By Allison Fedirka
Colombia has long been known as the world’s top producer of cocaine, a reputation the government tried to rid the country of for years through a crackdown on drug cartels. It has made some progress, with high-profile rebel groups putting down their arms, promising to turn away from drug trafficking and signing peace deals. Frequent and intense counternarcotic operations carried out by Colombian security forces led to shortages of a precursor chemical necessary to make cocaine, missed production quotas and decreases in the quality of the cocaine being produced. But the crackdown laid the groundwork for a new security threat facing the country today: Mexican cartels.
Over time, the disintegration of Colombian drug trafficking groups essentially opened the door for powerful groups from Mexico that wanted to protect their supply chain. On March 13, Colombia’s justice minister expressed concern, on the sidelines of the United Nations’ Commission on Narcoti