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10 Ways Soccer and Organized Crime Mix in Latin America

Written by Geoffrey Ramsey

Friday, 30 May 2014





Pablo Escobar was closely tied to his favorite team










Soccer has long been a unifying force in Latin America. 



When the World Cup begins on June 12, televisions in homes across the region will be tuned to the matches. 





But "the beautiful game" has attracted more than just sports fans over the years. 





Either out of a desire for prestige, as a way to launder illicit cash or simply to get a cut of the action, professional soccer has also attracted some of the most infamous drug kingpins in the region, a process that has corrupted players, managers and officials.






Below is a list of 10 examples of what happens when the sports world meets the underworld, an encounter that sometimes turns violent.








1. Narcos Become Owners: America de Cali









In 1983, then-Colombian Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla denounced a list of six professional soccer teams in the country as being "in the hands of individuals linked to drug trafficking."


 Among th…