Cartels DO exist - A review of Carteles No Existen by creechan []
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Los cárteles no existen : Narcotráfico y cultura en México

by Oswaldo Zavala

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Cartels DO exist - A review of Carteles No Existen   (2018-08-22)


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by creechan

<h1 style="margin: 12pt 0in 0.0001pt; break-after: avoid-page; font-size: 16pt; font-family: "Calibri Light", sans-serif; color: #2f5496; font-weight: normal;">A critique of “Cárteles No Existen, Los Narcotráfico Y Cultura En México” by Oswaldo Zavala.</h1> <h2 style="margin: 2pt 0in 0.0001pt; break-after: avoid-page; font-size: 13pt; font-family: "Calibri Light", sans-serif; color: #2f5496; font-weight: normal;">Zavala, Oswaldo. 2018.  Cárteles No Existen, Los: Narcotráfico Y Cultura En México. </h2>

Kindle edition: Malpaso. 

Spanish (Other versions are available)

Review by James Creechan, Toronto

August 21, 2018

Oswaldo Zavala’s new book (Zavala 2018)is an edited collection of previously published essays in sources familiar to scholars of literature and the humanities. For this collection, Zavala produced an introductory essay and introduced a thematic narrative that makes an audaciousclaim that literary and cultural representations of narco-culture can support the argument that Mexican drug cartels DO NOTexist. 

Before pursuing his degree and academic career in the USA, Zavala worked as a journalist for El Diario de Ciudad de Juárezand has impeccable credentials as observer of narco-Mexico. I’m familiar with a few of his essays and found them insightful and creative reflections on the literary descriptions and cultural representations of millennial narco-Mexico. The original cultural critiquescovered an extensive range of fictional literature as well as popular media (television, movies) and cultural presentations (art, music) rooted in narco themes. Those publications have been edited to support the introductory essay assertion that cartels do not exist. This book version represents a dichotomy in the extreme: Zavala’s literary and cultural critiques of narco-Mexico are creative contributions to a field not widely known(especially to English readers),—but the overall assertion that cartels do not exist is flawed at worstand incomplete at best.

Zavala’s polemic argument begins with the title — “Cárteles No Existen”— and reminded me of a time when New York scholar David Caplovitz came to Arizona to present his groundbreaking book many years ago. A fellow graduate student asked Caplovitz whether the title of his famous book “The Poor Pay More” (see (Glazer 1965)was deliberately misleading since it was a “case study” missing any comparative analysis to food prices outside of non-poor areas. Caplovitz, good naturedly, said that he intended to call the book “The Poor Pay a Lot” but was over-ridden by an editor planning to market the book via a more outrageous claim. The Poor Pay a Lotwas a more honest title, but it would never has sold as sell or had the impact as did The Poor Pay More. Given the quality of his writing, his creativity, and his personal experience, I suspectthat Oswaldo Zavala is aware that the contentious argument isspecious, but I also suspect he accepted an oversell by the editors of Malpaso and/or recognized the urgency to have a published bookon his curriculum vita for academic/tenure reasons. 

I anticipated reading it because I knew Zavala’s work and hoped that he would share his personal experiences in Ciudad Juarez. Sadly, it took only a few pages to question his decision to argue that most narratives about cartels are tainted and misleadingbecause they are rooted in official accountsonly interested in pushing a broad ideology opposed to communism and supportive of neoliberal economies. In this view, the official accounts cannot be truthful representations of narco Mexico because they are meant to serve a dark agenda and distract from social inequality. 

Zavala claims that the root of this nefarious strategy can be traced directly to the 1947 US National Security Act, and a subsequent murky cooperation between the CIA and Mexico’s DFS (La Dirección Federal de Seguridad): in the first few pages of the introductory essay, he claims that this perverse collaborative relationship deepened into a hemispheric strategy known as “la llamada Operación Condor, por medio de la cual el gobierno de Estados Unidos desplegó una agresiva política intervencionista en el continente a medios de la década de 1970” (loc 53, Kindle version). Zavala mistakenly claims that the 1976 Operation Condor in Mexico’s Golden Triangle was also part of another CIA operation, also called Operation Condor, targetting the Andes, Chile and South America. This statement is made without offering any evidence or support— in spite of compelling evidence and a historical record that they are not connected. In fact, the War on Drugs in the Americaswas contemporaneous but not linked in any way to the well documented South American CIA interference.<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftnref1" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftn1">[1]</a>Targeting Mexico as an enemy in the Drug War is more demonstrably traceable to the deliberate campaign of misinformation and an artificial “War on Drugs” introduced by the Nixon administration in 1971. John Ehrlichman, of Watergate infamy, was Nixon’s domestic policy advisor and years later bluntly stated how the War on Drugs started:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”(Baum 2016)

