Three intimate but epic stories about this iconic drug and the people who produce it, use it and fight it. A chilling journey from the coca fields and cocaine makers of the Peruvian Andes, via drug gangs in the favelas of Rio, to a man who stands behind over half of Colombias drug trade. It shows how the vast sums of illegal money involved are damaging individuals, cities and, finally, states.
Episode 1: Viva La Coca, takes viewers into the world of the Peruvian coca farmers, who are totally dependent on the paltry money they make from growing coca leaves, and the cocaine-makers, who turn the leaves into "dandruff of the Andes." It follows the complex process of a kilo of cocaine being made, from the leaf to the final drying in a microwave. The film makes clear that the peasants and the drug makers are totally interdependent.
Episode 2: Leo and Ze, is a brutal, unsettling story of violence, poverty and wasted lives. Ze, a former gang leader who has managed to get out and survive, tries to help his nephew Leo to do the same. Through the lives of this family, a picture emerges of the way in which the gangs, financed by cocaine sales, have taken over the favela. These are adolescent boys who rule by terror. The normal inhabitants can do nothing in the face of the guns bought on the proceeds of "the white stuff."
Episdoe 3: An Honest Citizen, explores how 30 years of billions of dollars of illegal drug money have made Colombia virtually ungovernable. Supplying 80 percent of the world's cocaine, Colombia's booming drug trade - estimated at $6 billion a year -has funded a brutal civil war involving leftist guerillas, right-wing paramilitaries, and a government tainted at many levels with corruption. An Honest Citizen follows Maria Cristina Chirolla, Head of the Attorney General's anti-money laundering office, as she struggles to fight the extraordinary reach of drug money in Colombia. When she discovers that the drug barons protected by the paramilitaries have plotted to assassinate her, she ponders whether the battle is worth fighting and at what personal cost?