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The Drug Lords

Welcome to, if you are here it is because surely you are like me, a fan of this complex and controversial world that includes deaths, alliances, betrayals and so on. Or you may just have seen a chapter of “Escobar, The Drug Lord” or the Netflix serie “Narcos” and you want to know more about all these curious characters. Whatever the case, you’re in the right place.

¿What will you find on this webpage? Here you will find all the information of the most famous drug dealers in Colombia and Mexico.

You will know about their early life, how they started in the business, who their partners were, in brief, there will be no question left unanswered.

You will even read about the druglords’s death, about the most famous drug trafficker in Colombia, Pablo Escobar, and about the most powerful and rich drug traffickers in Mexico, El Chapo Guzman, Amado Carrillo, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo and many others.

Before you start reading about drug traffickers, I invite you to read the information below, as it is important to know how everything began. Now if you are not interested in the history of drug trafficking, simply click on one of the drug lords you have next and find out the whole story.









¿What is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking, it is about the distribution of all substance adulterated with narcotic drugs, in some cases, with additives that produce addiction and severe damages to health if they are used in excess. The drug market encompasses distribution services, creation or manufacture and sale of toxic and harmful substances for health, we can find a huge diversity of what we commonly call drugs.

drug traafficking

Trading of this type of substance is prohibited, so that activities to distribute the drugs are done illicitly and hidden from the view of the normal public. The distribution mechanisms are private and in a random way, this in order that the authorities do not discover the factories where the process of creation of these toxic substances is carried out and that their distribution is not intercepted before arriving at its final destination.

¿What is the Origin of Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking as we know it today, it began with the trafficking of a narcotic substance called Opium, which abounded in the streets of London, Manchester and Liverpool, and which could be freely consumed without the interference of any authority.

The opium used in those places came from British India and was the cause of wars unleashed by Great Britain with China (Opium Wars) on two occasions during the first half of the nineteenth century by the trade between India (British) and China.

The commercial exchange between the European power and the Chinese empire was openly favorable for the Asian country. The demand for Chinese products in England was far greater than the demand in China for goods made in the British Isles and their colonies.

The difference began to be offset by the export of opium produced in India to China. Due to the number of Chinese who had become addicted to the drug, the Emperor of this country decided to prohibit the sale of the hallucinogen in its territory.

For this reason, the forces in the service of his British Majesty in alliance with Portugal and France act by defeating the hosts of the Emperor of the Asian country, with consequences such as the imposition of terms broadly favorable to the British Empire in trade with China (Treaty of Nanking).

Treaty of Nanking
Treaty of Nanking

Years later, the opium was introduced in Mexico through the port of Mazatlán, soon to begin to be cultivated in some cities of the own country. It seemed that the climatic conditions were favorable for the development of this drug.

Sinaloa was the place where this drug was most produced. After a few years, the drug managed to reach the United States, through routes hidden in the desert and that’s how it spread abysmal throughout America.

In the year 2000 there were more than 100 types of narcotics that were marketed around the world, after the news spread everywhere, American and European governments tried countless times to stop drug trafficking, and although they managed to intercept large shipments before delivery, they could never completely stop the distribution and marketing of these toxic substances.

¿What is the Origin of Drug Trafficking in Colombia?

In Colombia, drug trafficking began in the beginning of the 1920s from the cultivation and consumption of the Cannabis leaf, popularly known as Marihuana, which was used by large sectors of Colombian society without being considered a product of illicit distribution.

Like all markets, narcotics was evolving and developing new products, aimed at identifiable and growing niches that expand coverage of distribution, reaching new markets and increasing revenues from criminal structures.

The continued use of marijuana in the individual, generates an effect of refraction in which they decrease the action on their conscious so it needs higher doses or more powerful substances to feel the effect associated with it.

Origin of Drug Trafficking in Colombia

Authors often claim that cultivation began in the 1920s in parts of the Colombian Caribbean coast, Valle del Cauca and Antioquia for the purpose of supplying the domestic market.

At the end of the 1960s, the drug entered the United States on low-altitude flights, difficult to detect by radars of the time, in light aircraft landing in dry riverbeds. That was the first of Carlos Lehder’s endeavors and the beginning of his criminal career.

During those years, there was a boom in the promotion of hippie culture whose base was the Rastafari cult to the living God Jah. Its devotees use marijuana as a vehicle of connection with higher spiritual states. Lehder defined drug trafficking as the contemporary version of Alchemy, as he succeeded in turning a single blade of grass into billions of dollars.

¿What Were the Main Drug Cartels of Colombia?

By the 1970s Colombia would begin to be the king of drug production and distribution around the world, the amount of cocaine that drug traffickers sent to the United States was unimaginable.

It is normal that seeing the incalculable fortunes of all of them, more and more people join that dark world, so the number of cartels that have existed in Colombia is very wide, however, we will not talk about little known cartels like the Cauca , Bogota, Amazonas, but we will focus on the three main ones that existed.