The Nixon White House targeted Mexico in a methodical criminalizationand promotion of a folk devil mentality— not unlike the Trump administration does today. This official narrative as described by Ehrlichman led to the involvement of the Mexican military in the drug war, and fits all of the facts of an accepted “official version” and “cultural history” that Mexican cartels emerged as formal organizations following a displacement of regional caciques from the Golden Triangle. Most accounts of the history of Mexican cartels trace a direct lineage back to one important event —Operation Condor<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftnref2" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftn2">[2]</a>— and with minor differences, describe a timeline of waxing and waning power as organizations expanded, fragmented and sometimes collapsed over the following years. For instance, the generally accepted narrative is Amado Carillo Fuentes (El Señor de los Cielos) was a central figure and the trusted agent (and family member) of those displaced drug barons now located in Guadalajara, and that consolidated groups with Ciudad Juarez the focal point of a major drug organization. Before 1996, the emergence of drug organizations was largely known to the English speaking world except through the writings of a few astute observers such as Elaine Shannon whose book “Desperados” documented the Enrique Camarena torture and execution (Shannon 1988), or through Terrence Poppa’s biography of Chihuahuan smugger Pablo Acosta ((Poppa 1990, 1998), or through reading Charles Bowden’s informative article in Gentlemen’s Quarterly (Bowden 1997). The interest in cartels grew exponentially after Vicente Fox won the Mexican Presidency and peaked after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera escaped from Puente Grande Maximum Security prison in 2001. In the aftermath of his escape, Ciudad Juarez and other cities along northern border erupted in a wave of violence and he was fingered as being involved in almost every one of those outbreaks.

Review of existing books – especially Valdes. Also, later books such as Bartleys

Oswaldo Zavala’s argument, taken to its logical conclusion, argues that not ones of these accounts documents represent a true and accurate history of narco Mexico. He argues, without providing evidence, that all downplay the role of government officials and authorities in the rise of drug organizations<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftnref3" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftn3">[3]</a>. His argument would have the reader believe that there were neverdrug organizations meriting the term cartel, and that the Mexican State and others have gaslightedthe world for at least fifty six years by somehow encouraging or tricking scholars and observers into repeating ONLY the “official account of events”. To put it mildly, his assertion that cartels do not existis an audacious claim contradicted by evidence and narratives described by hundreds of thousands of words in books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Zavala’s claim is one that demands more evidence and proof than he provides in this book.

But Zavala does use an interesting — and questionable— strategy to defend his argument! He focuses on the many literary accounts and mediarepresentations of narco Mexico, and doing so, implies that those are more honest and putatively accurate representations than are academic or journalistic accounts. According to Zavala, those are less tainted by an official narrative and also are more likely to include a narrative of government entanglement. Puzzlingly, he does not come around to fully describingthat official narrative until the last two chapters. And paradoxically, he uses to much of the of Charles Bowden and Julian Cardona to underpin much of his argument (Bowden and Cardona 2008, Bowden 2010b, Bowden 2010a), even though many others investigators cite routinely cite those sources to argue that cartels DOexist. Other than those final chapters, Zavala offers only passing and relatively undefined elaborations of the “official account”. One that he frequently cites is the semiotic argument of Luis Astorga that the concept of cartel is badly used: definitely, Luis Astorga doesargue that “cartel” is misleading and is more often than not a convenient instrument to justify state intervention and over-used by journalists — but I hardly believe that Luis Astorga would also argue that Drug Organizations (AKA cartels) never operated in Mexicoand that they do not exist today. His body of work ((Astorga Almanza 1996, 2003, 2007, 2015, Astorga Almanza and Shirk 2010, Astorga Almanza 2010, Astorga 2001, 1999, 2005, Astorga and MOST 2002, Astorga 2010, Astorga 2000, United Nations Educational 2002)makes it very difficult for me to accept that he accepts Zavala’s over-reaching claim that “Cárteles No Existen”. I know that Astorga thinks that many drug organizations in Mexico are little more than street gangs involved in narcomenudeo, and also know that he believes that the hand of corrupt officials are found everywhere in the drug trade. But I also suspect that he accepts that groups such as the CJNG (Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación) and subgroups like Los Menchos are independent and dangerous powers in direct conflict with the State. There certainly are ample justifications for questioning many existing narratives about Narco Mexico— but it is a serious over-reach to conclude they do not exist because journalistic narratives are putatively linked to what Zavala has called the official account.

