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Narco-state (also narco-capitalism or narco-economy[a]) is a political and economic term applied to states where policies are seen to collude and cooperate with the illegal drug trade. It has been argued that Tajikistan in the 2000s qualified as a narco-state in the Journal of Drug Issues.[2] Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, has been called a narco-state due to government officials often being bribed by traffickers to ignore the illegal trade.[3] Colombian drug cartels used the West African coast as Jamaica and Panama increased policing. The Guardian noted Guinea-Bissau's lack of prisons, few police, and poverty attracted the traffickers.[4] An article in Foreign Policy questioned the effectiveness of money from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations designated to combat the illegal trade.[5]

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  1. ^ The terms are standard words with the prefix "narco-", defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "associated with the trade in illegal drugs".[1]


  1. ^ "narco-". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "Tajikistan: The Rise of a Narco-State" (PDF). Journal of Drug Issues. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  3. ^ Washington Post newspaper: Guinea-Bissau coup: Prime minister arrested for helping drug trade, military says 13 April 2012 "Analysts told the AP that in Guinea-Bissau, traffickers have bought off members of the government and military, turning the country into a 'narcostate.'"
  4. ^
  5. ^

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