The term “Golden Triangle” refers to an area of about 367,000 square miles found in South Asia. Located within the triangle are three countries: Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. These countries are located at the convergence point of Rivers Mekong and Ruak. The name “Golden Triangle” was an invention of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The Significance of the Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle has been associated with illicit drugs, opium, and drug cartels. As a result, it is a dangerous zone. Its location in a remote area and rough terrains have historically made it a difficult area for the government to infiltrate. The economies of the countries within the Golden Triangle depend on the production and sale of illicit opium. In fact, the activities of the Golden Triangle have led to the development of infrastructure in the surrounding countries.
Results of Activities Within the Golden Triangle
Efforts to end the drug production in the Golden Triangle have been unsuccessfully due to various reasons. One of the reasons is that the drug cartel affairs have been highly integrated into government affairs. As a result, there is rarely a distinction between the drug kingpins and state builders. Moreover, it is also difficult to distinguish between private and public funds for purposes of economic development of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.