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Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation

Drug Trafficking and the Law in Central America

Julie Marie Bunck

Publication Year: 2012

Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation is the first account ever published of drug trafficking through Central America and the efforts of law enforcement to counter it. Julie Bunck and Michael Fowler detail the routes, methods, and networks involved, while comparing the evolution of the drug trade in Belize, Coast Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama over a span of more than three decades.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

This book is the product of many years spent studying the international drug trade in Central America. As we canvassed court records and newspaper accounts and spoke to scores of public officials and others, we amassed considerable debts to many helpful individuals. ...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction: Exploring Central American Drug Trafficking

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pp. 1-14

This book explores one distinctly understudied aspect of the international drug trade: the experiences of “bridge countries,” that is, states that may neither consume nor produce sizable amounts of illegal drugs but that lie on favored paths carved out between centers of production and key consumer markets. ...

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Chapter 1: Central America and the International Trade in Drugs

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pp. 15-69

As drug exports from South America initially gathered momentum in the late 1970s, criminal syndicates favored air and maritime routes through the Caribbean, including transshipment via the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica. In the early 1980s, however, responding to bloody struggles among cocaine traffickers contesting market shares, ...

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Chapter 2: Belize

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pp. 70-129

British novelist Aldous Huxley wrote what became perhaps the single most oft-quoted statement about Belize, formerly British Honduras: “If the world had any ends, British Honduras would certainly be one of them. It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else. It has no strategic value. ...

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Chapter 3: Costa Rica

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pp. 130-189

For some years Costa Rica represented the paradigmatic Central American state: the first, for instance, to grow coffee and bananas with commercial success. Over time, however, the country has proceeded down political and economic paths unusual for the region. ...

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Chapter 4: Guatemala

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pp. 190-252

Marked by deep and wrenching divisions from the Spanish conquest forward, Guatemala has differed strikingly from its Central American counterparts, postcolonial Belize and newly developed Costa Rica, with their relatively peaceful histories and solidly democratic regimes. ...

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Chapter 5: Honduras

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pp. 253-308

In certain respects Honduras has long typified Central America, with personalistic political leaders—some dictatorial politicians and some military strongmen—and an economy heavily dependent on bananas and other agricultural exports subject to the vicissitudes of international commodity markets. ...

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Chapter 6: Panama

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pp. 309-376

For all of the trafficking elsewhere in Central America, Panamanians certainly might claim to live in the most important transshipment location for criminal groups moving drugs to North American and European markets. Yet, once again, the profile of Panamanian society differs in interesting respects from those of its neighbors. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 377-384

The time has come for a summing up. In exploring the trade in drugs in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, the preceding chapters have aimed to answer the fundamental questions we initially posed concerning drug trafficking and the law in Central America. What conclusions might be drawn, then, from the record …

Selected Bibliiography

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pp. 385-396

Index of Cases

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pp. 397-402

Index of Names

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pp. 403-412

General Index

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pp. 413-431

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053929
E-ISBN-10: 0271053925
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271048666
Print-ISBN-10: 0271048662

Page Count: 488
Illustrations: 26 illustrations/8 maps
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • Drug traffic -- Latin America -- Case studies.
  • Drug control -- Latin America -- Case studies.
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