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Branding Fear
The Deadly Genius of Drug Cartels by Rodrigo Canales
© 2013 James LaFond
TED Talks is the best source of knowledge out there in video format. There is a new entry every day. So far, this is my favorite; an 18 minute lecture by business professor Rodrigo Canales.
Rodrigo starts right out hitting us with the body count in the Mexican drug war, which is 8 times higher than the combined U.S. body count in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was accomplished in 6 years rather than the 12 the U.S. has been engaged in those two Islamic nations. He then goes right on to blame us, pointing out that the United States consumes half of all of the illegal drugs in the world!
The meat of this lecture is the operational business models employed by three Mexican cartels:
1. Los Zetos were originally elite paratroopers in the Mexican army who went to work for a drug cartel and then took over. They now recruit military men with the slogan, “We don’t feed you ramen noodles.”
2. Knights Templar are the regional cartel that controls a crucial shipping hub, and have outdone the government in providing protection, drug rehab, and other things [like drug free communities] that governments constantly promise and never deliver.
3. The Sinaloa Federation is like the McDonalds of drug franchises. They have professional film crews and public relations agencies on staff, and employ numerous sub contractors.
Rodrigo places the annual value of Mexican controlled drug imports into the U.S. at between 15 and 60 billion! He goes into great detail describing how, since drug cartels use flexible decentralized business models, that they outperform any government they are arrayed against to such an extent as to delegitimize that government, in some cases usurping its functions on the community level.
The Deadly Genius of Drug Cartels is a piercingly lucid look at something vastly complex that our media and politicians pretend to understand at great human cost.
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