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Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1781680735
ISBN-10: 1781680736
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781680736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781680735
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I, like others I'm sure, was waiting for this book for a bit. I had pre-ordered it weeks before it came out and it represents about the tenth book I've read on the subject. I've lived in Mexico for one year, speak passing Spanish, and before my time in Mexico itself I lived in San Diego directly on the US/Mexico border.

If you're looking for an accessible and easy read on growth, impact, and interactions of narco cartels in Mexico, don't get this book. One of my personal favorites is The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America. In that, you'll get a very engaging and straight forward book that lays out, with graphic description, the corruption, violence, and destabilization caused by narcotics cartels in Mexico.

In Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers, however, you're going to be exposed to a long stream of dates, names, and places. The writing is laden with facts and as others have pointed out, it is a difficult read.

As an example, most books on narco cartels talk about "El Chapo" Guzman being smuggled out of jail in a laundry cart. It was the popular story and it certainly is Hollywood-esque so it just continues to get repeated through most books. You'll find that very few books on narco cartels involve actual in-country first person research. Anabel Hernandez however is a glaring exception and lays out the math with interviews, witnesses, and transcripts to show how Guzman was dressed up as police officer and simply walked out the front door.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unlike the first three reviews on this page, I found Narcoland to be a clear and detailed account of the organized crime in Mexico. The author was not afraid to name names and pinpoint dates and places. For those looking for an easy read of a difficult and contorted subject, I wish you luck. Perhaps a children's book is more what you are looking for. I live in Mexico and watch closely the day to day developments. Narcoland makes for an indepth understanding of the dynamics taking place. The author was brave to even have begun this book. I gave it 5 stars and I meant it!
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Format: Hardcover
This isn't an easy book to read, although it might be if you're Mexican, or know the country intimately, in which case many of the characters would be known to you.

However it is well written, not badly written as many reviewers here and on Amazon.co.uk have claimed. It is however written in a style which perhaps owes something to the Spanish language or way of speaking, and it takes a little while to get into the swing of it. However if you can't handle that you're never going to get anything from a serious book anyway.

In fact this is a careful, comprehensive and very carefully put together history of the drug business in Mexico, with its connections to many other Central and South American countries, and also of course the good old USA, with a starring, perhaps even leading role for the CIA.

Having said all that I read the first third of this book carefully and then started to skip because I simply don't need this much information. But for anyone who wants or needs to know chapter and verse on the characters involved, and the way it all stacks up it is invaluable.

I have read several books on the drug wars including the remarkable 'Dark Alliance' by Mark Webb and 'Amexica' by Ed Vuillamy. This book however, being written by a Mexican has far more detail in the Mexican experience than they do especially in showing how by the mid 1980s the drug business was being run by the drug cartels in equal partnership and with the total protection and connivance of the Mexican government.

Hernandez also gives chapter and verse of how the cartels received a massive shot in the arm, to say the least, from the CIA, acting illegally, against the instructions of Congress but with encouragement from President Reagan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The information is great and far-reaching, she knows all the personalities involved and names them, no matter the cost to herself. However, the book is tough to wade through. It was written like a report to be submitted to people familiar with the situation, not someone trying to get informed. I had a hard time keeping the cast of characters straight. However, by the end, after the entire situation is spelled out for you, the evidence she presents is simply overwhelming. You have looked into the dragon's mouth and it is incredibly ugly. Be prepared for her brutal honesty.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read book if you really want to know the truth about what's going on with the drug war in Mexico, the history of the Mexican government's involvement with the drug trade, and the CIA's involvement in the 1980's. Once you pick up this book your not going to want to put it down. Written by an award winning investigative journalist.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book shows how the Mexican government doesn't intend to stop the drug traffic, it wants it's cut...it's part of the proceeds.
It gives facts, names names over a 40-50 year period. Reagan & Clinton, too, we're involved.
I recommend reading, and thinking about how the US government wants its cut of the global corporation's profits.
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