Monday, December 19, 2011

Cartel - Sylvia Longmire

Summary from B&N: Having followed Mexico's cartels for years, border security expert Sylvia Longmire takes us deep into the heart of their world to witness a dangerous underground that will do whatever it takes to deliver drugs to a willing audience of American consumers. The cartels have grown increasingly bold in recent years, building submarines to move up the coast of Central America and digging elaborate tunnels that both move drugs north and carry cash and U.S. high-powered assault weapons back to fuel the drug war. Channeling her long experience working on border issues, Longmire brings to life the very real threat of Mexican cartels operating not just along the southwest border, but deep inside every corner of the United States. She also offers real solutions to the critical problems facing Mexico and the United States, including programs to deter youth in Mexico from joining the cartels and changing drug laws on both sides of the border.

I picked up this book after my hairdresser (thanks, Alison!) mentioned it because the author is a client at her salon (go to Buckingham studios in O’Fallon!).

It was…wow…a lot more intense (as in some gruesome details my stomach was barely strong enough to handle) than I expected. But it was also eye-opening and taught me a lot about the drug wars in Mexico, the effect on the U.S., the cartels who control, etc. I had no idea (I do seem to be saying that a lot recently after taking in a non-fiction read).

Having lived in Tucson, which is two hours from the border, I think I should have been more aware. Nope. Totally clueless. Did you know that cartels are growing marijuana in our state and national parks?!?!

I loved all of the information details packed into this book. And that Longmire doesn’t just look at it as a “Mexico problem.” Because the issues affect the United States in many ways and, let’s face it, people in the U.S. are huge consumers of illegal drugs that are pushing up from Mexico. And the fact that our weapons go south to arm the drug war…I hadn’t realized that before.

I think what I like best, though is that Longmire does offer solutions. They’re not short-term solutions. But they are something – and better than saying “here are all the issues and there is no hope.” In fact, she even points some to the changes the current president of Mexico has already made that are making a small dent.

Anyway, good reading on a current “in the news” topic.

1 comment:

  1. Becki, thanks so much for this great review! While I feel bad that it had such a strong effect on you, it definitely helps get the point across :). Your reaction to the information is exactly why I wrote "Cartel"; way too many Americans have no idea what's going on right under our noses, and our government can't make any effective policy changes unless they wake up to the reality of the situation south of the border, along it, and well north of it.

    Maybe one day I'll run into you at the salon, and Happy Holidays!!