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For more than 20 years, the Cali cartel saturated U.S. streets with cocaine, ruining neighborhoods and lives while reaping millions in cash. Efforts to combat the influx of drugs from Colombia were often stymied by the careful organization and execution of the drug trade. Through the use of bribery, terrorist structures, and legitimate business practices, the cartel rose to become a serious threat to Colombian society's fragile stability, while providing over 70% of the world's cocaine to various markets. It took more than two decades and a global effort, spearheaded by U.S. law enforcement, to topple this torious criminal organization. The rise and fall of one of Colombia's most torious drug cartels is a story of how organized crime can function at the most sophisticated levels, yet still be taken down by the very forces it seeks to evade. This book vividly examines the Cali Cartel, providing unique insight into the history of international trafficking, organized crime, and U.S. drug policy. Relying on first hand accounts, interviews, and DEA records, Chepesiuk brings the story to life, illustrating how drug traffickers operate and why they are so difficult to stop. In detailing law enforcement's biggest takedown, this book describes how such transnational criminal organizations must be dismantled, and why drug trafficking continues to be an important problem in the United States. The fall of the cartel also provides lessons for law enforcement efforts to combat terrorists and other formidable criminal organizations.
RON CHEPESIUK is the author of 18 books including Hard Target: The U.S.'s War with International Drug Trafficking, 1982-1997 and War on Drugs: An International Encyclopedia. He has also published more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine articles that have appeared in such publications as USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Modern Maturity, and others. He is a Fulbright Scholar and teaches writing in the Journalism Program for the Extension Division of the University of California, Los Angeles.