In this cartel organization talk, Rodrigo Canales aims to illuminate the bureaucratic structure of drug cartels. Canales notes that the exorbitant number of deaths related to drug violence are often overlooked due to a narrative that implies that the people involved deserved it. What this narrative fails to consider is the fact that cartels exist to supply an increasing market demand; in fact, the US makes up more than half of the global demand for these substances.
Secondly, the prohibitions around the service require that distributors have access to the most efficient routes across the border. The violence that occurs can be attributed to organizations protecting their market.
Canales then goes on to deconstruct various branding strategies, the first of which is an organization with a carefully constructed fear brand; a second organization that invests themselves with civic duty and justifying their violence as acts of protection; and a third organization, a former smuggling ring turned multinational that cultivated a brand of “professionalism, business acumen and innovation.”
Ultimately, Canales urges us to remember that these cartels are not comprised of blood-thirty sociopaths; rather, they are coherent business organizations that fulfill a market demand which necessitates violence. He notes that we are accomplices through our acceptance of inconsistencies between prohibition and behaviors that accept or encourage it.