U.S. Paved the Way for Cocaine Traffickers…Literally

Thursday, March 24, 2011
U.S.-funded highway construction in El Slavador
What was intended to help improve the infrastructure of a poor developing nation has turned into a convenient means of moving lucrative narcotics toward the United States—and all paid for with American tax dollars.
Cutting across northern El Salvador today is a modern, multi-lane highway that was constructed as part of a $461 million project sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corp., a U.S. government initiative to promote development in other countries. But the roadway—dubbed “El Caminito” (the little pathway)—has become an important drug route for cartels moving cocaine from Colombia to Guatemala and Mexico.
The highway turned El Salvador into an important player in Latin American drug operations, now that law enforcement efforts have made it more difficult to ship drugs by sea via speedboats and small submarine-type vessels. According to the State Department, more than 60% of the cocaine that enters the United States now passes through Central America.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
El Salvador Becomes Drug Traffickers' 'Little Pathway' (by Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times)


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