Taking his argument to an extreme has otherwise flawed what is an excellent contribution when viewed within the parameters of review essays on literary and cultural representations of narco Mexico. There is absolutely no doubt that Zavala possesses a deep knowledge of the literature and media representations of narco Mexico, and he drawn my attention me to some wonderful books that I do not know. I have been monitoring narco Mexico for almost three decades and became engrossed in those themes following a sabbatical year at El Colegio de Mexico, and during a 15 year period as a visiting professor at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa in Culiacán (at FEIyPP). 

When I first travelled to Sinaloa, I visited bookstores and spoke to Mexican academics in search of any material that could enlighten me about drugs and criminal organizations. Literally, there was no material with the exception of novels by few Sinaloan authors Elmer Mendoza (Mendoza 2001)and Leonidas Alfaro(Alfaro B 1997), and then the international best seller “La Reina del Sur” (Pérez-Reverte 2002)written after hanging around with Mendoza, Alfaro and other Sinaloan public intellectuals. Those novels were my first real introduction to the world of narco-Mexico, and I fully understand why Zavala believes that literature and cultural representations of Narco Mexico are important. But his argument that it is best to focus on those literary and cultural narratives of narco Mexico must also recognize their fundamental weakness as archival sources and guides to policy. These are fictionalaccountsand do not purport to tell the entire truth. In fact, truth may be deliberately excluded for self-preservation OR to further the plot. An author may recognize what is factual and be fully aware where truth was stretched or overridden— but the reader is not privy to that information. Literary works and cultural representations inspire creativity and deep reflection, but they must not be taken as anything more than a generalized description and fictional narrative. As a sociologist, I recognize the limits of fiction as an archival source, but nevertheless still enjoy reading and watching. I also recognize that the narrative of narco Mexico looks different when I read the work of those who undertake systematic research and painstakingly work to share their insight in non-fiction. Luis Astorga’s seminal research was based on official archives ((Astorga Almanza 1996, 2003)and became valuable sources to me as I progressed in my search for information about narco Mexico. Astorga tapped into existing archival accounts – “official sources” — whereas authors like Mendoza and Alfaro tapped into folk-tales, personal experiences and cultural traditions. Which of those approaches is more truthful and accurate? Is that even a question that should be asked? Which approach is more thought provoking? Doesn’t each inform the reader in? 

Zavala chooses to emphasize the fictional. But in my view, he also fails to adequately describe and evaluate the weaknesses and flaws of official accounts. He simply takes the position that we must discredit many existing books, journal accounts or newspaper reports. I would never argue that all information drawn official sources, books, newspapers and journals is perfect and should be accepted without question. But I also argue that those sources can be read critically and placed in context.There is truth to be drawn from “official accounts”, but those sources must be read critically and within context.

One way of seeking a broader truth is look for “comparative reference” points wherever possible, and to avoid getting trapped within a “silo” that restricts narratives and observations from the immediate environment. I personally believe that Zavala has been quick to adopt a polemic strategy because he remains narrowly focused in a silo of information and observation limited to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, his literary circles, and an academic environment in the USA. One example from his book may illustrate my argument. As he concludes his book, Zavala argues that descriptions of the assassination of Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach are bound to an official account because the too quickly jumped to the conclusion that she was murdered by cartels. (loc 3779,3786,3792, 3806). But Zavala correctly points out that Miroslava Breach was not assassinated by cartels, but “por su trabajo de investigación periodística que le permitió documentar el enriquecimiento ilicito de exgobernador César Duarte…”. Zavala’s account of events is accurate— Breach was assassinated by government officials. But this does not mean that he can generalize and argue that cartels don’t exist. Miroslava’s murder is not the only case where a Mexican journalist has been murdered. About the same time, the famous Mexican author and journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas (Valdez Cardenas 2009, Valdez 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, Rio Doce 2017)was also gunned down by two sicarios outside of the offices at Rio Doce Seminario — not by the government, but by killers sent by narco boss Edgar “El Licenciado” Valdez Villareal(Monjardín , Castillo García and Valdez Cardenas 2017, Castillo 2017, Hernandez Lopez 2018, Editorial 2018). Valdez Villareal was reportedly angered by a special edition of Rio Doce Seminario(Doce 2017)describing his prominent role in a plaza war between him and the sons of El Chapo Guzman. All evidence in Sinaloa points to the role of of a powerful criminal organization in that murder, and those accounts are reproduced in the popular culture, local press and in official documents. Miroslava Breach was murdered by a corrupt ex-governor, but Javier Valdez wasmurdered by a criminal organization that openly operated in opposition to the State. The danger of “silo” thinking such as that demonstrated by Zavala is that case studies are used to make unjustifiable generalizationsthat are easily contradicted when other examples are included. Zavala’s focus on Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua means that he is an expert about that area, but may be unaware of what is happening elsewhere

