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"Without this testimony, we simply cannot grasp what is going on . . . Americans would do well to read [Gangster Warlords]." --The New York Times Book Review
On a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner leaves five hundred body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit men to gun down forty-one police officers and prison guards in two days. In southwest Mexico, a meth maker is venerated as a saint while enforcing Old Testament justice on his enemies.
A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: a hybrid of CEO, terrorist, and part rock star, commanding guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments, and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns, and humans. What they do affects you now--from the gas in your car, to the gold in your jewelry, to the tens of thousands of Latin Americans calling for refugee status in the United States. Gangster Warlords is the first definitive account of the crime wars unleashing humanitarian disaster in Central and South America and the Caribbean, regions largely abandoned by the United States after the Cold War. Author of the critically acclaimed El Narco, Ioan Grillo has covered Latin America since 2001 and gained access up the cartel chain of command in what he calls the new battlefields of the Americas. Moving between militia-controlled ghettos and the halls of top policymakers, Grillo provides a disturbing new understanding of a war that has spiraled out of control--and needs to be confronted now.