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The Trade and Use of Drugs in Latin America Essays

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Films often depict the trade and use of drugs in Latin America as an extremely violent situation. Countries like Columbia or Mexico are usually where the drugs come from while the United States are the destination. More times than not, Latin America plays the role of an antagonist while the United States plays the protagonist. A film about Latin America, when pertaining to the United States, can fall into one of three categories: fully Latin American, a joint effort between Latin American countries and the United States, or a film by the United States. Gerado Naranjo’s Miss Bala (2011), is a Mexican film that is set in Tijuana, Mexico, and follows a young Mexican pageant girl as she becomes mixed up in the Mexican drug cartels. Maria Full of Grace (2004) is joint film between Colombia and the United States that gives Joshua Marston’s interpretation of a young Colombian girl who finds freedom from her job de-thorning roses by carrying drugs from Colombia to the United States. Viewpoints from a strictly American perspective can be found in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2001). Each of these films vary in the areas they depict of the drug trade process, but nonetheless, they all portray drugs between Latin America and the United States. It could be assumed that, due to a sense of patriotism, each film would highlight its own country of origin as the lesser of the two evils while the joint film might take a more neutral approach. One might expect Traffic to portray the United States as a superior country who is against a Mexican drug cartel who is built up to seem more horrendous than they really are. Equally, Miss Bala might be expected to show Mexico in a better light while creating an alienating haze around the United States while Ma...


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...les were portrayed, how they related to the cartel, and how the problems they faced were overcome.


Works Cited

Keefe, Patrick Radden. "Cocaine Incorporated." The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 June 2012. Web. 05 May 2014.

Maria Full of Grace. Dir. Joshua Marston. Perf. Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez and Orlando Tobón. Fine Line Features, 2001. DVD.

Miss Bala. Dir. Gerardo Naranjo. By Mauricio Katz. Perf. Stephanie Sigman, Irene Azuela and Jose Yenque. 20th Century Fox, 2011. DVD.

United States. Mexico’s Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Violence. Cong. Bill. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Traffic. Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Prod. Laura Bickford, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz. Perf. Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Luis Guzmán, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Bedford Falls Productions, 2000. Digital.



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