Zavala (and others) are absolutely right when they argue that journalists and academics too easily accept and repeat official account of events. But Mexico is also home to many honest journalists and hardworking respected scholars on the look-out for truth, and they remain guided by a moral compass dedicated to telling the truth (Javier Valdez and Miroslava Breach are just two among many). There are too many to name, but they exist and they produce amazing work. On the other hand, there arealso journalists and “scholars” who are known chayoteros<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftnref4" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftn4">[4]</a>— hacks who are well-paid by the State to present the “official story” at all costs<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftnref5" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftn5">[5]</a>. 

It is not enough to use literature and cultural representations of Narco Mexico to further the understanding of violence. There is also important truth to be found in good journalism and honest research.



Alfaro B, Leonides. 1997. Tierra blanca. 2. ed. [Mexico]: Fantasma Editorial.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Alejandro. 1996. El siglo de las drogas. 1. ed, Espasa hoy. México, D.F.: Espasa-Calpe Mexicana.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Alejandro. 2003. Drogas sin fronterasLínea académica. Miguel Hidalgo, México, D.F.: Grijalbo.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Alejandro. 2007. Seguridad, traficantes y militares : el poder y la sombra. 1. ed, Tiempo de memoria. México, D. F.: Tusquets.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Alejandro. 2015. “¿Que querían que hiciera?" : inseguridad y delincuencia organizada en el gobierno de Felipe Calderón. Mexico City: Penguin Random House Grupo Edítorial México.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Alejandro, and David Shirk. 2010. Drug Trafficking Organizations and Counter-

Drug Strategies in the U.S.-Mexican Context. In Working Paper Series on U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation. San Diego California: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Mexico Institute.

Astorga Almanza, Luis Shirk David A. 2010. "Drug trafficking organizations and counter-drug strategies in the U.S.-Mexican context." Woodrow Wilson Internat. Center for Scholars, Mexico Inst. [u.a.]. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>.

Astorga, L. T. 2000. "La cocaina en el corrido."  Revista Mexicana de Sociología62 (2):151-173.

Astorga, Luis. 1999. "Drug Trafficking in Mexico: A First Assessment."  Management of Social Transformations: MOST Discussion Paper 362007 (Oct. 31).

Astorga, Luis. 2001. "The Limits of Anti-Drug Policy in Mexico."  International Social Science Journal53 (169 (Sept)):8. doi: 10.1111/1468-2451.00331.

Astorga, Luis. 2005. "Mexico: Drug Trafficking, Security and Terrorism." Proceedings from the international seminar Drug Trafficking: the Relations between Europe, Latin America and the United States, Narcotráfico: las relaciones entre Europa, América Latina y Estados Unidos,, Universidad de los Andes: Bogota, Colombia, October 24-26, 2005.

Astorga, Luis Astorga Luis Shirk David A. Mexico Institute University of San Diego Trans-Border Institute. 2010. "Drug trafficking organizations and counter-drug strategies in the U.S.-Mexican Context." Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Mexico Institute ; University of San Diego, Trans-Border Institute. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>.

Astorga, Luis, and UNESCO MOST. 2002. The Field of Drug Trafficking in Mexico.

Baum, Dan. 2016. "Legalize it All." Harper's Magazine, 04/16/2016.

Bowden, Charles. 1997. "Amado Carillo-Fuentes: The Killer Across the River." GQ, April.

Bowden, Charles Briggs Alice Leora. 2010a. Dreamland : the way out of Juárez. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bowden, Charles, and Julián Cardona. 2008. Exodus = Éxodo. 1st ed, Bill and Alice Wright photography series. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bowden, Charles Cardona Julián. 2010b. Murder city : Ciudad Juárez and the global economy's new killing fields. New York: Nation Books.

