- 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)
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Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in Mexico as Los señores del narco in 2010, this dry translation brings Mexican investigative journalist Hernández's exposé about drug trafficking in Mexico to an English-speaking audience. Five years in the making, it's an in-depth, unforgiving look at the deep-rooted corruption that has allowed the cartels to flourish; they now influence and control vast swaths of the country. Numerous anecdotes and interviews flesh out a decades-long narrative, touching on everything from CIA and DEA involvement, to how the drug lords run their empires from prison, to the way these powerful men live and die. It's a scathing, sobering report, as Hernández lays the blame not just on the drug cartels, but on all those who exercise everyday power from behind a false halo of legality to make their law of ÿsilver or lead' a reality. While appendices containing glossaries of acronyms and short bios do much to reduce reader confusion, there's still an immense and exhausting amount of information to absorb. Those willing to slog through the dense bits will find a thought-provoking portrait of the crime and corruption that dominates our southerly neighbor. (Sept.)
Most Americans are aware of the carnage wrought upon Mexico by the powerful drug cartels. Still, this account of the rise and continued domination by these cartels is both shocking and unsettling. Hernandez, a widely respected investigative journalist, first published this work in Mexico in 2010, and many of her charges and warnings have been confirmed by subsequent events. According to Hernandez, Mexico is already a “narco-state.” That is, the cartels have become thoroughly embedded into key sectors of Mexican society, including the military, the police forces, the courts, and both the local and federal legislatures. Utilizing seemingly authentic secret files and credible sources, she exposes high-level corruption with mind-numbing details, and she doesn’t shrink from flinging accusations of both incompetence and complicity at former president Calderon, hailed in the U.S. for launching the “war” against the cartels. Critics within Mexico have accused Hernandez of painting with too broad a brush. Perhaps so, but she still presents a convincing portrait of a society poisoned by its worst elements and presenting a serious challenge for our own country. --Jay Freeman
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The official, ultimate, book on Mexican narcos, by the foremost authority on the subject. Best read.Published 3 months ago by No Name
The book was filled with names in a way that was both confusing and tedious. The intent seemed to be a name mentioned, a name slandered. Most references were unverifiable. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Too many toys
The Journalistic work is superb, as one must remember that the access to information for investigative journalism is slim and fatally dangerous in Mexico. Read morePublished 5 months ago
This is a really good informative book and has a lot of information in the beginning as it opens up but then it goes into fine detail. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Miguel Abonce
Last year I read several books, fiction and non fiction, about the drug war. I found much of the fiction borrowed from Narcoland. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
I spend significant time in Mexico, I've worked and invested in Mexico, and I know all about the hypocrisy and corruption. But this book just has too much information. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mexico Magico