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The Pipeline
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How the Colombia cocaine cartels
made the California connection

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Stolen cars
Peruvian cocaine
New Cali cartel
Bahamas connection
Coffee, tea or coke?
Nicaragua to California
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Land, sea and air: the smuggling routes. Meneses began bringing cocaine powder into the United States in the mid-1970s. At first, the drug was carried across the border hidden in suitcases and shoes. As the industry grew, the cartels expanded and shipped by cargo ships, planes, stolen cars and trucks.

Map by Staff Artist Pai Wei

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