The Latin American Narcotics Trade and U.S. National Security

By Donald J. Mabry | Go to book overview

9
Narcotics as a Destabilizing Force
for Source Countries and
Non-source Countries

José Luis Reyna


AN ANECDOTE

According to one of his biographers, Sigmund Freud was a drug addict at age 28. He used cocaine because, among other reasons, he wanted "fame." Freud himself thought this drug was the best way to obtain fortune and glory, the miracle solution for all problems. His great enthusiasm led him to send some to his sweetheart, Martha, to give her strength. In one of his love letters to Martha he confessed, "It is right now when I am really a doctor." Freud became euphoric and, in his view, his professional activity increased significantly. He felt neither fatigue nor hunger. In addition, Freud convinced one of his closest friends, Ernst von Fleischl-Marxow, to use cocaine. Fleischl died some time later, probably from drug abuse. Independently of his friend's death, however, Freud later decided that the use of narcotics was a mistake. Freud was but one of many cocaine users who misunderstood the nature of the drug. In Germany, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century the wave of cocaine users was considered the third plague of humanity. 1


THE PLAGUE

A little more than one hundred years later, the plague is an international plague, threatening the national security of powerful countries like the United States as well as weak countries like Peru. The Mexican government defines it as a "state problem." 2

The current narcotics plague has a particular geographic and economic character, one that must be understood in order to understand how poor Andean peasants can threaten U.S. national security or how New York drug users threaten the political stability of Latin American nations. The northern part of the world contains the main consumers of narcotics, the non-source countries. The southern part contains the main producers, the source countries. To put the problem within an economic context: the north

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