The institutionalization of drug trafficking organizations comparing Colombia and Brazil
Dominguez, Manuel J.
Berger, Marcos T.
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l took root with the introduciton of the drug trade in the region in the late 1970s to early 1980s. DTOs in Colombia and Brazil qualify as informal institutions based on structural composition, stability, behavioral control, and social cohesion. Sustainability in the Colombian case study is attributed to the DTOs' capacity to learn and adapt to U.S. and Colombian efforts while capitalizing on policy failures. Sustainability in the Brazilian case study is attributed to the DTOs' capacity to become entrenched in favela (poor urban) zones. Analysis of the case studies reveals divergent paths and characteristics of DTOs. In particular, internal warfare coupled with an emphasis on illicit drug production in Colombia has led DTOs to focus on the control of rural land. In Brazil, meanwhile, the absence of internal conflict an the emphasis on illicit distribution (retail) in Brazil has resulted in the DTOs focusing on controlling points of sale and internal, informal governance within the favela zones.
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