Can Anyone Recommend Some Light Reading?


I finished Ioan Grillo's book El Narco, a portrait of the Mexican drug cartels and the damage they have wrought in both that country and our own, and it works like this: the United States provides many of the guns for the war . . . and of course we provide the insatiable need for illegal drugs (especially New York City) and the Mexicans-- who used to be middlemen smugglers for Columbian cocaine, when the Miami Vice squad made it too tough to come through Florida-- have taken over as the main producers, shippers, smugglers, and distributors . . . and moved into many other organized crime rackets such as shakedowns, protection money, and kidnapping . . . and because the stakes are so high and there is so much money involved and there are so many poor folk willing to risk it all, things have gotten incredibly brutal, both as the drug gangs fight each other, and as they fight the often corrupt police for a slice of the pie . . . the violence is heinous and terroristic and the trade is global and difficult to trace-- as the drug lords rely on lots of freelance help for assassinations and transport and smuggling and raw materials-- and while good intelligence can help to bring down big players, there is always someone else ready to step in and make the big money, if only for a limited time (the days of Pablo Escobar are over) and Grillo makes the typical case for legalization of drugs-- at least marijuana, but also perhaps cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, and whatever else is coming across the border-- because that is the only way to limit the power of these very organized paramilitary economic insurrectionists who are essentially psychotic . . . there was a time in the '70's when it looked like legalization would happen, but then we "just said no," but perhaps this time, with the mounting death and some violence creeping across the border (but not much because the Mexicans know what is good for business) legalization will once again be a viable debate . . . anyway, the book is a good read if you want to know the ins and outs of this atrocious situation just South of us: nine Zetas out of ten.

10 comments:

zman said...

I would recommend The Reluctant Mr Darwin but you refuse to read biographies so I won't.

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