In a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps 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 southern Mexico, a crystal meth maker is venerated as a saint while imposing Old Testament justice on his enemies. A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns and humans. Who are these new masters of death? What personal qualities and life experiences have made them into such bloodthirsty leaders of men? What do they represent and stand for? What has happened in the Americas to allow them to grow and flourish? Author of the critically acclaimed El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, Ioan Grillo has covered Latin America since 2001, and gained access to every level of 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 policy-makers, Grillo provides a new and disturbing understanding of a war that has spiralled out of control - one that people across the political spectrum need to confront now. Gangster Warlords is the first definitive account of the crime wars now wracking Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Grillo's investigations into the cokehead brokers, dealers and professional killers who manage the supply and demand of cocaine involves him in a degree of danger ... An absorbing work of reportage * Daily Telegraph * Grillo is a breathtakingly intrepid reporter, diving in where police fear to tread, seeking out men who wouldn't hesitate to kill him ... A grim, gripping book **** * Francis Wheen, Mail on Sunday * Grillo has done sterling work on the front lines ... His portraits of gangster societies living beyond law or even reason are starkly persuasive * Spectator * Grillo makes it clear that gang members like Montana, cartel leaders, sicarios, and powerful member soft crime organizations exist all over Latin America and the Caribbean - not just Mexico ... Gangster Warlords is a step-up for the writer, documenting a very grim reality that's unfolding in real time * Vice * Grillo's strength is that while he draws the broad patterns of the raging conflict, he also zooms in on the particularities of each front ... He even offers a few prescriptions for tackling what he calls this cocaine-fuelled holocaust : decriminalising marijuana ... Investing money in the lost-cause neighbourhoods where drug gangs are seen as heroes and police are the enemy * The Times * A vitally important book * Library Journal * As Mr. Grillo unfolds the complex and often gruesome stories of the drug trade, it becomes clear that this terror is comprehensible. It is the result of ossified policies ... that are wholly inappropriate for the globalized world ... It is an exhausting and often nerve-wracking job ... Grillo scores some spectacular successes ... [and shows] how drug violence is not so much senseless but the devastating result of economic calculations taken to their brutal extreme -- Misha Glenny * New York Times * In these vivid and engrossing books, Ioan Grillo proves himself a master of reportage, exploring territory few journalists have tread before him, and exposing the homicidal and hypocritical nature of America's battlefields * Irish Examiner *