Segments in this Video

Introduction: Cocaine Unwrapped (02:23)


This segment orients viewers to the topic of cocaine from the viewpoint of recreational users and from government officials who are aware of the human, financial, and social costs of this drug. (Credits)

War on Drugs (04:01)

Retired Maryland State Police Officer Major Neil Franklin talks about growing up in Baltimore when business was booming. Once jobs went away, illegal drug dealing became a common way to make money.

Plan Colombia: Manual Eradication (02:52)

General Francisco Patino Fonseca talks about the war on drugs. Police provide protection while illegal plantations in Tumaco are destroyed. Former Vice President Francisco Santos talks about the country's aggressive drug policy.

Forced Eradication in Rural Province (04:11)

Nariño is using aerial spray fumigation and manual irradiation to destroy coca plants. A farmer talks about the damage to her crops from the indiscriminate poison. Tumaco is home to a marginalized population of Colombians further hurt by this practice.

Human Cost of Eradicating Coca Farms (02:12)

Former Opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba, talks about the effect of Colombia's anti-drug trafficking strategy on the environment. A doctor describes the effects of people being exposed to the widespread fumigation. People's lives are ruined by the economic effects of crop damage.

UN Drug Conference, Vienna 2009 (04:35)

President of Bolivia Evo Morales explains the difference between coca plants and cocaine. A farmer talks about the role of coca in his life and the violence his family suffered from until forced eradication ended in 2005.

Coca Harvest (03:47)

The Bolivian government allows a limited amount of coca for traditional use, recognizing the plant as part of the country's culture heritage. A farmer explains that he does not know anything about cocaine.

Coca Growers' Union, Chapare (01:53)

The European Commission does not support the forced eradication of coca plants. Farmers in Bolivia are limited in how much they can grow. The amount has been peacefully negotiated with the government.

Cycle of Destruction and Replanting (03:01)

Coca farmers receive a tiny fraction of what cocaine users pay for the drug. Governor of Nariño Antonio Navarro Wolff says the population is fighting a losing battle against forced eradication.

Food Security Destroyed by Government (03:38)

Farmers continue to replant coca plants because they have no alternative source of income. Colombia produces most of the world's cocaine despite billions of dollars being spent on Plan Colombia by the U.S. Former Vice President Santos says demand for cocaine has undermined government efforts.

Diversification of Agriculture (02:32)

WHO determined that the coca leaf is not harmful to human health. Farmers in Bolivia are now able to experiment with supplementing income with other plants though coca is the main crop.

Windsor Tea Factory (02:34)

The Bolivian government is developing new markets for coca in tea, drinks, and cosmetics. See how tea is produced from coca leaves. Fair trade provides the producer more money than they would get from the drug trade.

"Coca Yes, Cocaine No" (02:08)

Bolivia's anti-narcotics police now target cocaine producers instead of coca farmers. Coca that has been mixed with cement and petrol is destroyed with fire.

Bolivia Model (01:43)

Limiting coca and providing alternatives is a model that can be used to benefit countries whose citizens rely on coca farming. A ban of all plants that are associated with the Western drug trade is not a sustainable solution because many people depend on these plants for survival.

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (03:50)

A crowd watches as police process a crime scene. Over 37,000 people have been killed since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared a war on drugs in 2006. A journalist talks about the drug trafficking problem.

Policy Objectives (02:56)

Over one billion dollars has been given to Mexico for the war on drug trafficking. Most is spent on the Mexican army and federal police. Children have become desensitized to violence and military police.

Corruption and Cartels in Mexico (02:43)

Human rights abuses have increased in Juárez since the military has become involved in the war on drug trafficking. Torture has been established as a form of investigation. The population has become violent and fearful.

Mass Grave (04:58)

People in Juárez are living in poverty while drug cartels are worth 40 billion dollars per year. People begin selling drugs because they do not have other ways to make money. There are 10 to 12 executions a day.

Quito, Ecuador (02:31)

Ecuador is on the border of Colombia and serves as a transit country for carrying drugs between the U.S. and South America. Former drug mule Analia Silva was in the business for seven months before she was arrested and sentenced to prison.

El Inca Prison, Quito (02:11)

Most of the female prison population of Ecuador is comprised of women who worked as drug mules. President Correa has reduced sentences for drug offenses and created rehabilitation programs.

Prison Reforms in Ecuador (04:29)

President Correa has pardoned over 2000 women who were convicted for being drug mules since 2006. Teresa Delgado talks about her experience reintegrating into society after prison.

Youth Centre, Tepito, Mexico City (02:27)

Drug use in Mexico has increased since President Calderon declared a war on drug trafficking. The life expectancy for street kids is 25 years. A 15 year old boy talks about drug use and street life.

Rise in Drug Use (03:19)

Detox and counseling are being used to treat street kids who use drugs in Mexico City. The goal is to treat it as a health issue rather than a criminal issue.

Baltimore, U.S.A. (03:36)

The illegal drug trade is a big part of the city's economy. Major Franklin talks about young people and violence. Echo House Treatment Centre focuses on juveniles who use drugs.

Maryland Metropolitan Transition Centre (03:39)

There are over 500,000 people in prison for drug charges in the U.S. Former drug dealer Erik Thompson is serving 25 years. African Americans are ten times as likely to be sentenced for drug charges as white people.

War on Drugs Approach (04:29)

Poor and disenfranchised people are the one who suffer most from U.S. drug policies. President Barack Obama promised a new strategy when he was elected in 2008. Learn what you can do help make a change.

Credits: Cocaine Unwrapped (00:59)

Credits: Cocaine Unwrapped

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Cocaine Unwrapped

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This blockbuster of a doc gets inside the drug world with unprecedented access. Travelling from the growers to the drug mules, poverty to prison, cocaine factories in the Colombian jungle, and dealers on the streets of Mexico and Baltimore. It is a fascinating and unusual insight into how the drug world functions. Features exclusive interviews with the political leaders of Latin America and drugs czars on both sides of the Atlantic.

Length: 84 minutes

Item#: BVL118353

ISBN: 978-1-63521-470-3

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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