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Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere) Paperback – October 15, 2009
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Few previous works have explored the complex dynamics and consequences of cross-border drug trafficking as absorbingly as this book. Among the fascinating characters we meet are a self-proclaimed anarchist dealer who cites Margaret Mead in support of his belief that drugs should be legalized; a historian who recites the legend of La Nacha, who outwitted her rivals to become one of the most powerful drug dealers on the US-Mexico border; an innocent Lebanese Mexican who sold scuba diving gear to ambitious drug smugglers; and a "dyed-in-the-wool Republican" from Texas who used to work for the border patrol but now believes that the drug war is futile. Campbell also seeks to familiarize readers with the complex vocabulary and culture of the drug trade. We learn that, in Mexico, territories controlled by specific drug cartels are known as "plazas", while "tienditas" are the shops, privates homes, or street-vendor outlets where drugs are sold. "Narcocorridos' are the popular ballads written about the lives of drug traffickers and "narco-mantas" are the frightening placards which display messages from drug cartels in publics places.Read more ›
Howard Campbell's Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez is an ethnographic study which offers multiple points of view that elucidate the complexity of America's "War on Drugs" in relation to narcotics trafficking and violence on the U.S.-Mexico border. Presenting an eclectic array of voices, Campbell illustrates and connects the experiences and agendas of narcotics traffickers and addicts, law enforcement and military officials, and civil participants in various segments of society. Revealing the convergences and divergences between these diverse social groups, Campbell defines the Drug War Zone (DWZ) as a space of collusion and contestation in which drug traffickers and law enforcement conflict, connect, intersect, and interact globally and economically. He writes that the DWZ "is the transnational, fluid cultural space in which contending forces battle over the meaning, value, and control of drugs"(6). Within this space, Campbell brings out the hybridity within the "drug-antidrug" dichotomy by illuminating government officials' complicity with narcotics traffickers, revealing the DWZ as a space in which the two polar opposites merge and become the other through economically motivated negotiation and resistance at both the global and regional-El Paso-Juárez-levels.
Drug War Zone evidences the fallacy of the "War on Drugs" by investigating the complicity between capitalism and narcotics trafficking. Using pseudonyms to represent his subjects, Campbell deconstructs the paradigms that justify U.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
when i read the preview for this book i expected something a little different.it was suppossed to be from the view of law enforcment and smugglers both but i thought it would be... Read morePublished on December 27, 2013 by tim
I was very disappointed with the book, in fact I quit reading it near the end. I have been reading a lot about the Drug Cartels and this book is only about small time kids getting... Read morePublished on July 23, 2012 by Daryl
Did not enjoy the book as much as I expected. Seem to focus too much on the individuals involved. For me it was hard to follow the story. Never finished the book.Published on September 12, 2011 by Steve Mullenix