Medellin Cartel

It was the first and the bloodiest cartel that existed in Colombia, led by Pablo Escobar with his cousin Gustavo Gaviria, Ochoa brothers, Carlos Lehder and Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. They were responsible for sending 80% of all cocaine entering the United States. During his reign thousands of Colombians lost their lives because of the war they declared to the country. With Escobar’s death, the Medellin Cartel came to an end.

Cali Cartel

It was formed during the seventies when its leaders brothers Gilberto and Miguel Rodríguez Orejuela associate with Pacho Herrera and José Santacruz Londoño. They would have their best time in the early nineties when the Medellin Cartel was in decline and they take full control of cocaine traffic. After Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela was captured in 1995, it did not take long for the other members of the cartel to follow in the footsteps, some of them captured and others murdered.

North Valley Cartel

It originated in the early nineties due to misunderstandings among members of the Cali Cartel. Several of its members leave the cartel and decide to form their own, which would be called North Valley Cartel. Its main leaders were the siblings Orlando, Arcángel, Lorena and Fernando Henao, Wilber Varela, Iván Urdinola, Diego Montoya, among others. After Orlando Henao’s death in 1998, the Cartel is divided in two sides, one under the control of Wilber Varela and the other in the possession of Diego Montoya.


After the disappearance of the North Valley Cartel, Colombian drug lords were losing prominence, no longer see those great drug lords that lasted 20 years in power. Now and maybe thanks to the advanced technology, they only last an average of 5 years. The Colombian drug lords became the employees of the Mexican drug lords.

¿What are the Causes of Drug Trafficking in Colombia?

Unfortunately Colombia is a country that has suffered a lot because of drug trafficking, and people wonder ¿Why drug trafficking emerges in Colombia? there are many reasons:

  • The high demand for a high purchasing power market is the fundamental basis of any profitable productive activity.
  • Rock culture whose main exponents in a more or less veiled way promotes the consumption of drugs, as a mechanism to increase the perception of external stimuli either for recreational purposes or to enhance creativity.
  • The development of legal trade with the United States increased the volume of air and sea connections that facilitated the shipment of goods.
  • The inequality of the level of income among the different socio-economic strata throughout Latin America, especially in Colombia, where social mobility is difficult because the origin conditions the possibility of progress and access to a better standard of living.
  • A bureaucratic structure that is poorly trained and poorly remunerated, liable to receive bribes courtesy of criminal organizations to facilitate their activities.
  • The permissive character of Presidents of the Republic with the interests of the drug Barons in relation to the export of drugs while using to fullness the rule of law and the firepower of the police forces to contain mules and merchants children.
  • The use of funds from drug trafficking to help people with lower incomes in their economic emergencies, which prevents them from collaborating with the authorities in locating and capturing the leaders of the activity.

Causes of Drug Trafficking in Colombia

¿What are the Consequences of Drug Trafficking in Colombia?

  • High levels of urban violence products of permanent conflicts over distribution in residential areas.
  • Economic activities financed by money produced by drug trafficking, ranging from the construction of office buildings, residential use, banks, football teams, shops, among others.
  • Financing campaigns to obtain positions of popular election with the purpose that once in office defend the interests of criminal organizations.
  • The loss in youth of values ​​related to work, honesty and knowledge in favor of violence, the use of force for dispute resolution and acting out of law.
  • The establishment of organizations for criminal purposes as parallel powers to the State, with its own resources and armed forces trained by specialized personnel equipped with the most modern war technology to confront legally constituted institutions to achieve the illicit ends that are proposed.

¿What is The Origin of Drug Trafficking in Mexico?

The origin of drug trafficking in Mexico is diffuse, as it is attributed to two facts that are debated between being a myth or reality.

The first myth and the closest to reality, refers to the arrival from the United States territory of a Chinese citizen who practiced medicine, using opium as the basis for their prescriptions. The success of their therapies brought about the need to cultivate opium in large quantities.

Origin of Drug Trafficking in Mexico

The second myth is the agreement between Mexico and the United States to cultivate on the southern border of the north american country, poppy, a plant that serves as the raw material for opium, to be used in combat troops in Europe during World War II, alleviate the pain caused by amputations, injuries and medical treatments in general.

¿What Are the Causes of Drug Trafficking in Mexico?

Mexico is another country that has been hit hard by narcotics trafficking, but ¿why does drug trafficking in Mexico arise? here the answer:

  • The existence of a growing market and consumers with high purchasing power.
  • The need to add new products with more powerful effects, because the addiction decreases the hallucinogenic power in the individual that requires higher doses or more powerful substances.
  • The diffusion in the popular culture of Rock and the formation of its associated myths, that in a certain way promote the consumption of drugs among the followers of this kind of music.
  • The existence of economic inequalities in society and the lack of opportunities for those born in a humble cradle who see the possibility of changing their lives, their families lives and the communities where they live.
  • The slowness of the authorities in the countries for the approval of laws that punish as well as the creation of specialized security bodies in the fight against the scourge.
  • The lack of effective social policies that eradicate or reduce poverty in urban areas that see drug traffickers as support in solving both daily problems and more complex problems that require specialized personnel and infrastructure of high cost.