Castillo García, Gustavo, and Javier Valdez Cardenas. 2017. "Detienen a El Licenciado; se ocultaba en la capital." La Jornada, 04/03/2017, Politica. Accessed 04/03/2017. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>

Castillo, Gustavo. 2017. "A Javier Valdez lo bajaron de su auto, lo arrodillaron y le dispararon." La Jornada, 05/20/2017. Accessed 05/20/2017. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>.

Doce, REdacción Rio. 2017. "El Licenciado y la disputa por el cártel." Rio Doce, 04/02/2017, 04/02/2017. Accessed 04/02/2017. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>.

Editorial, Rio Doce. 2018. "Los trabajos de Javier Valdez que pudieron molestar a los Dámaso." Rio Doce, 05/01/2018.

Glazer, Nathan. 1965. "The Poor Pay More: Consumer Practices of Low-Income Families. David Caplovitz."  American Journal of Sociology71 (1):109-110. doi: 10.1086/224010.

Grayson, George W. 2008. Mexico's struggle with 'drugs and thugs'Headline series. New York City, NY: Foreign Policy Association.

Grayson, George W. 2009. Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State: Transaction. Historical and Political Science analysis. Original edition, November, 2009.

Grayson, George W. 2014. The cartels : the story of Mexico's most dangerous criminal organizations and their impact on U.S. security.

Hernandez Lopez, Julio. 2018. "Astillero: ¿Quién ordenó matar a Javier Valdez? Chihuahua, el caso de Miroslava." La Jornada, 04/25/2018, Opinión. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>.

Mendoza, Élmer. 2001. El amante de Janis Joplin. 1a. ed, Colección Andanzas. Polanco, México, D.F.: Tusquets Editores.

Monjardín, Alejandro. "Un año después del crimen de Javier Valdez, la Feadle afirma tener a los autores materiales." Rio Doce, 05/15/2018.

Pérez-Reverte, Arturo. 2002. La reina del sur. Madrid: Alfaguara.

Poppa, Terrence E. 1990. Drug lord : the life and death of a Mexican kingpin : a true story. New York: Pharos Books.

Poppa, Terrence E. 1998. Drug lord : the life and death of a Mexican kingpin : a true story. 2nd ed. Seattle: Demand Publications.

Rio Doce. 2017. "Crimen de Javier Valdez, síntesis de corrupción e impunidad: Ismael Bojórquez." Rio Doce, 10/11/2017. <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>

Shannon, Elaine. 1988. Desperados : Latin drug lords, U.S. lawmen, and the war America can't win. New York: Viking.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 2002. Globalization, Drugs and Criminalization: Final Research Report on Brazil, China, India and Mexico. In 

Economic and Social Transformations connected with the International Drug Problem, edited by Christian Geffray, Guilhem   Fabre and Michel  Schiray: Management fo Social Transformations: United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention: . Original edition, Part 1: Drug Trafficking and the State 45

Introduction: Drug Trafficking and the State

by Christian Geffray 46

The Field of Drug Trafficking in Mexico

by Luis Astorga 54

Decentralisation, Corruption and Criminalisation:

China seen from a Comparative Perspective

by Guilhem Fabre 76

Social, Economic and Political Impacts of Drug Trafficking

in the State of Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon

by Christian Geffray 90

History of Two Cities in-between Drug Trafficking:

Guajara Mirim and Costa Marques

by Christian Geffray 110

The Drug Trade, the Black Economy and Society

in Western Amazonia in Brazil

by Roberto Araújo 134

Violence Related to Illegal Drugs, Easy Money

and Justice in Brazil: 1980-1995

by Alba Zaluar 142

Volume 2:

Part 2: Drug Trafficking, Criminal Organisations

and Money Laundering.

