Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Gregory Wilson

First Page



Despite over two decades of focused government efforts, drug use and related problems persist in the United States. Moreover, combatting narcotics trafficking now may be more difficult than ever as the sophisticated Cali Cartel has replaced the Medellin Cartel as the world's preeminent supplier of cocaine. Cali's advanced methods of operation have rendered traditional approaches to battling drugs even less effective than they were previously. Clearly, the United States must establish a new direction in drug law enforcement. This Note traces the development of Colombia's drug cartels from the rise of the Medellin Cartel to the emergence of Cali as the dominant drug syndicate. The Note then surveys several methods, some traditional, some novel, of combatting the drug trade, including extradition, military intervention, irregular rendition, and asset attachment. The Author concludes that asset attachment may be the most effective and efficient means of attacking the heart of Cali Cartel operations, its extensive money laundering networks. Finally, this Note discusses the Clinton administration's initial approach to the drug problem, concluding that it is not the shift in policy necessitated by the evolution of the drug underworld.