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Cocaine Capital and Central American Development

Authors: Zoe Pearson*, University of Wyoming, Kendra McSweeney, Ohio State University , Erik A Nielsen, Norther Arizona University, Justin T Piccorelli, University of Wyoming
Topics: Development, Latin America
Keywords: Central America, Cocaine, Cocaine transhipment, Development
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Cocaine trafficking has an important yet understudied influence on Central American development. Economic outcomes of the trade have implications for economic development as well as drug policy debates, and deserve greater attention. In this paper we draw on novel data to contribute conservative estimates of: a) the wholesale value of primary cocaine movements that moved through Central America over an eighteen-year period, and b) the potential local economic impacts of cocaine transit-related expenditures. In doing so we draw attention to the development pressures faced by countries and communities that have become stop-off points in the cocaine trade, and their consequences for Central American development and security efforts.

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