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The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most Wanted Drug Lord

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  597 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The dense hills of Sinaloa, Mexico, are home to the most powerful drug lord since Pablo Escobar: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman is among the world’s ten most wanted men and also appeared on Forbes magazine’s 2009 billionaire list. With his massive wealth, his army of professional killers, and a network of informants that reaches into the highest levels of government, ca ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Grove Press (first published September 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,399)
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Michael
Jan 20, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always been drawn to books, films or television shows about gangs, jails and the criminal underworld. Makes me sound like a weirdo, right? I'm just fascinated by the lifestyle and how such barbarism and violence can exist in the world, and how taking life is meaningless to the criminals involved. It's just hard to comprehend how the spectrum of human compassion can be so diverse, and what factors caused it to be so.

This is a thoroughly well researched book about the life and hunt for El Cha
...more
Bliss Tew
The book helped me get a better picture of the competing conspiratorial criminal organizations that nearly dominate Mexico, about the wars between these brutal competitors, about the corruption that pervades Mexican culture and why that corruption exists and continues from generation to generation due to threats, bribes, and acceptance.

Beith took some risks in researching the book and more risk by publishing when one considers how many journalists who have written about Mexican drug trafficking
...more
Luis Fernando Franco
Que libro tan... ¿triste? ¿esclarecedor? ¿bueno?

El libro es una investigación (aunque el autor dice que no) hemerográfica que incluye muchas entrevistas de primera mano que muestran mucha de la situación del crimen organizado en nuestro país, y lo complicadísimo que es salir del problema.

Gobiernos que durante décadas se han olvidado de sus gobernados y le han entrado al juego de la corrupción hace comprender (mas no justificar) que algunas personas tomen el camino oscuro, ya que literalmente no
...more
Karla Lopez
Apr 08, 2013 Karla Lopez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book is about Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera known as “El Chapo Guzman”. He was born in 1957 in the poor Mexican town of La Tuna de Badiraguato, Sinaloa. He is one of the top 5 world's most wanted. In 2001 he escaped and hasnt been captured ever since. Malcolm says El Chapo employs 150,000 men, women and children in his murderous operation. No one knows where he is. It is also about the Mexican Cartels all over Mexico that try to smuggle drugs through the US and about drug wars.
What struc
...more
Erik
Jul 19, 2015 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is mostly a summary of the Mexican drug wars between roughly 2004 and 2009. Guzman is definitely a focus, but mostly about how he continued to run the Sinaloa cartel even while on the run. There's not really that much about the hunt for him specifically.

As a history of the drug wars in those years it's broad but good. My main complaint is the history is presented in a surprisingly non-linear fashion, so the book jumps around between those years and can be a little hard to follow.

Overal
...more
Luis
Jan 15, 2013 Luis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book “The last Narco” is about a Mexican cartel that gets arrested and get out when he wants to because, he pays the police and everyone in jail. He cartel can do whatever he wants to because he is the boss. Nobody that can mess with him or even touch him. El chapo (the cartel) is tired of being locked up so he escapes from prison. The police keeps looking for the cartel because he is dangerous and has a lot money. The police looks everywhere for him but when they are close to capture him he ...more
Wesley  Gerrard
This is a fast-moving story of the rise of Mexico's most feared and influential drug lord, El Chapo. The Sinaloa cartel occupies the number one position in terms of prestige of drug organisations and Guzman Loera has hit the Forbes list of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world. After a daring prison break he hides out from Mexican and US authorities as well as rival gangs in the hills of his native Mexico. Beith is a journalist who attempts to piece together the myths surrounding thi ...more
David López
Jan 21, 2016 David López rated it liked it
This book is a good summary of the war on drugs in Mexico but it is not specially clever about El Chapo and much less about the hunt for him. He has done a couple of good interviews but nothing exceptional, also when there are different versions of the same history he avoids to be with one side or the other which is partially good but makes harder to understand the point of the author.
Something that I think he should definitively have mentioned when introducing Gerardo Garcia Luna to the reader
...more
Alvina
Ini adalah kisah tentang El Chapo, raja narkoba yang paling berkuasa di Meksiko. Buronan yang paling dicari oleh Interpol di seluruh dunia. Chapo, atau yang memiliki nama asli Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera lahir pada 4 April 1957 di La Tuna de Badiraguato, Sinaloa. Ia tumbuh di keluarga petani yang miskin tanpa adanya peluang untuk mengenyam pendidikan maupun mendapatkan pekerjaan dengan penghasilan yang layak. Tapi hidup telah mengubahnya, setelah berkenalan dengan kartel narkoba dan memiliki ...more
Galina Kalvatchev
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cave
Apr 12, 2015 Cave rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The startlingly number of reports of cartel violence in Mexico is frightening – not to mention the brutality mentioned in the reports. Decapitation, dismemberment, castration, the list goes on. The violence is not only between cartels, but with the Mexican police and military, and even US operatives of the DEA. The cartels hold the advantage in the war with seemingly unlimited funds. They are able to recruit from within the military, the police force, and even within the Mexican government. The ...more
Gregory
Jul 27, 2011 Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From http://weeksnotice.blogspot.com/2011/...

