War Along the Borderline

Book - 2010
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Amexica is a street-level portrait of the extraordinary terror unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border--"a country in its own right, which belongs to both the United States and Mexico, yet neither"--as the narco-war escalates to a fever pitch. In 2009, after reporting from the border for many years, journalist Ed Vulliamy traveled the frontier from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of Mexico, from Tijuana to Matamoros, a kaleidoscopic landscape of corruption and all-out civil war, but also of beauty and joy and resilience. He describes in detail how the narco gangs work; the smuggling of people, weapons, and drugs back and forth across the border; middle-class flight from Mexico and an American celebrity culture that is feeding the violence; the interrelated economies of drugs and the maquiladora factories; and the ruthless, systematic murder of young women in Ciudad Juarez. Heroes, villains, and victims all come to life in this singular book.--From publisher description
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374104412
Branch Call Number: 363.4509 Vulliamy 2010
Characteristics: 356 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 24 cm


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Jun 09, 2011

This is a difficult book to read. Not in terms of writing style but in terms of content. The author details the war between drug cartels in Mexico and points out that unlike most wars that are about religion, territory or politics, this war- with its great death toll in Mexico- is fought for greed. At times, I felt unable to turn the page because it was so difficult to read of these decapitations, rapes and tortures. At times, I felt the need to put the book down but I would always go back because I felt I needed to know this information about our neighbor. I used to know people in Brownsville and McAllen, Texas and the stories the author tells about those cities chilled me to the bone. Likewise I used to know someone who lived in El Paso and that too was scary to read about as the Mexican city opposite it is considered the most dangerous city in the world. The book also talks about American factories in Mexico and American gun sales to Mexican gangs. And the drug trade itself, of course, wouldn't exist if there wasn't a huge market for illegal drugs in the USA. The corruption in the Mexican police, army, and government is so widespread that it seems impossible to be optimistic about the state of affairs changing anytime soon. This is a courageous book by the author (journalists have been killed in Mexico for writing about these things) and its important for all of us to become informed about this immense problem.


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