Here is an interesting story by the NY Times named Cocaine Incorporated. The story follows El Chapo once ranked by Forbes as one of the most powerful people in the world, even more powerful than Helen Clark even, who was captured by the American Authorities last month. His cartel (Sinaloa) is estimated to have exported roughly $3 billion USD of drugs to the United States each year. The NY Times puts this in perspective by comparing it to the revenues of Facebook or Netflix at the time (June 2012).
Read on to hear about the industry this “driven, even obsessive entrepreneur with a proclivity for micromanagement” effectively ran. His story links in with the Cali and Medellin cartels and is similar to that of Pablo and his story in Killing Pablo, a Eikonomics must read.
A great extract from the article is:
“They used container ships and fishing vessels and go-fast boats and submarines — crude semi-submersibles at first, then fully submersible subs, conceived by engineers and constructed under the canopy of the Amazon, then floated downriver in pieces and assembled at the coastline. These vessels can cost more than a million dollars, but to the smugglers, they are effectively disposable. In the event of an interception by the Coast Guard, someone onboard pulls a lever that floods the interior so that the evidence sinks; only the crew is left bobbing in the water, waiting to be picked up by the authorities.”