Neissa, Peter A. The Druglord. ISBN 091574526. $22.95.

It is the true life story of Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, the drug lord of the Bogota branch of the Colombian Drug Cartel, this historical novel offers a factual and knowledgeable Colombian perspective that well connected Colombians have known for years: the real Drug Cartel, a group consisting of over two-hundred drug traffickers, met for the first time in 1976, not to discuss drugs, but to devise a solution to the kidnapping and murders inflicted upon them by the Marxist guerrillas. This led to cooperation on other matters --like cocaine. The Drug Lord, born an outcast in 1952, during Colombia's bloody civil war, rose from poverty to multi-billionaire status in the violent world of cocaine traffic. It is the gripping story of the Drug Lord's history when at age six, he witnesses the massacre of his family by the Colombian Army. It shows his involvement with the adolescent city gang, El Centro, which controlled Colombia's lucrative emerald black market, to the Cartel's development from a national to international status. The Colombian Drug Lord, very much like Mexican drug lords, is also the story of a country (Colombia) torn apart by violence, the war against drug --the oligarchy against the poor, government against popular uprisings, drug massacres, social and class conflicts, kidnappings-- of business, love and myopic U.S. policy in Latin America devoted to stamp communism at any price. Mr. Neissa posits that the Colombian Drug Cartel is, like the Mafia, deeply entrenched in their native cultures, and eventually will survive the War on Drugs. Themes in this biography are cocaina, Colombian drug cartel, drug trafficking, drug war, Medellín, narcotráfico, war on drugs, "colombian drug cartel." Most highly recommended.



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Peter A. Neissa. Dictatorship: The Imposition of U.S. Culture on Latin America Through Translation. ISBN: 978-1-888205-10-7. $24.95.

This book focuses on how a dictator or a culturally dominant power can use language to impose cultural values. As an instrument of power, language is used by a dictator to educate, induce, or manipulate a nation's citizens into acting in accordance with the ruling power's cultural values and beliefs. Jorge Zalamea's El Gran Burundún-Burundá ha muerto, Gabriel García Márquez's El otoño del patriarca, and Mario Vargas Llosa's La fiesta del Chivo draw attention to how the use of the vernacular can resist cultural imposition by employing specific words in order to represent its own culture and nature of reality.