THE COCAINE WARS: Murder, Money, Corruption, and the World's Most Valuable Commodity by Paul with Hugo Sabogal & Sara Walden Eddy
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THE COCAINE WARS: Murder, Money, Corruption, and the World's Most Valuable Commodity

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of today's massive cocaine trade with Colombia provides investigative journalists Eddy, Sabogal, and Walden with pure drama as they document the deepest police corruption in the States--as well as some of the most widespread criminal activity ever recorded. Something about the sheer mindless horror supporting the cocaine trade dwarfs the evils of the US' own Mafia. The war retold here is not simply between the law and the lawbreakers but, more murderously, among rival lawbreakers themselves. When cocaine gets cheaper, as it has today, the market is flooded. Cheap it may be, but it is also the world's most valuable commodity, its pure ounces being split and split and split until grams of coke cut with milk sugar become gold dust. The great processing plants for coke are in Colombia and under the leadership of the Ochoa family. This family, for the most part, is not only above the law, it blows the law away, stifles justice at every turn, and in some ways is respected as the great benefactor of Colombia's economy. Almost everyone in Medellin, the coke center where the Ochoas live, is implicated in the trade or benefits from the infusion of coke money into the town's pocketbooks. Medellin imports its main supply of unprocessed coke from Bolivia and Peru, later moves it to the Bahamas (a country almost literally bought by the coke cartel) for transshipment to Miami. Currently, some 40 police officers in Florida face prison on drug charges. Amid dozens of bloody vignettes, the authors zero in on the cartel itself and along the way spotlight hundreds of the riddled, splattered, beheaded, and chopped up--those who threatened the cartel or tried to cop a piece of the action. Overwhelming evil, hardly dented by the Reagan war on drugs. Not to be missed.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1988
Publisher: Norton