Cartel gets the cocoa leaves they need to make...
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