Synopses & Reviews
The product of five years of investigative reporting, the subject of intense national controversy, and the source of death threats that forced the National Human Rights Commission to assign two full-time bodyguards to Anabel Hernández, The Lords of el Narco
has been a publishing and political sensation in Mexico.
The definitive history and anatomy of the drug cartels and the “war on drugs” that has cost more than 50,000 lives in just five years, the book explains in riveting detail how Mexico became a base for the mega-cartels of Latin America and one of the most violent places on the planet. Hernández reveals the complicity of Mexico’s government and business elite. At every turn, she names names—not just the narcos and their immediate accomplices, but also the politicians, policemen, functionaries, judges and entrepreneurs who have collaborated with them.
Hernández became a journalist after her father was kidnapped and killed and the police refused to investigate without a bribe. She gained national prominence in 2001 with her exposure of pharaonic spending on housekeeping at the presidential palace. All her previous books have also focused on corruption at the summit of power, under presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón.
In 2012, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers awarded her the Golden Pen of Freedom, declaring: "Mexico has become one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with violence and impunity remaining major challenges in terms of press freedom. In making this award, WAN-IFRA recognises the strong stance Ms. Hernández has taken, at great personal risk, against drug cartels. Her actions help ensure the development of good, unrestricted investigative journalism in the region."
"First published in Mexico as Los seÃ±ores del narco in 2010, this dry translation brings Mexican investigative journalist HernÃ¡ndez's exposÃ© about drug trafficking in Mexico to an English-speaking audience. Five years in the making, it's an in-depth, unforgiving look at the deep-rooted corruption that has allowed the cartels to flourish; they now influence and control vast swaths of the country. Numerous anecdotes and interviews flesh out a decades-long narrative, touching on everything from CIA and DEA involvement, to how the drug lords run their empires from prison, to the way these powerful men live and die. It's a scathing, sobering report, as HernÃ¡ndez lays the blame not just on the drug cartels, but on 'all those who exercise everyday power from behind a false halo of legality' to make their 'law of Ã¢Â€Â˜silver or lead'Â ' a reality. While appendices containing glossaries of acronyms and short bios do much to reduce reader confusion, there's still an immense and exhausting amount of information to absorb. Those willing to slog through the dense bits will find a thought-provoking portrait of the crime and corruption that dominates our southerly neighbor. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the violence ... An extraordinary book for making the necessary journey to our heart of darkness." Letras Libres
"In this brave work, the author argues that since the presidency of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964–1970), all of Mexico’s rulers have maintained close relations with groups that import, export, and sell illegal drugs." La Jornada
Explosive, bestselling account of Mexico’s drug cartels and the government–business nexus that enables them.
About the Author
Anabel Hernández is one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists. She has worked on national dailies including Reforma, Milenio, El Universal and its investigative supplement La Revista (now emeequis). She currently contributes to the online news site Reporte Indigo. Her previous books include La familia presidencial, Fin de fiesta en los pinos, and Los cómplices del presidente.ROBERTO SAVIANO was born in Naples in 1979. As a journalist, he writes for La Repubblica and L’Espresso, as well as for many newspapers around the world. After the publication of Gomorrah (now translated into forty languages) and its subsequent film adaptation, he received several death threats, obliging the Italian government to provide him with twenty-four-hour protection. He has been living in hiding since 2006. In 2011 he was awarded the PEN/Pinter Prize.