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small Latin America book thread! books from/about the region that perhaps you'll like
Book mentions in this thread
The Politics of Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-1985
by Thomas E. SkidmoreThe largest and most important country in Latin America, Brazil was the first to succumb to the military coups that struck that region in the 1960s and the early 1970s. In this authoritative study, Thomas E. Skidmore, one of America's leading experts on Latin America and, in particular, on Brazil, offers the first analysis of more than two decades of military rule, from the overthrow of Jo?o Goulart in 1964, to the return of democratic civilian government in 1985 with the presidency of Jos? Sarney. A sequel to Skidmore's highly acclaimed Politics in Brazil, 1930-1964, this volume explores the military rule in depth. Why did the military depose Goulart? What kind of "economic miracle" did their technocrats fashion? Why did General Costa e Silva's attempts to "humanize the Revolution" fail, only to be followed by the most repressive regime of the period? What led Generals Geisel and Golbery to launch the liberalization that led to abertura? What role did the Brazilian Catholic Church, the most innovative in the Americas, play? How did the military government respond in the early 1980s to galloping inflation and an unpayable foreign debt? Skidmore concludes by examining the early Sarney presidency and the clues it may offer for the future. Will democratic governments be able to meet the demands of urban workers and landless peasants while maintaining economic growth and international competitiveness? Can Brazil at the same time control inflation and service the largest debt in the developing world? Will its political institutions be able to represent effectively an electorate now three times larger than in 1964? What role will the military play in the future? In recent years, many Third World nations--Argentina, the Philippines, and Uruguay, among others--have moved from repressive military regimes to democratic civilian governments. Skidmore's study provides insight into the nature of this transition in Brazil and what it may tell about the fate of democracy in the Third World.
by Molly MolloyMEET EL SICARIO. A fugitive in the US with a $250,000 price tag on his head. He has executed hundreds of people, is an expert in torture, spent years working for the state police, and received training from the FBI. In grim and graphic detail he offers a series of confessions: -- Why he first became involved with the cartels and how they operate -- The most effective way to torture your victim -- The corrosive experience of looking into someone's eyes as you strangle them to death To read this book is to enter a world of terror and corruption and to understand the man who has seen it all and, for now, lived to tell the tale.
by Thomas McFaddenRusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalist went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. The result is Marching Powder. This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted. Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account of infiltration into the South American drug culture.
by Dan SlaterA chilling true story of two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by an increasingly disillusioned detective. At first glance, Gabriel Cardona is an exemplary American teenager: athletic, bright, handsome and charismatic. But his Texas town is poor and dangerous, and it isn't long before Gabriel abandons his promising future for the allure of the Zetas, a drug cartel with roots in the Mexican military. Meanwhile, Mexican-born Detective Robert Garcia has worked hard all his life and is now struggling to raise his family in America. As violence spills over the border, Detective Garcia's pursuit of the Zetas puts him face to face with the urgent consequences of a war he sees as unwinnable. In Wolf Boys, Dan Slater takes readers on a harrowing, moving, and often brutal journey into the heart of the Mexican drug trade - from the Sierra Madre mountaintops to the smuggling ports of Veracruz, from cartel training camps and holiday parties to the dusty alleys of South Texas. Ultimately though, Wolf Boys is the intimate and vivid story of the 'lobos': teens turned into pawns for cartels. A non-fiction thriller, it reads with the emotional clarity of a great novel, yet offers its revelations through extraordinary reporting.
by Ioan GrilloIn a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps five hundred body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit-men to gun down forty-one police officers and prison guards in two days. In southern Mexico, a crystal meth maker is venerated as a saint while imposing Old Testament justice on his enemies. A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns and humans. Who are these new masters of death? What personal qualities and life experiences have made them into such bloodthirsty leaders of men? What do they represent and stand for? What has happened in the Americas to allow them to grow and flourish? Author of the critically acclaimed El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, Ioan Grillo has covered Latin America since 2001, and gained access to every level of the cartel chain-of-command in what he calls the new battlefields of the Americas. Moving between militia-controlled ghettos and the halls of top policy-makers, Grillo provides a new and disturbing understanding of a war that has spiralled out of control – one that people across the political spectrum need to confront now. Gangster Warlords is the first definitive account of the crime wars now wracking Central and South America and the Caribbean.
by Tom Wainwright"How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the $300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola. And what can government learn to combat this scourge? By analyzing the cartels as companies, law enforcers might better understand how they work--and stop throwing away $100 billion a year in a futile effort to win the "war" against this global, highly organized business. Your intrepid guide to the most exotic and brutal industry on earth is Tom Wainwright. Picking his way through Andean cocaine fields, Central American prisons, Colorado pot shops, and the online drug dens of the Dark Web, Wainwright provides a fresh, innovative look into the drug trade and its 250 million customers. The cast of characters includes "Bin Laden," the Bolivian coca guide; "Old Lin," the Salvadoran gang leader; "Starboy," the millionaire New Zealand pill maker; and a cozy Mexican grandmother who cooks blueberry pancakes while plotting murder. Along with presidents, cops, and teenage hitmen, they explain such matters as the business purpose for head-to-toe tattoos, how gangs decide whether to compete or collude, and why cartels care a surprising amount about corporate social responsibility. More than just an investigation of how drug cartels do business, Narconomics is also a blueprint for how to defeat them."--Publisher's description.