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El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels

El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels [Kindle Edition]

Ioan Grillo
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Grillo's clear-eyed, sobering account has authority and a flair for colourful anecdotes, making for disturbing but riveting reading (Metro)

A superb report form the front lines of narco-violence (Independent)

[A] shining example of dogged, impassioned and courageous reporting ... compelling ... his pace is furious, like driving at top speed along a wild mountain track in a pickup and there is no doubting his expertise, his compassion or his grit (Daily Express)

It is hard enough to report the facts of Mexico's crazy death spiral of drug violence. Ioan Grillo goes much, much deeper. He explains why El Narco threatens the soul of this beautiful country. He tells us how we got here (William Booth, bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Washington Post)

A fascinating and terrifying account (Sydney Morning Herald)

Heartbreaking ... El Narco is a fine work of journalism (Irish Times)

Remarkable (Houston Chronicle)

Puts a human face on the bloodshed (Boston Globe)

Book Description

The gripping account of the out-of-control drug wars that have brought chaos to Mexico- and are now spilling into the United States.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1221 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408824337
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (1 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060VB48A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is the sort of book I have been really keen to read for a long time; an explanation of the history behind these current events is so important. Having the facts laid out in such a clear way, and with a constant reminder that this is a human (and as such universal) story it provides a really good basis for a serious debate.

Such as the one I had with my Uncle, Aunt and cousins during a christmas dinner in London. All participants had an entrenched point of view. While I do not think anyone succeeded in changing the position of the other, I was able to share some history and context with my relatives.

The story told within is a real one, but given the subject matter it reads like a hollywood movie. It is a gratuituous and glamourous world. One that beggars belief and shocks. I was compelled to keep reading at the same time as being repelled by the horrible people and actions described.

For me, the bottom-line is that this story goes beyond drugs and actually reveals how humanity is incapable of embracing multiple points of view, and ways of life. The hypocrisy exposed is sickening. Drug-dealers, bankers, law-enforcers, politicians- the list of power abused with impunity is part of daily life.

Mexico's cartels reflect the market economics that also make Wal-Mart so successful. The added-value lies with the distributor. The manufacturers of the product are exploited as much as possible. The final client is sold as much product as the distributor can get away with. The 'brand-value' is a clever way of selling high for the lowest quality the market will bear.

At the very least, the legalisation of these drugs would deliver transparency across the supply-chain and we can begin to start holding all aspects accountable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 23 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a highly informative book that is very accessible but still provides a great deal of information and insight into the horrific insurgency that is blighting Mexico. I knew nothing of this particular drug war and came away utterly stunned. Grillo is a fine writer who conveys the politics, the social impact and horror with a clear eye. Excellent, I was truly impressed and could barely put the book down.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read. 1 May 2012
By Hairy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having become interested in the drug related crime explosion in Mexico after reading Don Winslows "Power of the Dog" I found myself searching through material from books,tv shows and the internet to find more on the subject, I still had not found a book which was a good overview of the subject.

This book is definately that, the first material I have found which clearly covers the whole history of Mexico narcotics problem(both taking and dealing/exporting), the crimnal elements behind them (Early gangsters to the modern day cartels), the response to it from police, army and government to its effect on the whole country.

Its well set out, as easy to read as it is well written and you dont feel you are getting lost in a plethora of names/gangs/government agencys as I have with other books on the subject. Taking the history from the begining makes it easier to follow and it is the best history of how it became like it isfoolowed by an rundown of the current situation that I have read. It also keeps the whole situation in perspective with regards to the rest of the world/its effects on mexico and never seeks to sensationalise the problem for easy goreseeking thrills.

A fascinatinating and worthwhile read that opens your eyes to a problem in a country that is after all partly caused by first world greed for illegal narcotics.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El Narco - A warning from history? 6 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you really want to know how the diabolical situation that exists on America's southern border began and is currently perpetrated, then I suggest you read this excellently researched book. Powerful and evocative, this book brings together the hopelessness and defenselessness of the Mexican people... the poorest,as usual, suffering the most. We are talking about a heinous and unstoppable barbaric criminal insurgency, uncontrolled and with the overt complicity of the state - the like and scale of which has never been known in a western 'democracy'. This book should serve as both a warning and a wake up call to the USA, (and the rest of the first world) that globalisation is not limited to big business. The USA bears the greatest responsibility for this threat to democracy, due to its blinkered self interests and its pandering to its bible thumping classes. Legalise recreational drugs, ban the selling of assault weapons and deprive these cartels their oxygen. Prohibition does NOT work. WAKE UP!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars El narco 26 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great book if you want to really find out what is going on today in Mexico. The book is well written and comprehensively covers the situation from grass roots to the top . The great thing is that Mr Grillo conveys the horror of the situation in such a way as not to glamorise the reality of it as so many other writers do when writing about organised crime. Fantastic work I will definitely be on the look out for more work by this Author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable 14 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good book, very detailed and thorough.
Felt it was quite heavy going at some points but well worth a read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Nothing special.
Published 2 days ago by Jadranka Djalovic
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book!!
For anyone interested in learning about the dark, shady under belly of the Mexican drugs trade i would highly recommend this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Vincent Rea
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it as it is.
Its a subject I've interested in for a while, since watching ' Scarface' the movie!

Its about the human nature of moving this commodity around and what drives these... Read more
Published 1 month ago by MR T G BUCKINGHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
We have all seen the headlines and the body counts but WHY? Buy this and read it and you will find out. An amazing piece of work. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, Gripping and Insightful.
From chronicling Chinese opium sellers to religious cults to commando mercenaries, El Narco is a fantastic piece of work. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Geek Tragedy
4.0 out of 5 stars El Narco
well my husband is still reading this book he has not dumped it but it seems to be very slow reading not a page turner
Published 4 months ago by val
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A Chilling insight into the extreme violence and turmoil connected with the Mexican drug trade. A very good read, would recommend!
Published 4 months ago by Michael Savage
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on the subject
One of the best books written on this Narco war. He takes you right inside the minds and mentality of people involved in the "insurgency" as he calls it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by TerryXX99
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant
It's taken me longer than normal to finish this,but the ride was worth it.Must read for anyone who likes mafia history.
Published 8 months ago by MR M J DOWALL
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary
Great book brings home the serious violence perpetrated by the drug cartels and the corruption which is rife in Mexico
Published 8 months ago by Avidreader
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Popular Highlights

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the Mexican Drug War is inextricably linked to the democratic transition. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Mexican drug gangs, the birthplace of the nation’s oldest and most powerful network of traffickers, known as the Sinaloa Cartel. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
Sinaloan tribes were mostly nomads who hunted and gathered for food, unlike the great empires of the Aztecs (Mexicas) and Mayas to the south. But their resistance to European invaders was more ferocious and effective than that of the vast Aztec legions, who fell before Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1521. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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