Definition/Scope: Drug cartels are criminal organizations developed with the primary purpose of promoting and controlling drug trafficking operations. They range from loosely-managed agreements among various drug traffickers to formalized commercial enterprises. Drug cartels are not strictly cartels proper as it does not appear that they actually set prices for the illicit drugs. Drug cartels operate in many countries throughout Latin America, including Mexico, Central America and Colombia, and in Afghanistan and South Asia. Some cartels are even establishing themselves in U.S. cities like Phoenix, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Broader Terms:Army National Guard
Narrower Terms:counterdrug intelligence
Related Terms:Controlled Substances Act