Drugs in Colombia: Legal Ones.
I was talking with a friend back in Canada a couple of weeks ago, and I had mentioned one of the funny remnants of the drug wars of the past: Drogas La Rebaja (Discount Drugstore.) La Rebaja is, from what I’ve seen, the largest drugstore chain in Colombia.
It’s on every corner.
It’s equivalent to Shopper’s in Canada or Walgreens in the USA. It’s also like any drugstore in Canada or the US, with everything that you’d find there. So what distinguishes this drugstore from any other? It’s owners. La Rebaja is a legal venture that was started by Cartel de Cali back at the height of the of their powers. The Cali Cartel was the world’s second largest cocaine cartel, behind the Medellin Cartel (led by the infamous Pablo Escobar.)
During the late 80’s and early 90’s these two cartels fought for cocaine routes and profits, and tore the country apart. They are one of the main reasons that Colombia is still unfortunately synonymous with cocaine and kidnappings. While Escobar’s Medellin Cartel didn’t diversify too much, the Cali Cartel had a wing in charge of legitimate businesses.
Quite likely the most successful legal business offshoot was Drogas La Rebaja. So there you go. Colombia’s largest legal drug pusher, is owned by one of the world’s former largest illegal drug distributors.