I was watching a TV show last night about some of the ingenious ways that drug suppliers use to move drugs across the border: well-built tunnels, a crane lifting a vehicle over the wall, a catapult heaving drugs over the wall, and a large truck with tracks up one side of the wall and down the other so that a drug-filled vehicle could drive over.

At each point in the show when the narrator talked about suppliers of illegal drugs, he referred to them as “cartels.” This has become standard usage. In fact, it’s rare any more to hear suppliers not referred to as cartels. But are they? The defining characteristics of cartels are that they get together to fix the price and agree to limit production. Do these firms do that? I know that the government limits production by going after producers. But do the firms do it?

Do any of you know? Facts with links, rather than just speculation, would be most appreciated.