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Los Señores del Narco

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,139 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Los señores del narco es una descarnada crónica sobre las alarmantes complicidades de los altos círculos políticos, policiacos, militares y empresariales con el crimen organizado. Anabel Hernández tuvo acceso no sólo a una vasta documentación, inédita hasta hoy, sino a testimonios directos de autoridades y expertos en el tema, así como de personas involucradas con los ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published November 2010 by Grijalbo Mondadori (first published 2010)
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Darren Donahue Yes, this is the English version (translated by Iain Bruce & Lorna Scott Fox) of the best-selling Mexican book. It's been translated from the…moreYes, this is the English version (translated by Iain Bruce & Lorna Scott Fox) of the best-selling Mexican book. It's been translated from the original Spanish version.(less)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Paul M.
Anabel Hernández's Narcoland (Los señores del narco) is exactly the kind of book the phrase "hard hitting journalism" was coined for. This exposé of the Mexican drug trade and just how much it has corrupted the country's police and government has as its central thesis the claim that the federal government has long favored "El Chapo" Guzmán and the Sinaloa drug cartel, making big public arrests of the others while taking big payments to protect the Sinaloan group. This is the story of how ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
"The horror...oh, the horror..."

This is an amazing work of journalism by a very courageous woman. Anabel Hernadez has written a very compelling account of the world of the Mexican drug cartels, and it is some of the scariest shit I've ever encountered. Finishing this book left me with a queasy feeling that the U.S. "war on drugs" is most obviously an abject failure, and has probably done more to contribute to the wrack and ruin of Mexico's government and society and to the deaths of thousands
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration broke with previous U.S. foreign policy to embrace the Reagan Doctrine and actively support anti-communist resistance movements. In Central America, this took the form of backing the anti-Sandinista rebels, the Contras. The U.S. Congress had blocked funding of the Contra rebels, so the CIA turned to other money sources, one of which is alleged to have been the trafficking of narcotics from Colombia to the United States via Mexico. When the U.S. began ...more
Matt Dykzeul
Truth be told, I couldn't finish this. I was lost in the mass of names, connections and the timeline jumping around. I simply wasn't comprehending any of the information. The most interesting elements about El Chapo I already knew from the fantastic New Yorker article from last year by Patrick Radden Keefe.

I've now purchased El Narco by Joan Grillo in the hope that his book can bring some more clarity to the topic.

I'm sad really, because I really respect Hernández her sacrifice cannot be
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an outstanding, albeit rather depressing look at the state of criminal narcotic trafficking in Mexico and the extraordinary degree of government complicity and corruption that allows it to flourish.

To give a sense of the book, let me just quote from Publishers' Weekly:
"First published in Mexico as Los señores del narco in 2010, this dry translation brings Mexican investigative journalist Hernández's exposé about drug trafficking in Mexico to an English-speaking audience. Five years in
Ulises Jimenez
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book to understand the narcotraffic in Mexico. It goes from the rise of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo to the Chapo's capture. It becomes heavy with all the names and characters but it is a wonderful blueprint
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's my review of Narcoland, also published on Upside Down World.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i liked reading this book becuase it was something more interseting to read about the narcos fight back. also beuase it mentions the problems of political stuff and the military.
David Buccola
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annabel Hernandez does a tremendous job of exposing the relationship of the Mexican state and the drug cartels it’s supposedly waging a war against. The writing is straight forward with good rhythm. I did find myself getting bogged down in names at times. There are so many characters that it I found it daunting at times trying to keep it all straight; add to the fact that many of the people have four names instead of the three we are used to in the United States and it was not easy. ...more
Rachel Kahn
I had a hard time with this book because it encompassed so much Mexico history and geography and I just don't have that background. I read a few chapters and was like 'okay, ignore the names and the political parties and just concentrate on the high level concept'. But...the high level takeaways are still pretty important, interesting and appalling.

I was going to give it two because I had a hard time following all the people--but I feel like that isn't fair to the author. Why give the book a
Kingsley Kelley
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expansive and incisive, Narcoland is equal parts infuriating and heart-breaking as it chronicles the tragic greed and corruption that resulted in the criminalization of Mexico, much of which can be traced back to us, stemming from the U. S. Iran-Contra debacle.
Vishal Misra
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Gringos build you up, and the Gringos knock you down". This is the wisdom that pervades Anabel Hernandez's courageous and brilliantly written investigation. "Narcoland" reads like a potboiling thriller, compulsively requiring page turns and 'just one more chapter'. However, this is no fictional account of organised crime. This is a basic expose of the reach of the Narcotraffickers of the "Mexican trampoline", and an account of how drug kingpins went from the like of Escobar, to El Chapo.

Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mexico, to-buy
Fastidiously researched and engagingly written, Hernandez provides a damning account describing the inextricable web of deception and violence that links Mexican cartels and government ("It wasn’t like today, when drug traffickers are public servants, there’s no separation, and you can’t see where the line is."). Her courage and dogged pursuit of the truth aired a lot of laundry, so it is no surprise that the cartels threatened her life and the Mexican government failed to offer protection. Not ...more
The Mexican cartel wars have been treated by most mainstream anglophone media as a baffling lapse into mass criminality, with substantial racist overtones- its “those people,” what can you expect? Veteran reporter Anabel Hernández refutes this story, and insists on some key aspects of the situation you don’t often hear. The most important is the collusion of the cartels with the highest level of the Mexican government, including friends of the US and supposed anti-drug crusaders like Vicente Fox ...more
Darin Campbell
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While undoubtedly a thorough and well researched book the unrelenting tales of the corruption and cynicism of a vast number of Mexican public officials, police and military ultimately proves wearying. Also as a non Spanish speaker the names of those involved, which are given as their formal names, shortened names and nicknames make it difficult to keep the vast number of players straight.

Having said that, anyone wishing to understand the scope and severity of the drug trafficking problem in
Benjamin Brasford
This book, while my only criticism is how she utilized the interchanging of the names of the people and the fact that there are quite a few characters, is far worth the read. She is a journalist who is quite detailed and writes extensively and convincingly concerning the collusion between the Mexican government, police, military, and the drug cartels themselves.

The material that she presented was draw dropping at times where it left me barely being able to put down my pen and highlighter. The
Chris Ramirez
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW. If you ever wondered how these big drug kingpins ever get to run away and pretty much make their own rules look for further than this book for a great investigative explanation. All of a sudden, so much more make sense about the drug trade in Mexico. Bonus points for reminding the reader that it was the US who pretty much got all the big narcos their start in the business. In the one, the war on drugs is BS in the US, Mexico, and probably every where else in the world. At this point, what's ...more
Hadeel Othman
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.

I was looking for something to help me understand domestic Mexican politics and how the narco situation became so pervasive and this book had everything I needed in terms of history, laws, culture, and even a glossary of the key players to help you keep them straight. The writing is clear and engaging and made it a worthwhile read. The author spent years researching and writing this book and it shows, I immediately ordered a nother one by her
Chris Rhodovi
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
incredibly well written and eye opening history of the drug trade in the Americas. There was so much here to digest that it is hard to write a review. This was not an "easy" read. The well documented stories reported by Ms. Hernandez are truly mind bending, infuriating and incredibly frustrating vis e vie the systemic corruption in the government of Mexico that allowed(s) for the current situation, and its development and the USA's connection to it. I highly recommend this book for people who ...more
Louise Pennington
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to decide between a 4 and a 5 star review for this book. Not because of the book itself, but because of the sheer intensity of the violence and corruption outlined in the book. I suspect I've chosen a 4 because i want to delude myself into believing the corruption can't be that bad despite knowing it's true.
Federico Nemmi
This book is certainly interesting, well referenced and useful to understand the Mexican narco crisis and some of the relationships between Mexico, USA and other central America countries. However, it seems to me that the author couldn't really decide between a novel and a journalistic tone, thus botching both.
Too Many Toys
Too many names, too much unsupported testimony. The book was filled with names in a way that was both confusing and tedious. The intent seemed to be a name mentioned, a name slandered. Most references were unverifiable. My tendency is to believe all of it, but the lack of journalism and/or scholarship makes that difficult. I would be interested to read a treatment of the topic with more rigor.
Jack Davenport
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exhaustively researched and a sobering revelation on the extent to which governmental institutions -- on both sides of the border -- have been complicit in facilitating the ruinous drug trade even as they waged a war against it.
Theresa Setzer
Great historical account but...

The translation to English and volume of participants is difficult to follow. Incredibly researched and written but does not have the same impact for an American reading the history without living it.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to keep track of all the figures and their names because the characters are referred to interchangeably by their nicknames.
Content wise, it is excellent.
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic-pol
Mexico government is corrupt. Slow story of how El Chapo bought freedom from police.
Nikki Pottinger
Interesting story but you have to be up to date on all the players our you can get lost in the book
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative, could possibly be structured different to help keep track of all the names/nicknames.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult to follow and the dialogue is horrendous.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Anabel Hernández is one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists. She has worked on national dailies, including Reforma, Milenio, El Universal and its investigative supplement, La Revista, where the work on the alleged collusion of government officials and drug lords won her the Golden Pen of Freedom award, presented by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.
“El semanario reveló que en un cateo realizado a las propiedades de El Mexicano, las autoridades de Colombia encontraron un convenio por 60 millones de dólares que familiares del narcotraficante habrían pagado al gobierno de Estados Unidos a cambio de no ser involucrados en actividades ilícitas y mantener a salvo el resto del dinero del capo. La pregunta obligada es si Rodríguez Gacha realmente está muerto o fue el pago de su jubilación por los servicios prestados: dinero a cambio de impunidad y silencio.” 0 likes
“Durante la década de 1980 el gobierno de Estados Unidos crió a los cuervos que hoy le sacan los ojos.” 0 likes
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