During the 1980s and 1990s, Colombia was wracked by a series of drug wars. At one point, Medellín became the murder and kidnapping capital of the world. Pablo Escobar was at the center of all this. When he first began exporting cocaine in large quantities to the United States, he argued that Colombia’s government need not take notice since his “merchandise,” as he called it, was for Americans. However, Escobar also trained a group of young assassins, known as sicarios, to settle scores with enemies. Further, he was selling low-grade cocaine, known as basuco, in his hometown. Further complicating the picture was the fact that Escobar provided services to residents of poor neighborhoods in Medellín known as comunas. He financed low-cost housing, local soccer teams and funerals among other things. Comuna residents realized they could satisfy community needs more effectively by asking Escobar than the municipal government, which ignored them. In reading the posted articles for this week, keep in mind the following questions: 1) How did Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel corrupt Colombian society? 2) What exactly did Escobar want? 3) Why was it so difficult for Colombian authorities to imprison Escobar and uproot his organization? 4) What finally allowed Colombia’s authorities to kill Escobar?
Afterwards, choose quotes from “Quijote” attached as pdf file
“The Afterlife of Pablo Escobar” FIND HERE: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/05/the-afterlife-of-pablo-escobar
and explain their significance in a supporting paragraph of no less than 800 words.
As always, one point will be awarded for a relevant theme, one point will be based on factual accuracy, one point will reflect the use of specific examples from the readings to back your argument and one point will take grammar into account so kindly proofread your work. This extra credit discussion is due promptly at 06 p.m. on Monday, April 16. No late submissions will be accepted.
Examples from other students on different topic:
Quote: “In the mid-1800s, Progress was becoming a sort of secular religion, and liberals were its prophets” (Progress, p. 153).
As the title suggests, Progress was a central theme in Latin America and western civilization as a whole. As mentioned in the reading, the two political parties represented two separate ideals. The conservatives represented tradition, while the liberals represented change or progress. Additional themes connected to the idea of progress were power and greed. In the reading, the author states: “Then, over the next quarter century, the liberals made a stunning comeback and oversaw a long period of export-driven economic expansion” (Progress, p. 149). This transition in Latin America proved beneficial, as the countries were seeking to be comparable to Europe and the United States. They were seeking to hold a place in the international market. The author writes: “Exporting earnings, after all, could buy fence wire and sewing machines and steam engines. In other words, export earnings could literally import Progress, or so the elite believed” (Progress, p. 152). The change in methods of transportation would be beneficial in Latin America. This progress to hold a greater place in the international market would help Latin America keep up with the rest of the world. As with all change, certain people had their reservations. Specifically, those that were comfortable with their current life situation. The author states: “To conservatives, who remembered colonial days as a peaceful age when uppity mestizos knew their place, the past was attractive” (Progress, p. 153). On the contrary, liberals were encouraging progress as a way to essentially make their mark. This ties in with the other themes connected to progress – power and greed. Conservatives wanted things to stay the same. Why would they want change or progress if life was great for them? As seen during the Mexican Liberal Reform, liberals gained power through gaining support of the disenfranchised, namely, indigenous or lower class people. By gaining the support of people that would benefit from progress, they were able to gain the power they so desperately seeked. While progress helped to better Latin America in various aspects, it is not to be ignored that greed and power were motivating factors for progress amongst the Latin American elite.
A central theme to this reading is that instability within a government suppresses progress. Brazil was the last country in Latin America to abolish slavery. A more progressive society would not be expected to use slaves; The idea of slavery is archaic. Although Emperor Pedro I did not agree with slave labor, land owners were in greater control of the outcome of the slave workers. The emperor encouraged abolitionists, but prohibition of slaves just led to an increased value in their labor. The author states, “Dom Pedro recognized the weakness of his position and did not attempt to exercise his constitutional right to veto legislation, passed by the General Assembly, even when the laws were designed to fortify the institution of slavery which he abhorred” (The Rise of the Brazilian Monarchy, p. 163-164). The paragraph goes on to identify that land owners were judges for any trial held for mistreatment of slaves. This is obviously corrupt and unfair to the slaves. While Dom Pedro I implemented abolitionists, their attempts at abolishing slavery were unsuccessful. Furthermore, this instability within the government, with slavery being a central topic, led to a revolt in Rio. The reading goes on to discuss the corruption and battle for power within the Brazilian government. Some people, mostly natives and urban property owners, wanted Dom Pedro I back in power (The Rise of the Brazilian Monarchy, p. 168). Furthermore, despite Feijo, Vasconcelos, and Everisto proposing a monarchy, the Senate did not agree. This continues to show the instability within the Brazilian government. While there was significant change in the Brazilian government, the amount of actual progress was questionable. This constant strife between leaders does not allow for society to grow. There is constant struggle for political power, that they were hanging on to old ideals, such as slavery. In 1850, Brazil was threatened by Great Britain to go to war if they did not stop their slave trade (The Rise of the Brazilian Monarchy, p. 179). The final paragraph by the author states, “Thus, in 1850, Brazil adopted measures that would curtail the growth of the slave-labor force, secure private property in land and ensure its marketability, expand credit, and generally facilitate business activity. This legislation provided the framework for modest economic development as the empire entered a long period of internal peace” (The Rise of the Brazilian Monarchy, p. 179). This further shows that once stability was achieved, progress and growth were able to happen for the Brazilian society and the slave trade was brought to a halt.
RESPONSE by instructor: You will receive 4 out of 4 points for this discussion (both quotes). Latin America’s Liberal-Conservative struggles and Brazil’s slavery debate (leavened by British pressure) are indeed significant themes. However, be sure to properly cite your quotes by using the author’s last name and the relevant page number rather than the chapter title. Thus, the citation for your first quote should look like this: (Chasteen, 153). You might remember as well that many indigenous Mexicans were in fact Conservatives in indeed they cared about politics at all. One of the leading generals in Mexico’s Reform War, Tomás Mejía, was of full indigenous descent. Many indigenous Mexicans wanted to be left alone to live in their villages, farm their communal lands, and speak their indigenous languages. Of course, Benito Juárez proved a notable exception to this tendency but the historian Enrique Krauze notes that Juárez married a woman of Spanish descent and his children were mestizos, which identified him somewhat with this group – many of whom were indeed Liberal. Chasteen also notes that to call Juárez indio would be to insult him.
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