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EL SICARIO by Molly Molloy


The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin

translated by Molly Molloy edited by Charles Bowden and Molly Molloy

Pub Date: June 14th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56858-668-7
Publisher: Nation Books

A reformed assassin's tell-all of the horrors endured and executed throughout his years in the Mexican drug trade.

Editors Molloy (Research Librarian/New Mexico State Univ.) and Bowden (Murder City, 2010, etc.) introduce the reader to the mysterious El Sicario, a high-level killer speaking out for the first time. While the editors offer the necessary frontmatter and editorial work, the vast majority of the book is dedicated to the assassin's first-person account. El Sicario charts his path from poverty-stricken child to notorious killer, citing an incident in his early years in which an unsuccessful attempt to defend his older brother's honor ended in his own beating. “This caused a lot of bitterness inside of me,” he says. “And I was traumatized that I was not able to defend myself.” The experience emboldened the young boy, prompting him to dedicate his adolescence to becoming a drug mule, fully aware of the power and wealth that accompanied the risk. “To be sixteen years old and to be able to live like this!” he says. “To have money and to be able to invite any girl I wanted to go out to eat in nice restaurants with me.” His adulthood was spent as a corrupt Mexican police officer, offering him clear access into the corruption within the force. He exposes the systematic organization of the drug traffickers themselves, how groups are trained for a singular murderous purpose—all part of an elaborate system to “obscure the knowledge of where all of these bodies are buried.”

While somewhat unique, El Sicario's tale is also quite familiar—one in which the power of money, drugs and women all play a role in achieving the necessary numbness required to carry out unspeakable crimes.