I read Malcolm Beith's The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most Wanted Drug Lord and enjoyed it. The title, however, is not entirely accurate since most of the book is about the drug organizations in Mexico and the government fight against them rather an inside account of the search for Chapo. The military and police won't talk, so it is virtually impossible to get inside the hunt.

It is both chilling and discouraging. The details
...more
Faaqih Irfan
Jan 10, 2013 Faaqih Irfan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku yang berusaha mengungkapkan jaringan narkotika kelas kakap el chapo dan konco-konconya. Persaingan yang berujung pada kematian banyak warga sipil, polisi, militer, bahkan pejabat. Ada pengkhianatan di balik setiap pemberantasan jaringan narkoba yang dilakukan Presiden Meksiko. Suap dan juga ketakutan menyelimuti mereka yang berusaha memberantas dan memutus jaringan narkoba yang ternyata lebih kuat daripada militer dan negara.
Si penulisnya sendiri termasuk yang berisiko, sebab jurnalis yang
...more
Citlalli
Oct 05, 2010 Citlalli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very informative and seemingly well-researched insight into the birth and development of the drug cartels in Mexico and how the current climate of violence in Northern Mexico came to be. The book gives a general review that starts since the days when Mexican drug dealers worked as mere intermediaries for Colombia's cocaine cartels, helping them smuggle their produce into the USA, and it proceeds to explain how the Mexicans divided among themselves the smuggling corridors, creating the ...more
Cidar
Nov 08, 2013 Cidar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spannend.

Durch eine Empfehlung auf das Buch aufmerksam geworden, habe ich eine Einleitung bzw. Übersicht über das Wirken und die Umgebung dieses Mannes und seiner Organisation bzw. der organisierten Kriminalität im Allgemeinen in Mexiko erwartet.

Viele Namen, viele Orte, viele Mutmaßungen, Ungewissheiten, dazu widersprüchliche Bekanntgebungen und noch mehr Verbrechen. Die Erwartungen wurden erfüllt. Nur anstatt Mexiko alleine ist fast die ganze Welt auf gewisse Weise daran beteiligt. Eine klar st
...more
Sheehan
Reading this book reminds me how off the mark the US foreign policy regarding Mexico when it is discussed in Washington. The congressional debates focus on immigration as the "great threat", or on drugs as the evil interloper, but consistently fail to recognize consumption of drugs and economic efficacy of the drug trade as the real fuel for the drug trade.

The book does a good survey of the recent cartel battles for domination of the vast, seriously VAST, drug production and trans-shipment via M
...more
Elisa
Oct 31, 2014 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of gory details and specific people, places, and time, this is a detailed account of the most notorious mexican druglord and everyone in between, both enemies and allies (many of whom belong to both camps).

