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An Colombian antidrug policeman escorts workers during an eradication operation at a coca-leaf plantation near San Miguel, in southern Putumayo province, August 15 2012.

In the world’s biggest cocaine producer, cultivation has hit an ‘all time high’ and the new president is vowing harsh measures that ...

The area being used to cultivate coca in Colombia grew 11% in 2017, according to the US government, and is driving cocaine use by Americans. "This is just not where we want cocaine production to be," a US official said.
Donald Trump with a sign supporting his plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

Mexican officials are ready to stop helping the US fight terrorism and drug trafficking to get back at Trump

Mexican senators are urging their government to consider cutting cooperation with the US on security matters in the wake of the family separations controversy. It's not the first time officials have made that request in response to Trump's policies.

How the US got its first big break against Colombia’s Cali cartel in a Queens, New York, bathtub

Cocaine was not a huge focus for US authorities in the early 1970s, but a cocaine bust in a Queens apartment in 1979 underscored how the drug was becoming a big business in the US.
An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province, May 1, 2014.

Afghanistan is producing a lot more opium than before the US invasion. The US just can’t stop it

US-led counterdrug efforts in Afghanistan have failed to reduce narcotics cultivation and production, but the US hasn't been the recipient of that increased production.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal appears with Mexican federal police after his arrest in late 2010.

‘La Barbie,’ a US-born cartel leader and one-time partner of ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison and a $...

Edgar Valdez Villarreal was born in the US, but moved to Mexico in the late 1990s, where he rose quickly through the cartel ranks become one of the most wanted cartel figures in the world.

At an Atlanta jail, inmates aren’t allowed to receive letters with postage stamps — and it’s a security measure the guards can’...

At Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, guards are constantly on alert for contraband material like drugs, weapons, and phones.
The letter "Z," referring to the Zeta cartel, painted on a hill next to a toll booth on a freeway between Monterrey and Torreon, in the Mexican state of Coahuila March 13, 2010.

Mexico took down a US citizen who rose to the upper ranks of the vicious Zetas cartel

"This is a very good hit. It's a good feather in the hat of Mexican justice."
President Donald Trump, next to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, at the US Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center in Sterling, Virginia, February 2, 2018.

Trump is keeping the pressure up on Mexico, but he ‘risks cutting off his nose to spite his face’

"These countries are not our friends," Trump said. "We think they’re our friends ... and they’re pouring drugs into our country and they’re laughing at us."
Officers of the National Intelligence and Security police (DIS) arrest alleged Honduran drug trafficker Wilter Blanco in San Jose, Costa Rica, November 22, 2016.

Drug traffickers are pushing deadly violence to record levels in a tranquil corner of Latin America

"Since 2012, we have seen an increase, and it's likely this curve will keep going up unless something extraordinary happens," a security official said.
An activist in mask holds a candle during a protest against a new security bill, the Internal Security Law, in Mexico City, December 13, 2017. The words on the mask read, "Law of security."

There’s a ‘double-edged sword’ hanging over Mexico’s decade-long war on drug cartels

A bill before the Mexican congress would enshrine the military's role in domestic law enforcement, and many inside and outside the country are alarmed.