Cartel Wives: How an Extraordinary Family Brought Down El Chapo and the Sinaloa Drug Cartel Paperback – 7 Jun. 2018
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I guess it’s a lesson in how any lifestyle can seem okay when you’re surrounded by it and protected from its consequences. It was only when the families started being kidnapped and used as pawns in the cartel wars that the families decided that prison would be better and started getting insight into the devastation the drug trade causes.
It’s interesting to see the transformation of the women from being vapid materialists and returning to the stronger values of their families once they had families of their own.
But perhaps they still have some way to go - I think a good editor or ghost writer could have encouraged the ladies to reflect a little more deeply.
Its very interesting seeing this world of excess and crime from the point of view of people who actually lived it at the time. The stories of their wealth and how they spent their money was very interesting.
I must say they do come across as quite shallow and so it meant that I had absolutely no sympathy for them and what they had gone through.
They may have lived the high life but it really didn't seem worth anything they are going through as they now live in fear of the drug cartel who they think will come looking for revenge.
In saying all that it's a pretty good story to tell and would make a great movie!
It provides without doubt an inside look at the family and lives of the Flores brothers and their wives.
On the other hand the rationale for the book is allegedly to show that love can conquer all and that the Flores brothers, whose drug empire was valued in the billions of dollars, gave up their way of life to protect their families amidst the terror of the Mexican drug wars. I struggle with this, even though I accept that they were born into the world of drug dealing, as they could have chosen to get out a lot earlier and indeed in fleeing justice came to greatly enlarge their drug empire. Nor am I entirely sympathetic to their wives – both came from good families with a law enforcement background and both made choices that ultimately led to their having to flee Mexico when their husband agreed to co-operate with the United States authorities.
As a piece of literature it is however quite interesting and entertaining in so far as it is candid about how the dangers of working in the illicit drugs industry and also the rewards that can be gained. Both of which can be set against the inherent unpredictably of this life to the actions of others annoyed or threatened by your success.
Reading this book though, I know realise I had no idea of the sheer scale of drugs being moved around and the staggering amount of cash changing hands.
This book follows the life of the Flores twins, Junior and Peter, who were major drug traffickers in Chicago. They marry Olivia and Mia and all enjoy the benefits of the high rolling life for a while. However, as they find themselves deeper in the pockets of Mexican drug cartels they realise that they are either stuck in that violent life forever or they have to bring the whole lot crashing down by testifying against the drug barons.
They choose the latter and a life of wires, prison and witness protection begins.
It's hard to feel much sympathy for any of them - they chose that life after all. If being kidnapped, constantly under threat of death and living the rest of their years looking over their shoulder are the consequences of obscene wealth for a while then I'll stick to an ordinary level of income thanks!