The Last Narco: Hunting El Chapo, the World's Most-wanted Drug Lord
Mexico, April 2009. The bodies of a pair of undercover military intelligence agents, disguised as campesinos (farmers), are dumped by the side of the road. Beside the corpses is a message on a scrap of paper: 'You'll never get El Chapo.' Such is the fate of many who have dared to try to catch El Chapo, or oppose him. El Chapo is the world's most wanted drug lord, at large since he escaped from prison in 2001 after bribing guards to wheel him out in a laundry cart. His cartel moves thousands of tons of cocaine, marijuana and heroine into the US each year using tunnels, planes and submarines. He has made an estimated $20 billion, and appeared on "Forbes" magazine's Global Power List in 2009. He bribes or kills politicians, police, soldiers and those who betray him. He's hailed by locals as a folk hero. But the net is closing. Who will make the final move? There is no bigger crime story today, worldwide, than the Mexican drug war and the hunt for El Chapo. "The Last Narco" traces his life and the struggle to bring him to justice, through reportage and interviews with rival narcos, police and DEA sources. This is a non-fiction thriller to match Mark Bowden's "Killing Pablo" and Roberto Saviano's "Gomorrah". It also tells a wider story: the brutal war between the cartels, the endemic state corruption and the US complicity in a conflict that is killing more people than Iraq.
It's Pablo Escobar all over again -- Ralph Reyes DEA Chief of Enforcement Operations A brave and terrific headlong trek into the dangerous terrain of drug trafficking -- Sam Quinones Los Angeles Times Malcolm Beith risked life and limb to tell the inside story of El Chapo, the notorious drug capo. A novelist could not have presented a more intriguing or compelling tale of corruption, intimidation, murder, blood feuds, life-and-death negotiations, and the entrepreneurial skill of a near-mythic figure. Superb -- Professor George W. Grayson Gracefully captures the heroic struggle of those who dare to stand up to the cartels, and the ways those cartels have tragically corrupted every aspect of Mexican law enforcement -- Laura Bickford Producer, 'Traffic'
Malcolm Beith is a writer based in Mexico City, covering the drug war for Newsweek. Between 2007 and 2009, he was the Mexico editor of The News, Mexico's national English-language daily. Prior to moving to Mexico in 2007 he was an editor at Newsweek International, based in New York, and reported regularly from conflict zones in Iraq, Haiti and Colombia.