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Narcoterrorism

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Narcoterrorism is a term coined by former President Belaunde Terry of Peru in 1983 when describing terrorist-type attacks against his nation's anti-narcotics police. In the original context, narcoterrorism is understood to mean the attempts of narcotics traffickers to influence the policies of government, the enforcement of the law and the administration of justice by the systematic threat or use of violence. Pablo Escobar's ruthless dealings with the Colombian government is probably the best known and best documented example of narcoterrorism.

The term has become a subject of controversy, largely due to its frequent and inconsistent use in the advertising campaigns of the US Government's War on Drugs.

The term is being increasingly used for known terrorist organizations that engage in drug trafficking activity to fund their operations and gain recruits and expertise. Such organizations include FARC, ELN, and AUC in Colombia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Al Qaeda throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia.

Note: Although Al Qaeda is often said to finance its activities through drug trafficking, the 9/11 Commission Report notes that "While the drug trade was a source of income for the Taliban, it did not serve the same purpose for al Qaeda, and there is no reliable evidence that Bin Laden was involved in or made his money through drug trafficking." The organization gains most of its finances through donations, particularly those by "wealthy Saudi individuals".

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