The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most-Wanted Drug Lord [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]
Author: | Language: English | ISBN: B004262VY6
| Format: PDF, EPUB
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The dense hills of Sinaloa, Mexico, are home to the most powerful drug lord since Pablo Escobar: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Responsible for uncountable murders since taking charge of the Sinaloa cartel in the 1990s, and a central figure in the recent surge in drug-related violence and bloodshed, Guzman is among the world's ten most wanted men - and also appeared on Forbes magazine's 2009 billionaire list.
With his massive wealth, his army of professional killers, and a network of informants that reaches into the highest levels of government, catching Guzman was considered impossible - until now. The all-out war between the Mexican cartels has isolated Guzman from former partners at the same time that the Mexican government has intensified its fight to restore order and end the terror. With El Chapo vulnerable as never before, Mexican and DEA authorities are closing in, and journalist Malcolm Beith, a Newsweek contributor who has spent years reporting on the drug wars, follows the chase with full access to senior officials and exclusive interviews with soldiers and drug traffickers in the region, including members of Guzman's cartel.
The Last Narco combines fearless reporting with the story of El Chapo's legendary rise from a poor farming family to the "capo" of the world's largest drug empire. The Last Narco is an essential book about one of the most pressing and dramatic stories in the news today.
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- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 7, 2010
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004262VY6
Desiring to learn about the drug wars in Mexico, I bought this book somewhat as a blind shot in the dark. Like most blind shots in the dark, it missed the mark.
THE LAST NARCO refers to Joaquin Guzman Loera, a/k/a El Chapo. (Actually, the title seems to be somewhat misleading; while Chapo may be the last operating "El Jefe de jefes" ("Boss of bosses") still at large, if "narco" is given its common meaning of someone associated with the drug trade, clearly there are tens of thousands of narcos, with the number growing daily.) "Forbes" Magazine has listed Chapo both as one of the richest people in the world and one of the most powerful. Chapo is the book's centerpiece, around which Malcolm Beith, a British journalist, reports on the rampant drug trafficking, the narcos, the corruption, and the murder and mayhem over the last quarter century in Mexico.
By and large, the book is anecdotal. From time to time Beith wanders into the realms of analysis and policy, but never in sustained fashion or with particular enlightenment. What, one might wonder, has been the role of the United States? Beith mentions, more or less in passing, its role as the overriding market demand for the drugs coming out of and through Mexico (Ross Perot's sucking sound heading the opposite direction). From several of his anecdotes, one might speculate that U.S. intervention at both the levels of law enforcement and national diplomacy has affected - perhaps for good or perhaps for ill - Mexico's handling of its drug problem, but the matter is not really discussed. Beith also mentions, again without in-depth discussion, that the U.S. is the major supplier (perhaps as high as 90%) of the firearms used by Mexico's drug cartels and their sicarios (killers).
"The Last Narco" by Malcolm Beith is a brave piece of investigative journalism regarding the ongoing Mexican drug war that has cost 10s of thousands of lives in the last 6 years. In the last few weeks, Mexicans have spoken at the polls, bringing the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) back into power and with it, a de-escalation of the war waged by President Felipe Calderon's conservative PAN (National Action Party) against the cartels. The PRI ruled over Mexico for a long time; from 1929 to 2000 it governed the country with a policy of tolerance towards the cartels and it would seem that the Mexican people and their law enforcement agencies have tired of the endless conflict over the multi-billion dollar business.
The carnage and loss of life in Mexico is truly horrific, as the tactics of brutality (such as decapitation) have increased with the national infighting that began with a three pronged war; numerous regional cartels went to war with each other, while the AFI (Mexican FBI) and Army tried to sort the issue out (yet the agencies are notorious for leaks and corruption). Clearly, they have not been totally successful. The jails have swelled with narco-traffickers and their henchmen. It has not served as a deterrent, as the positions of newly killed or arrested narcos are filled by residents from each cartel's population who leave their meager wages and are willing to give their life for their "jefe" for a chance at riches and the fast life of the cartels.
Beith's work is very brave, stating in his postscript of the danger that is omnipresent for Mexican journalists who go sniffing into cartel business.
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