This is the story of the most successful cocaine dealers in the world: Pablo Escobar Gaviria, Jorge Luis Ochoa Vasquez, Carlos Lehder Rivas and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. In the 1980s they controlled more than fifty percent of the cocaine flowing into the United States. The cocaine trade is capitalism on overdrive -- supply meeting demand on exponential levels. Here you'll find the story of how the modern cocaine business started and how it turned a rag tag group of hippies and sociopaths into regal kings as they stumbled from small-time suitcase smuggling to levels of unimaginable sophistication and daring. The $2 billion dollar system eventually became so complex that it required the manipulation of world leaders, corruption of revolutionary movements and the worst kind of violence to protect.
In a riveting narrative based on their prize-winning series in the Miami Herald , Gugliotta and Leen expose in alarming, well-documented and vivid detail the estimated $8 billion-a-year Colombian cartel that controls 80% of the world's cocaine market. In their account, the complex hierarchy of the cartel directs an international operation that resembles and surpasses many multinational corporations in efficiency and sophisticated marketing techniques. Run by a small group of murderous young overlords, the organization has thousands of employees--from peasants and pilots to lawyers and hit-men. Initially, corrupt bank and government officials in Colombia favored the cartel's growth. However, this changed after the cartel's successful opposition to an extradition treaty between Colombia and the U.S., which involved a reign of terror against Colombian institutions. The extended activities of the cocaine barons in Central America have compromised U.S. national interests, the authors maintain, especially in the case of reported contra- cartel links and alleged drug trafficking by Panama's Noriega. Despite concerted law enforcement efforts, the cartel still thrives. Major ad/promo.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This books is as addictive as the cocaine the figures it discusses pushed.
The subject is fascinating, the storytelling is engaging, and the book is well-organized along a generally chronological order.
I simply could not put this book down. I like books on the drug wars and have read several of them. This one is easily the best.
The book was written a number of years ago before the Medellin Cartel was finally brought down. It would have been interesting to read the authors' detailed and interesting treatment of the final years of the Cartel and Pablo Escobar and other related figures. This is not to the detriment of the book. It is fascinating for what it is.
If you are at all interested in the Colombia cocaine era then read this book before any others.