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.
Such is the relevance and power of the story, I finished hoping to read a sequel. Of course, such a progression will be dictated by events. I only hope that everyone touched or interested in this issue, across the globe, can appreciate how we are all connected, and complicit in this state of affairs.
I really hope that any sequel tells the story of solutions. Lasting and peaceful ones.