Introduction: Drug Trafficking, Criminal Organisations

Money Laundering and Public Policy on Drug Control

by Michel Schiray 2

The Bombay Underworld: a Descriptive Account

and Its Role in Drug Trade

by Molly Charles, K.S Nair, Gabriel Britto and A. A. Das 12

Drug Trafficking and the Informal Market in Rio de Janeiro

by Alba Zaluar 74

Drug Trafficking in an Urban Area: the Case of São Paulo

by Guaracy Mingardi and Sandra Goulart 92

Table of contents 5

Drug Trafficking and Consumption in China: Case Studies

from Two Cities in Guangdong Province,

by Deng Zhenglaï 120

Drug Trafficking in Southern Africa: the Legacy of War

and Apartheid,

by Laurent Laniel 154

Drug Trafficking in the Brazilian Amazon,

by Régine Schönenberg 174

Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering in the Amazon Region:

Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Effects,

by Lia Osorio Machado 210

Criminal Prosperities, Financial Crisis and Money Laundering:

the Case of Mexico in a Comparative Perspective,

by Guilhem Fabre 238

Volume 3.

Part 3: Social and Cultural Dimensions

of Drug Trafficking.

Introduction: Culture and Drugs,

by Gabriel Britto and K.S. Naïr 2

Culture and the Drug Scene in India,

by Molly Charles and Gabriel Britto 6

Violence in Rio de Janeiro: Styles of Leisure, Drug Use

and Trafficking,

by Alba Zaluar 40

The Social Construction of the Identity of the Trafficker,

by Luis Astorga 52

Part 4: Methodological, Institutional and Policy

Dimensions of the Research on Drug Trafficking:

Lessons and Contributions from France and the

United States, 75

Certainties and Uncertainties as Regards Illicit Drug Trafficking:

Research Lessons in the Case of France,

by Michel Schiray 76


From the Discovery of Drug Trafficking to the Recognition of

Economic and Financial Crime: the Various Stages of a Decade

of Francophone Studies on the Subject,

by Michel Schiray 86

The Relationship between Social Science Research and Drug

Control Policy in the United States, with a Focus on the Drugs-

Crime Nexus,

by Laurent Laniel 102.

Valdez Cardenas, Javier. 2009. Miss Narco Belleza, Poder y Violencia: Historias reales de mujeres en el narcotrafico mexicanco. 1a ed. Mexico.

Valdez, Javier. 2009. Miss Narco : belleza, poder y violencia : historias reales de mujeres en el narcotráfico mexicano. México D.F.: Aguilar.

Valdez, Javier. 2011. Los morros del narco : historias reales de niÒos y jÛvenes en el narcotr·fico mexicano. MÈxico, D.F.: Aguilar.

Valdez, Javier. 2012. Levantones : historias reales de desaparecidos y vÌctimas del narco. MÈxico, D.F.: Aguilar.

Valdez, Javier. 2015. HuÈrfanos del narco : los olvidados de la guerra del narcotr·fico.

Zavala, Oswaldo. 2018. Cárteles No Existen, Los: Narcotráfico Y Cultura En México. Kindle ed: Malpaso.


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<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftn1" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftnref1">[1]</a>I had always believed that the two names were accidently linked. But when Zavala claimed they were part of the same operation, I wrote the National Security Archivists at GWU and asked for clarification. I received the following reply “ Dear James Creechan, …I asked our experts on Chile, Argentina, and Mexico your question about any relationship between the two Operation Condors.  Their unanimous response was there is no relation or connection between the Mexican Operation Condor against narcotics and the Chilean / South American Operation Condor. Mary Curry, Ph.D., Public Service Coordinator / Research Associate


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<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftn2" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftnref2">[2]</a>Admittedly, authors are entitled to a few mistakes of fact and no book will be perfect or without controversy. But in this case, Zavala’s mistake of fact is important because it underpins his most compelling justification for the claiming that “Cartels Don’t Exist” — that existing accounts about Narco Mexico and Cartels are tainted by an official State Narrative that has dominated our understanding of narco Mexico.

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<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftn3" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftnref3">[3]</a>He makes this argument in spite of the fact that many of the important books from that period actually focus on the important and murky role of government officials who cooperated and/or directed the operations of cartels. Almost all of the books by the late George Grayson describe the connections to government officials and “madrinas”. See (Grayson 2008, 2009, 2014)

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<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftn4" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftnref4">[4]</a>See <a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>. Also - chayotero”, y si es así, más le vale cobrar bien, porque por lo que se avecina, tendrá que poner “tierra de pormedio”, dada la incomodidad con la que posiblemente tendría que lidiar ante un Gobierno diferente al que sirve vilmente, como en este momento.


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<a style="color: #954f72;" name="_ftn5" href="applewebdata://92716652-A550-4E8D-88F4-EF742A4636CA#_ftnref5">[5]</a><a style="color: #954f72;" href=""></a>

</div> </div>

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