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Power is a double-edged sword,
This review is from: News of a Kidnapping (Paperback)
Within the violent framework of a Colombian State with a government without credibility, an ineffective judicial system and the abysmal level of its security forces, G.G. Márquez brushed a poignant picture of the war on drug trafficking with in depth portraits of the kidnapped, the traffickers, their foot folk, the civil authorities and the judges involved.
Drug trading means easy money, which is more harmful than the narcotics themselves. It provokes a social breakdown. It becomes a waste of time learning to read and to write. One can live a better life as a criminal than as a law-abiding citizen. The law becomes one's greatest obstacle to happiness.
The drug traffickers were unable to distinguish between good and evil.
Their foot folk (the guards) knew that they were going to die young and cared only about living for the moment.
Many of the judges and the magistrates had the choice between being bribed or being killed. Their salaries were barely enough to live on, but not to pay for the education of their children.
The government (and its president) changed tactics in the drug war. Drug traffickers could be extradited to the US, where they faced harsh sentences (P. Escobar: `We prefer a grave in Colombia to a cell in the US.') Those who surrendered and confessed to their crimes could receive the right not to be extradited.
The kidnapped lived a disturbing nightmare swinging between hope (to be released) and fear (to be killed).
With the kidnappings the Extradites (mainly P. Escobar) tried to force the government to grant them an irrevocable right not to be extradited and to have the right to choose their prison.
But power is a double-edged sword; one wields it and one is wounded by it.
With its news dispatches balancing between alarmingly bad and slightly hopeful messages G. G. Márquez wrote a remarkably realist psycho-thriller on a shaken society.
A must read for all lovers of world literature.