In 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb wrote the Dark Alliance series, in which he exposed how the CIA had been shipping thousands of tons of cocaine from the country Nicaragua to the US.
In the so-called ‘Iran-Contra scandal’, the CIA funded, armed and trained the Contra rebel groups and death squads with the intent to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.
In return for CIA support, the Contra militia groups provided large amounts of cocaine. The CIA helped drug trafficker “Freeway” Rick Ross to create crack-cocaine, which was distributed in South Central Los Angeles, Oakland and other predominantly black neighborhoods in the United States.
These events led to the crack-epidemic of the late 1980s and 1990s. The funds gained from the sale of cocaine was partially used to secretly support Saddam Hussain in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).
Gary Webb, the journalist who exposed the scandal, was found dead in a hotel room with two gunshot wounds to his head. Webb’s death was declared a suicide by the coroner’s office.