Causes of Drug Trafficking in Mexico

¿What Are the Consequences of Drug Trafficking in Mexico?

  • The number of people suffering from addiction-related conditions that prevent them from studying and joining the productive activity.
  • The abandonment of people from their lawful but poorly paid jobs for illicit but well-paid jobs in logistical and security support to drug trafficking.
  • Corruption between the armed and police forces for bribes paid by those who develop the activity to obtain their collaboration and complicity.
  • The distortion of values ​​among youth, seeing those who direct activity as models of life to follow and in others who are already actively involved try to replace them by force in the direction.
  • The formation of organizations with sufficient financial muscle that allow them to directly combat institutionalized state forces to maintain activity and even offer governments tax cancellation to increase tax revenues.

¿Who controls drug trafficking?

Groups called “cartels” or “Mafias” are in charge of controlling drug trafficking. Within these illegal groups, there are hierarchies, with the Chief of the cartel being in charge of controlling, supervising and administering all the mass production and distribution of drugs, which are financed by anonymous intermediaries, who benefited from a commission for the sale and distribution of products.

Miguel and gilberto rodriguez orejuela
Gilberto and Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela

When these products leave the factory, they are delivered to the traffickers who are under the head of the cartel, these are distributed in specific areas that they control, then this drug is taken to street traffickers or also called Pushers , camels or dealers, who are those who are down in the hierarchy and are responsible for selling the drug at retail and in many cases are also consumers of the same and dependent on them because of some addiction to consume them excessively.

¿Where Are Drugs Made?

It is really uncertain and you can not know 100% where the drugs are produced, but analyzing the little that has been made public about drug trafficking, we can deduce that for the most part, narcotics are manufactured in countries of the Middle East , as well as in the eastern part of South Asia and in much of the South American countries.

Where Are Drugs Made

Then, for distribution in other countries, they transfer the merchandise by smuggling it and illegally. On some occasions, the government itself is bribed not to act against them.

The Fight Against Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking has been attempted by government agencies in different countries since its inception, which has led to acts of violence by cartel chiefs under pressure from the government to cease their illegal activities.

Numerous times, these criminal groups have massacred many people to break through, as well as to demonstrate the enormous power and control they have over the people and to cause people to panic, so that when seeing some illicit fact carried out by these criminal groups, they do not communicate it to the authorities for fear of being massacred.

Although the struggle has been constant, it is important to mention that the strategies used by governmental entities have not been totally successful, and the problem is that in the midst of these wars to end drug trafficking, many innocent people die on the road.

At present, the fight against drug trafficking continues, although with no effect on large productions. No matter how much they catch, imprison or kill elements of mafias and cartels, someone else takes the place of these people in groups and the process continues without stopping.

¿What are the Most Famous and Most Commercialized Drugs?

Currently there are many types of drugs, but we will talk about the most relevant and those with a higher rate of production and distribution today.


OpiumIt is a substance that has hypnotic, addictive and analgesic properties. It produces relaxation, sensory enhancement, immunity to pain, among other symptoms. At present, its distribution as a drug is very scarce, since it is used more than anything as a complement to the creation of other drugs like heroin, whose distribution is more profitable for these criminal groups and for that reason it is very rare to find opium in its most pure state at retail.


MarihuanaThe drug most known by most people in the world, also called Marihuana. It is extracted from a plant called Cannabis Sativa, which contains a substance called THC, through which effects of relaxation, happiness, euphoria, strength, among many other effects occur. This drug has some medicinal uses, and can be acquired under medical prescription and in smaller amounts, although only in very particular cases.


cocaineCocaine is one of the most trafficked drugs in the world, it is consumed by nasal inhalation. The effects are almost instantaneous, among which we can mention, increase of energy, increase of strength, inhibition of the effects of alcohol, blur of reality, euphoria, aggressiveness, among others. It also produces symptoms of happiness.


CrackIt is a drug that is trafficked illegally, made with the combination of sodium bicarbonate and cocaine hydrochloride. It is a drug with addictive components. Its form of consumption is smoking or injected, produces effects immediately which inhibit the effects produced by the alcohol and produces euphoria, a huge increase of energy, pleasure, among others; its consumption is very harmful to health, and if consumed in large quantities can cause instant death.


LSDLSD, also known as Acid, is one of the chemicals with the most hallucinogenic reactions that exist, produces severe changes of mood and disconnection from reality, taking the consumer on a journey an alternate reality that can not escape until the effects of this substance cease altogether.


AlcoholAlthough alcohol is legal in most parts of the world, there are some countries and cities where consumption and distribution is strictly prohibited, such as in Saudi Arabia and some regions of Pakistan. This results in the illegal trade of the same, smuggling and illegally entering large quantities of alcohol to those countries, to be sold by traffickers to the interested public anonymously outside the authorities.