Loyal Soldiers in the Cocaine Kingdom: Tales of Drugs, Mules, and Gunmen

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Columbia University Press, 2004 - Social Science - 158 pages

Loyal Soldiers in the Cocaine Kingdom opens a window on a rarely glimpsed world: the couriers who transport drugs from Colombia into the United States and Europe. Written by one of Colombia's leading writers, the book lets English-speaking readers get a good look -- for the first time -- at the people behind the drug trade. Colombians from many different backgrounds and parts of the country tell the story of how they got involved in smuggling and how some of them managed to get out alive. This book is about the predicament in which ordinary Colombians find themselves, forced to find a way out of poverty in the middle of an unending civil war.

Based on Alfred Molano's visits to Spanish and Latin American jails, Loyal Soldiers in the Cocaine Kingdom combines the gut-wrenching honesty of testimonial literature with the passionate storytelling we have come to expect from Latin America. In his native Colombia Molano has been compared to Gabriel García Marquez, and indeed the many layered narratives in this book resemble harrowing fictions.

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An outspoken Colombian sociologist and journalist, Molano presents a series of seven profiles in this absorbing look at the foot soldiers of Colombia's drug smuggling trade. Based on interviews that ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Alfredo Molano is a sociologist and journalist with numerous books to his credit. Recently a visiting professor at Stanford University, his explosive writing has resulted in his exile from Colombia.James Graham has translated Roque Dalton, Pedro Juan Gutierrez and many others. His Delirium Tremens New York will appear in France in 2004.

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