This book could function as an owner’s manual for the Mexican drug cartels.
A new edition of a True Crime Classic with new preface and introduction."The [drug smuggling] business goes on, the slaughtered dead pile up, the U.S. agencies continue to ratchet up their budgets, the prisons grow larger and all the real rules of the game are in this book, some kind of masterpiece." Charles Bowden from the Preface.
Twenty years after writing Drug Lord, Terrence Poppa decided the information in his book was more important than ever. In an important interview with the Texas Tribune, Poppa explains that "The Mexico that I wrote about in the book describes the old order of things: Mexico under the PRI. In that sense, the book was out of date, because how drug trafficking operated under the PRI is completely different than how it works today in a new Mexico, under the democratically transformed Mexico…There has been a decoupling of the highest levels of power from drug trafficking now. It's important for people to understand that, so I had to bring the book up to date." Read the full interview here.
"Pablo Acosta was a living legend in his Mexican border town of Ojinaga. He smuggled tremendous amounts of drugs into the United States; he survived numerous attempts on his power—and his life—by rivals; and he blessed the town with charity and civic improvements. He was finally slain in 1987, during a raid by Mexican officials with the cooperation of U.S. law enforcement. Poppa…has turned out a detailed and exciting book, covering in depth Acosta's life; the other drug factions that battled with him; the village of Ojinaga; and the logistics of the drug operation. The result is a nonfiction account with enough greed, treachery, shoot-outs, and government corruption to fascinate true crime and crime fiction readers alike. Highly recommended.–Library Journal
Terrence Poppa, an award-winning journalist, was a finalist for a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his investigations into the connection between crime and government in Mexico. He was featured in Standoff in Mexico, a PBS production about fraudulent elections in Mexico. Due to his unique insights into the world of Mexican drug trafficking, Poppa has been widely interviewed on radio and television, including Larry King and the O'Reilly Factor.
"It's an endless struggle, and as it continues, it's going to erode Mexico's culture; it's going to erode the political conquest of the Mexican people. And it could end up in a very chaotic situation, much more than we see today."