If you live in Mexico, this is probably just a refresher of the local and national news but, if you don't know the first thing about the conditions in this country revolving around the vicious drug trafficking web, then this will give you a panorama that will make you fully understand th
...more
Lance Charnes
Jan 02, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True-crime fans, those with an interest in the drug wars
A good primer on the roots of the Mexican drug cartels and the state-of-play in that country's drug war as of 2010, all hung on the story of the rise, fall and further rise of Joaquin Guzman Loera, "El Chapo". The capo of the Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo started as a grower and eventually took charge of one of the richest and most powerful of the Mexican cartels, leaving behind a trail of bodies. The Last Narco is as good a non-specialist introduction to this world as any you're likely find in print ...more
Alexes Hermosillo
May 07, 2015 Alexes Hermosillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Do you ever wonder how they captured El Chapo? This novel tells you every thing about him and how they captured him. It's very interesting because it tells you how the jail would treat him, and the activities he would do in the jail. This book makes you realized how Mexico has a terrible government they only care about the money and show no sympathy for the people in Mexico. It's awsome how Malcolm Beith get to sit and talk to all to the narcos in Mexico and how he seek all this information. Th ...more
Ricardo
Feb 10, 2011 Ricardo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Politicians, Anybody interested in Mexican Affairs
Recommended to Ricardo by: Eduardo Philippe
A good description of the drug business in Mexico. Malcolm Beith has put together a chronological story that allows us to understand the current events in Mexico. Why did Mexico become such a violent country in the last few years, surpassing even Colombia in this regard? Well written and easy to read, the book doesn't provide easy answers to overcome this seemly never-ending problem, although it shows that at times some battles against the drug cartels have been won. The book's central character ...more
Lee
This book follows the rise, capture and imprisonment and escape and rise again of El Chapo the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. It tells of the intricacies involved in the Mexican drug trade. The wars and alliances between the various cartels and the corruption of the police and politicians by the cartels. It tells a little bit about the brave politicians, cops and journalists who fight against the tide. Good read
James Cobo
A solid read all around, although not as brisk a read as Killing Pablo. This book's primary value is the insight it gives into the terrifyingly crazy world of Mexican drug cartels, so it's worth picking up if you're looking to learn more about that particular (and particularly worrying) phenomenon.
Ruthanna Esquivel
Sep 15, 2013 Ruthanna Esquivel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book if you are interested in learning anything about Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). The book was very educational and horrifying at the same time. One of the individuals mentioned in the book was responsible for the murder of a DEA agent some years back who was brutally tortured in Mexico. The drug lord responsible was sentenced to 40 years in prison and Mexico recently released him. Although he was supposed to be monitored, he escaped the authorities within 10 mi ...more
Tom
Aug 07, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative book about mexican drug trade. This book got me all up in arms about drug war. It made me realize that the war on drugs is nearly impossible to win (if you ever thought there was a snowballs chance in hell of winning it). The reach and power of the mexican cartels will make your stomach turn. While reading the book I tried thinking how i would fix Mexico. The system in Mexico is so corrupt, I think they should just turn to the NSA. Then use drones and missiles to somewhat restor ...more
Hillary
Interesting, well-researched book on the Mexican government's "battle" against narco-trafficking and the corruption that supports it. It was less the story of Chapo, the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, and more of a big picture story of drug trafficking over the last 20 years. Chapo serves as the most obvious reminder of the success of the cartels in staying one step ahead of the government. Beith discusses the futility of the struggle against the narcos, because of rampant corruption, constant inno ...more
Nikhil Deshpande
Jul 23, 2015 Nikhil Deshpande rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. Too many things in this war and particularly about the drug lords are based on myths and it is difficult to establish fact from fiction. Good read for a basic level understanding of the mexican drug empire.
Michelle
Meh. Maybe if I hadn't just finished the stellar book by Oscar Martinez, "The Beast", I might have liked this better. But it comparison, this just sunk. I think there are better profiles of El Chapo in shorter magazine articles.
Allison
Mar 24, 2013 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gw-ma-books
The book covers the hunt for Mexico's most wanted man, Jaoquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera. Beith gives an excellent account into the many facets of the drug war in Mexico, detailing the politics, corruption and cartels. Although centered on El Chapo, the drug lord of the Sinoloa state, the book also details the many other cartel organizations that exist in Mexico. The book ends on a somber note, after listing out all of the high ranking members of the cartels that have been captured or killed, it a ...more
Will Finch
A great feat of reporting and research but it didn't quite hang together as a whole - many times I lost track of where I was chronologically, and often I wasn't even sure whether El Chapo was still in prison or had made his escape. Still worth a read though, particularly in light of recent events
Aaron Widera
Jul 14, 2014 Aaron Widera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My haiku review:

The Last Narco es
un libro Bueno, no me
gusta El Chapo.
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“You tell everyone, you spread the word – Chapo is in charge here. Chapo’s the law. There is no law but Chapo. Chapo is boss. Not Mochomo, not El Barbas. Chapo is the law.” 1 likes
“De acuerdo con cálculos de Naciones Unidas, 12.3 por ciento de los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos de entre 15 y 64 años de edad usaron marihuana o cannabis el año pasado. En Inglaterra y Gales, en comparación, esa cifra fue de 7.4 por ciento; en Alemania fue más baja, 4.7 por ciento, igual que en Holanda, donde se situó en 5.4 por ciento. Con respecto a la cocaína, la heroína y las metanfetaminas, los ciudadanos estadounidenses una vez más alcanzaron el nivel más alto o estuvieron muy cerca.
La DEA calcula que en Estados Unidos se gastan 65 mil millones de dólares en drogas ilegales al año, y RAND Corporation estima que dicha cifra se distribuye de la siguiente manera: 36 mil millones de dólares en cocaína, 11 mil millones en heroína, 10 mil millones en marihuana, 5 mil 800 millones en metanfetaminas y 2 mil 600 millones de dólares en el resto de las drogas ilegales en conjunto.
Estados Unidos calcula que los cárteles mexicanos de la droga ganan entre 18 mil millones y 40 mil millones de dólares al año por la venta de drogas en Estados Unidos, que luego se llevan de contrabando de regreso a su país para lavarlo.”
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