Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States: How Illicit Networks Shaped Institutions in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico
A new book is in the works by pioneering anti-corruption agents that seeks to illustrate the reality between the flow of drugs from Latin America to the West. Between 2002 and 2006, almost a half of the national legislators elected for the Colombian National Congress were linked with, and in some cases signed agreements with, narco-paramilitary agents. In 2013, the Guatemalan former president, Alfonso Portillo, was extradited to the United States under charges of massive money laundering linked to drug trafficking. In Mexico, under the Presidency of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012), the death toll related to drug trafficking reached more than 120.000, and the amount under the current President Enrique Peña Nieto could be higher. It’s safe to say that Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico are 3 countries that are currently being ravaged by drug trafficking, corruption, and organized complex criminal networks.
Many in the West believe that the situation can easily be remedied, for instance by chasing more drug lords, a belief that fails to take into account the true complexity and levels of infiltration achieved by the cartels, paramilitaries, criminal insurgents, and drug lords in the institutions of the affected nations. Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States by Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay puts forward a rather more realistic outlook: that crime has not only thoroughly infiltrated legitimate institutions in these countries, but that drug traffickers have formed networks that span their tentacles across the world, and will be particularly difficult to stamp out.
Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán has been labeled ‘a rising star of crime fighting’. He has been praised in a diverse range of publications, from Vice to the New Scientist, for his ingenious, unorthodox anti corruption methods, which include the use of complex AI programs. His co-author Luis Jorge Garay, PhD in economics from MIT, is equally well-versed in investigating corruption, and has been described in several countries as an expert and pioneer in the field. As editors and authors of this book, they shed light upon the brutal and sometimes highly eccentric Latin American underworld. Groups that they examine include La Familia Michoacana, a narco-cult that combined mysticism and superstition with ruthless criminality, and the AUC, an organization that managed to weave itself into the political fabric of Colombian society.
Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States gives a fascinating insight into the tangled web that is Latin American organized crime networks, and seeks to provide a window into the war that is being waged upon civilized society within the three nations described. It promises to be one of the most important works upon crime in Latin America of the past decade.