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by Peter Moskos

October 6, 2010

The Murderers of Mexico

How to write about Mexico’s drug war? There are only a limited number of ways that readers can be reminded of the desperate acts of human sacrifice that go on every day in this country, or of the by now calamitous statistics: the nearly 28,000 people who have been killed in drug-related battles or assassinations since President Felipe Calderón took power almost four years ago, the thousands of kidnappings, the wanton acts of rape and torture, the growing number of orphaned children.
It may not be easy, but Alma Guillermoprieto does a pretty good job of writing about Mexico's drug war in The New York Review of Books. I haven't read any of the books reviewed, but the review itself is well worth reading (as a good review always is).

Guillermoprieto ends with this:
There is little doubt that Calderón’s strategy of waging all-out war to solve a criminal problem has not worked. Whether any strategy at all can work, as long as global demand persists for a product that is illegal throughout the world, is a question that has been repeated ad nauseam. But it remains the indispensable question to consider.
There are the books reviewed:

Atentamente, El Chapo (Sincerely, El Chapo) by Héctor de Mauleón

La Ruta de Sangre de Beltrán Leyva (The Path of Blood of Beltrán Leyva) by Héctor de Mauleón

Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Juárez by Howard Campbell

Mafia & Co.: The Criminal Networks in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia by Juan Carlos Garzón, translated from the Spanish by Kathy Ogle

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