CRIME

The House That Cocaine Built

An inside look of a Colombian cocaine lab that's sure to blow you away
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Cocaine exports account for roughly 2.5 percent of Colombia’s GDP. That’s the equivalent of the mining industry’s share of the American economy. Exports of the drug are down—but it’s still an $8-billion-per-year business for Colombian traffickers. That’s plenty of incentive to keep production going no matter how hard the government cracks down.

Over the last decade, America has given billions to the Colombian military to fight the narco-traffickers. In some ways it looks like the U.S. is getting bang for its bucks—Colombian authorities destroyed 2,356 labs in 2012, a serious dent in Colombia’s cocaine industry. But producers and traffickers of the drug are finding more creative ways to keep this lucrative business thriving. It’s like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole: Just when authorities think they’ve got the cartels on the run, their methods evolve and adapt.

As a British journalist living in the region, our reporter Toby Muse was curious about the current “state of the art” for Colombia’s processors, traffickers and dealers. What are the latest tricks to outsmarting the authorities? He made a few calls and obtained rare and potentially dangerous access to a processing laboratory. It’s not in the jungle as you might expect, but in an urban center of a Colombian city, which we agreed not to name. It turns out that the latest trend in Colombia’s cocaine trade is moving processing out of the huge plants in the jungle to small, mobile and disposable urban labs. In this new, decentralized world of cocaine production, two men with some buckets, a handful of microwave ovens and only the most basic knowledge of chemistry can take naturally growing coca leaves and turn them into 100 percent pure cocaine powder. And here’s the craziest part…they show us how they do it.

Cocaine exports account for roughly 2.5 percent of Colombia’s GDP. That’s the equivalent of the mining industry’s share of the American economy. Exports of the drug are down—but it’s still an $8-billion-per-year business for Colombian traffickers. That’s plenty of incentive to keep production going no matter how hard the government cracks down.

Over the last decade, America has given billions to the Colombian military to fight the narco-traffickers. In some ways it looks like the U.S. is getting bang for its bucks—Colombian authorities destroyed 2,356 labs in 2012, a serious dent in Colombia’s cocaine industry. But producers and traffickers of the drug are finding more creative ways to keep this lucrative business thriving. It’s like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole: Just when authorities think they’ve got the cartels on the run, their methods evolve and adapt.

As a British journalist living in the region, our reporter Toby Muse was curious about the current “state of the art” for Colombia’s processors, traffickers and dealers. What are the latest tricks to outsmarting the authorities? He made a few calls and obtained rare and potentially dangerous access to a processing laboratory. It’s not in the jungle as you might expect, but in an urban center of a Colombian city, which we agreed not to name. It turns out that the latest trend in Colombia’s cocaine trade is moving processing out of the huge plants in the jungle to small, mobile and disposable urban labs. In this new, decentralized world of cocaine production, two men with some buckets, a handful of microwave ovens and only the most basic knowledge of chemistry can take naturally growing coca leaves and turn them into 100 percent pure cocaine powder. And here’s the craziest part…they show us how they do it.

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  • when i tasty  some colombian cocaine??

  • So fitting that the narco guy at the end of the clip says legalization would be the only way the war n drugs can be won. It’s so obvious the U.S. has made that war an industry unto itself that they are ignoring a cash cow that would help fund many of the failing government works. 

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    • oh, I dont think they are ignoring it.  ever wonder how it can be sold in certain neighborhoods but not in others? ever wonder why so many petty drug dealers go to jail but they never can seem to catch the suppliers?

  • what Pauline replied I am blown away that any body able to earn $4427 in 4 weeks on the internet . Learn More Here… http://WWW.TEC80.COⅯ

  • God. Angry Birds is everywhere.

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    • mit bong

  • I think it’s great. hopefully cocaine can flow more freely into the us and people can realize how stupid and what a failure the war on drugs is. The govt should leave people alone who wish to do with their bodies as they please.

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    • I agree, but this would make the narco DEA go out of business! the failed drug on wars is a big business for police, lawyers, drug dealers, corrupt officers, etc.

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      • Exactly.  It’s big business for states and the fed govt. You didn’t mention the fact that jails are the newest business where billions are being made in that “industry” to build and maintain and keep prisoners! Huge huge business at the end of it all!

    • yea u are right let people cocaine that garbage and poison so they can go to an early hgrave right. ridiculous . jesus will one day end this god did not make us slaves to plants or poison rather he made us to control them not be controlled by plants watch the 700 club. this is the devils work to make people think that putting poison in their body and being slaves to plants is cool when god tells us not to do these things

  • Do you really think posting a “How to make cocaine” video is a responsible action on your part?

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    • Does it matter? The indigenous people have been using that wonderful plant for centuries with no problems. When a government criminalizes a substance that really has no need to be illegal is when issues arise. Mind your own business and let people do as they wish, you busybody.

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      • One thing is Coca leave, another is COCAINE. The first is natural and sacred, the second is manufactured in a lab for killing human beings. Simple.

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      • CLAUDIA, more people are killed by pharmaceutical drugs, cigarrettes and alcohol, your point??

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      • +
      • What is YOUR point?? Coca leaf is not big pharma. It grows on the ground. Put down the indica and let your brain go free.

      • Person for person, more use Rx cigs and ETOH, DUH! Of course more will die!! YOUR point??

    • don’t point fingers who is responsible that is lame! read read read Dope incorporated. hear you learn that British & the bankers started the dope business as well mob? you see Italians are nothing but guiny pigs the real gangster are Jews the real gangsters still calling the shots are the Jews & British families! just see who holds key seats in the U.S senete that make policy change Jews Lieberman finstien Levin brothers & a lot more with dual citizenship?? Americans need to grow some & take responsibility if these were senator’s with Mexican & American dual citizenship oh my god bring out the guns were making a citizens arrest lol! but they hear Israeli oh deaf ears bind eyes hypocrisy lol?

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  • The problem with drug is on the demand side, not the supply side.  as long that is not understood, it will never resolved.  Nicotine addiction was somewhat resolved by explaing to the smokers that it was bad for their health, not by forbidding the cigarette industry to produce cigarettes.

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    • Nicotine addiction has not changed by any percentage in the last 10 years. Addiction has been and will continue to be an issue every generation will need to face. America’s true growth must come from harm reduction, not the outright ban of all drugs deemed unfit for consumption by the U.S. government. Self knowledge will avail an addict nothing (Alocholic’s Anonymous). The courage for our society to come together and give help to addicts (i.e. medical professionals) will be the one true way of helping to curb America’s addiction to nicotine, alcohol, and all other mind altering substances. Addiction is a medical issue, not a political one!

  • coca leaves… not coco leaves

  • How do you go about getting traffickers to talk to you like that. Don’t they worry that, at the very least, talking about their methods would hurt their business? Thanks

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    • All it takes is a little (or a LOT) of “palm grease” which look remarkably like little green pieces of paper.

  • Greed.  He will get out in another 20 years because he wants more.  He may very well lose all, including his life and that of his loved ones.

  • And here I thought the US War on Drugs was a miserable failure. At least that’s what all my Liberal friends keep telling me. . .

    1 Reply - Reply Now
    • Is it not?

      1 Reply - Reply Now
      • I’m pretty sure that’s the point of this video – All the ‘war on drugs’ does is inconvenience the cartels and they immediately adapt and continue business. The cartels fear legalization more than anything, because it would utterly destroy them. They rely on the essentially government-enforced monpoly given to them by criminalizing drug use.

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