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When the world's greatest 'King of Cocaine', Pablo Escobar, was killed in 1993 in a joint military operation undertaken by the CIA, the Colombian military, and Escobar's enemies, the entire world celebrated the event, thinking that cocaine production would fall rapidly. But twenty years later, Colombia produces five times as much cocaine as it did during the Escobar era, and consumption worldwide is on the rise. Currently, Colombia produces 70 per cent of all the world's cocaine, and is the perfect laboratory for illegal drugs. How has this come to pass? This truly global industry numbers among its victims poor peasant families on the run from armed groups financed by drug money. At the same time, military tension between Colombia's right-wing government and its socialist neighbour Venezuela has become a security threat for the entire hemisphere. With the US war on drugs playing into this unsettling geopolitical game, the future of cocaine is about much more than what happens to street dealers and their customers. Based on three years of research and more than one hundred interviews, Cocaina tackles these questions by following coca growers, drug traffickers, refugees, hit men, anti-drug police, cocaine processors, politicians, intellectuals, DEA directors, cocaine tourists, guerrilla fighters, death squads, and the many victims of violence. Cocaina is an exceptional book with a rare political edge. It provides a unique insight into drug production, drug corruption, and drug-related misery, as well as the failed war on drugs and the future of drug consumption.
Magnus Linton is a Swedish writer whose work tackles controversial social, political, and ethical topics. He is the author of several acclaimed non-fiction books, including The Vegans, a provocative account of the ethics of eating meat that turned then Swedish prime minister Goran Persson into a 'semi-vegetarian'; Americanos, a pioneering masterpiece exploring the rise of neo-socialism in Latin America; and The Hated, which examines the emergence of the new radical right in Europe.