This booklet investigates the connection between the drug problem and four areas of international concern - organized crime, illicit financial flows, corruption and terrorism/insurgency. The discussion draws on research by UNODC and a wide range of outside sources to provide an up-to-date assessment of these complex relationships.
The booklet highlights where our knowledge is lacking and provides ideas for areas of further research. It begins by sketching out the transformation in drug-related organized crime from the dismantling of the Colombian cartels in the 1990s, to the use of drones, the darknet and the emergence of network organizations in recent years. Next, the consequences of drug money in the international system are analysed. The booklet then discusses the ways in which the drug trade and corruption reinforce each other. Finally, the extent to which groups including the Taliban, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have benefited from drug money is discussed in depth, along with a broader analysis of the links between terrorist, insurgent and other non-State armed groups, violence and the illicit drug trade.

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