Drug Lord

by Poppa, Terrence E.


A new edition of a True Crime Classic with new preface and introduction. “The [drug smuggling] business goes on, the slaughtered dead pile up, the U.S. agencies continue to ratchet up their budgets, the prisons grow larger and all the real rules of the game are in this book, some kind of masterpiece.”—Charles Bowden from the Preface.

Twenty years after writing Drug Lord, Terrence Poppa decided the information in his book was more important than ever. In an important interview with the Texas Tribune, Poppa explains that “The Mexico that I wrote about in the book describes the old order of things: Mexico under the PRI. In that sense, the book was out of date, because how drug trafficking operated under the PRI is completely different than how it works today in a new Mexico, under the democratically transformed Mexico…There has been a decoupling of the highest levels of power from drug trafficking now. It’s important for people to understand that, so I had to bring the book up to date.” Read the full interview here.

An exposé of the connections between crime and government in Mexico, this is the story of Pablo Acosta, the notorious scar-faced Mexican drug lord. Controlling crime along 250 miles of the Rio Grande, he was responsible for creating a narcotics hub in northern Mexico that smuggled 60 tons of cocaine a year into the United States. This book chronicles Pablo Acosta's bloody rise and his spectacular fall at the hands of the same system that had protected him until he made the mistake of talking to a U.S. reporter-the author-about the arrangement. Also included are details about Pablo Acosta's successor, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, who became the most powerful drug trafficker in Latin America until his recent death while undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico to alter his appearance. Insightful explanations are offered on how and why Mexico uses its police and military to protect narcotics traffickers, a dark alliance that continues today at the expense of everyone in North America.

Cinco Puntos Press, 400 pages
Available in softcover


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