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DRUG LORDS : The Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel The World's Most Powerful Criminal Organisation Paperback – 1 Apr 2005

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: MILO BOOKS (1 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903854385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903854389
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A explosive expose ... gripping stuff.' -- MAXIM

'An epic tale of big business, greed, violence and corruption.'

'If you liked Mark Bowden's 'Killing Pablo', you'll love this.' -- FHM

The most detailed study of the murky world of narcotics traffickers this reviewer has seen. Highly recommended.' -- CHOICE MAGAZINE

About the Author

Ron Chepesiuk is the author of 18 books, including "Hard Target: The US's War with International Drug Trafficking, 1982-1997" and "War on Drugs: An International Encyclopedia." He is a Fulbright Scholar and teached writing in the journalism program for UCLA's Extension Division.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The blurb on the back says "If you liked Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo, you'll love this. Remarkable." I'd say "If you liked Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo, you'll think this is ok. Disappointing."
The story of the Cali Cartel is undoubtedly a really interesting story (possibly more so than the Medellin Cartel) and this is an interesting read but IMO it is not brilliantly written - typo's, grammatical errors and some inconsistency here and there. Worth a read but a bit "tabloid" in my view.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting subject, and the author has clearly done a lot of research. However, a potentially very good book has been ruined by literally hundreds of errors, including spelling mistakes, random words inserted for no reason, errors in punctuation, and, worst of all, the omission of the entire section of notes!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9813f3a8) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97d686e4) out of 5 stars Drug Lords : The Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel 6 Jun. 2005
By Martin Hope - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this truly remarkable and somewhat startling book. Investigative journalist Ron Chepesiuk's Drug Lords: The Rise and Fall of the Cali Cartel provides us with the most comprehensive and detailed look at the largest drug operation in history and efforts to bring it to a halt.

Chepesiuk's investigative reporter approach has resulted in the most thorough study of Colombian drug trafficking to this date. His use of hundreds of personal interviews, government documents, news media accounts, and the findings of other experts in the field leaves no stone unturned. His sources of information are truly impressive.

Beginning with a small time drug encounter in New York City, Chepesiuk cleverly describes how the U.S. government slowly began to realize that our nation faced a serious threat of the importation of cocaine, coming from Colombia. At first, agents found it difficult to accept the fact that cocaine had replaced heroin as America's major drug problem.

To gain an understanding of the problem, American agents, working in the United States and Colombia, worked with their Colombian counterparts to observe and infiltrate Colombia's growing drug cartels. Chepesiuk shows how these efforts grew, and through some very hard work, and often a bit of good luck, resulted in destruction of the two leading cartels.

As the book unfolds, leading "characters" are described and analyzed. These include American agents, cartel leaders and underlings, and Colombian politicians and law enforcement officers. Very early on, one begins to understand the enormous power and influence of the two leading Columbians drug cartels, the Cali cartel and the Medellin cartel. The amazing story of how these two groups grew from small time operations into Fortune 500 type businesses, with billions of dollars in assets, is told in captivating narrative which keeps the reader's attention from beginning to end. Always entwined with these developments are the ever growing hostility between the cartels, the enormous level of corruption within Colombian society and certain American lawyers, and the sophistication of operations and efforts to combat these illegal activities.

The destruction of the cartels is a spellbinding chronicle. Their demise resulted largely from four factors: the misstep of key players, the growth of successful strategies by American and Colombian officials, the deadly war between the two cartels, and some pure luck. In any event, the houses came tumbling down.

Finally, Chepesiuk skillfully relates the present War on Terrorism to the War on Drugs as described in the book. He shows their many similarities and predicts that a heavy price will be paid if lessons from the previous War are not learned and applied to the present War. This section of the book turns it from a brilliant description of a fascinating struggle into a powerful warning that must be carefully considered by our nation's leaders.

This is book is highly recommended for readers who want an inside and entertaining look at the world of organized crime and the War on Drugs.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97fc1edc) out of 5 stars Thorough, but boring 30 Sept. 2005
By Mark Sparling - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too much like reading a police report, actually a thousand police reports. See Killing Pablo if you want a good feel for how interesting this story COULD be if it was told well...
HASH(0x97a506a8) out of 5 stars WAY To Much Info 14 Feb. 2014
By HaRebecca - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read several cartel books before buying this one and I'll tell you right now, if I hadn't I would've been so lost! While this book is very insightful, it is just overrun with info and names (there are 8-pages of "The Cast of Characters" - EIGHT). Also, the author notes in in the opening pages that "Spanish-speaking peoples ofent use two surnames: their father's surname followed by their mother's maiden name. For example: Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela," or "Jose Santacruz Londono." The Author chose to "use both surnames on introduction... but usually just the fathers surname after that." VERY CONFUSING because in the other books I've read they were always listed as Gilberto Orejula and Jose Londono, not Gilberto Rodriguez and Jose Santacruz.

There were also a few instances where I read something that was not fully explained, just thrown out there with assumed knowledge of the reader - I guess. For instances, the "left-handed window." There is absolutely no mention of what that means and I only know what it means by reading another book, however it would've been if the author would tell the reader what it is. I mean, he (the author) threw it and threw out a fact but did not tie the two together and explain what that term mean. Again, another example of to many facts, too much info = TOO CONFUSING A BOOK!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97d78b10) out of 5 stars Other Cartel.... 22 Oct. 2005
By Music Lover - Published on
Format: Paperback
it was good to read about the other major cartel in colombia, The cartel allowed Pablo Escobar to cause Havoc and quietly but efficiently went about spreading they're tentacles around the world. A fascinating insight to the inner workings of one of the most successful drug distribution networks ever! Maybe it was me but i knocked stars off the review because of the constant flicking back and forth to the index page to remind myself of each main character of the book. But this should not stop anyone who may be interested in this fascinating subject of one of Forbes top earners!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97a52a44) out of 5 stars Drug Lords Scores a Big Hit! 12 Nov. 2005
By "Big Wave" - Published on
Format: Paperback
Anyone wanting to read a thrilling yet informative book about organized crime should start with Drug Lords. This is certainly the best book I've read about the international drug trade and how it works. The detail the author provides is amazing and everything is documented, but he still manages to present it in an interesting and riveting way. The story of the hunt for Pablo Escobar is a simple tale compared to what it took to take the godfathers from Cali.

I also found it fascinating to read how the Cali Cartel outwitted their bitter rival, Pablo Escobar, in a brutal war that has no parallel in organized crime history. Then the Cali Cartel almost got away with taking over Colombia! As this well-written book shows, the War on Drugs may be futile, but the drug agents working the streets to protect the public against illegal drugs are real heroes. Highly recommended
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