This research is a brief overview of the new cartels emerging to dominate today's international traffic in drugs. In terms of geographic reach, economic impact, and imperiousness to law enforcemnt, drug cartels became the dominant form of organized crime in the last two decades of the 20th century. In the 21st century drug cartels have taken advatage of the massive increases in international trade and commerce and have learned from the mistakes of the earlier cartels. The new cartels are more numerous, flexible, chameleonic in their nature, and durable than any we have seen before.
Potter, G. W., & Barker, T. (2003, September). Drug Cartels and the International Organization of Drug Trafficking in the 21st Century. Kentucky Justice & Safety Research Bulletin, 5(1), 20.