Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions


Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas

UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Cayman Islands

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Costa Rica
El Salvador



What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines

  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory

By Beatrice E. Rangel

It is truly fascinating to witness the slow, silent but sure growth in prominence of drug lords in this hemisphere.

While in Asia and Africa not only do drug kingpins remain elusive to any media encounter, they fight media fiercely to the point of threatening their media representatives with kidnapping and death.

In Latin America they are the subject of musical compositions, TV series, films and aggrandizement by lay people.

Even high end fashion designers have fallen for the Latin crime kings. Legend indeed has it that an oversized logo displayed in shirts branded with the name of one of the most distinguished U.S. designers that catered to the taste of Mr. Pablo Escobar -- who wanted people to know he wore pricey clothes.

And for the last decade-and-a-half, Latin TV viewers and U.S. Hispanic Cable viewers have seen all kind of criminals parade across their screens in a never ending display of leadership showcasing.

As we witness this development our minds flash back to those days when Hollywood included the Italian Mafia Capos in its programming grid. Most talented casts were recruited to portray the lives of these crime bosses which came through as essentially that: crime bosses.

And while the magic trio Brando-De Nero-Pacino executed award winning performances, none of them depicted their characters as heroes or role models.

The winds of fashion seem to be blowing in an opposite direction South of the Rio Grande.

Crime bosses are seen as heroes irrespective of their responsibility in devising, ordering and/or carrying out the worst carnages in Latin America since the 19th century.

This newly acquired appeal has come bluntly to the forefront in the revelation by Mexican authorities and then the world press of the exchanges between Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug Cartel, and Ms. Kate del Castillo and Mr. Sean Penn.

The award winning actors seem to believe that the people of the Western Hemisphere need to begin to adopt the knowledge, skills and political standings of a man who runs an army of executioners who kill, amputate and torture any living soul that threatens their drug trade.

They further seem to believe that by disseminating Mr. Guzman's behavior, they will contribute to the liberation of the poor in Latin America -- useless to argue that drugs are enslaving not liberating. That their trade forces countries of limited resources to spend an overwhelming proportion of those resources in maintaining a military force to the detriment of expenditures on health and education that create human capital.

But perhaps the worst impact of this glorification of crime and its leaders is its corrosive effect upon the most significant asset to development: rule of law.

In a continent where the rule of law is an afterthought, creative people cannot turn their talent into wellbeing, as resources are captured by those with power and influence to tilt the playing field in their favor.

And as this pattern perpetuates over centuries, unbalanced societies develop where the few impose themselves on the many.

As the many are condemned to ignorance and poverty, resentment builds and blind revolutions take place which destroy all value creating platforms. Alternatively, the many are unable to build aggregate demand and economic growth becomes difficult and too slow to nurture an essential middle class.

At the root of this tragedy is the absence of rule of law.

Rule of law is precisely the launching platform of Ms. del Castillo and Mr. Penn's success in show business leading them to become millionaires and develop a strong following among scores of fans. But it seems as if they would rather keep this blessing to themselves while denying it to the people of Latin America.

Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.

For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.

You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.

Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet series

Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Crying Wolf in Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities

Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?

Beatrice Rangel: On Predictions of War & Global Confusion

Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear

Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor

Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis

Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Trompe L’oeils Proliferate in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen

Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70

Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders

Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela

Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters

Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies

Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus

Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash

Beatrice Rangel: From Grexit to Exit, Contagion is in the Air

Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice

Beatrice Rangel: Between Ionesco & the Falklands Syndrome

Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas

Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World

Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?

Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress

Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?

Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit

Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World

Beatrice Rangel: Two Islands, Two Legacies & One Challenge - Modernity

Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Upcoming Dynasties and Exhausted Ideas in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Of Thunderous Silences, Quiet Noises and Flash Backs in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox

Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care

Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves

Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters

Beatrice Rangel: Holy Haberdashery!!! Is Fire Building Under the Surface in the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???

Beatrice Rangel: Pope Francis Looks at the Americas In His Christmas Remarks

Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??

Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!

Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas

Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls

Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE

Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!

Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!

Beatrice Rangel: Communism from China to Cuba Finds Corruption!!!

Beatrice Rangel: From Rio to Hong Kong Discontent Taps the East to Find a New Way

Beatrice Rangel: Will Latin America Miss the Broadband Development Target?

Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America

Beatrice Rangel: The Third Attempt -- Will Modernity Prevail in Latin America?

Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths

Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil

Rangel: In Mexico Cinderella Gets to the Ball while Colombia Gets a Chance at Peace


Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:


Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2019 © All rights reserved