The drug problem and the recycling of profits derived from the drug trade and correlated activities is a truly complex problem, involving a complex set of interactions played out in different albeit connected scales of organisation.Thus, the study of a particular country or region cannot be isolated from other levels of analysis.

Our purpose is to introduce a geographical perspective of the drug problem, that is, to insist on the relevance of spatial distribution of data concerning international drug trafficking networks and their linkages to money laundering operations. Spatiality of social constructs increases our awareness of the difference that place makes in the dynamics of social,economic and political processes.Distance, relative position and accessibility of places are spontaneously evaluated by agents involved in drug trafficking and money laundering operations; equally important to these operations is the evaluation of territorial differentiation. Conversely, the form and extent of participation in these operations by inhabitants in each place owes much to the characteristics of lived-in territory and to expectations, real or imagined, of individuals and communities towards other places.


Machado, Lia O. 2002. Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in the Amazon Region. Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Effects. In: Globalization and Drugs Criminalisation. Final Research Report on Brazil, China, India and Mexico. Paris: UNESCO/MOST, UNDCP (CD-ROM).