New Shows Examine CIA's Past Role in Latin America's Drug Trade

New Shows Examine CIA's Past Role in Latin America's Drug Trade

A pair of new television programs tackles the role of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the erection of Latin American drug routes, and while neither breaks much new ground, both reflect lingering suspicions regarding the agency's legacy in the region.


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  • Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars

    Despite its inflammatory title, "Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars" is a thoughtful text, which warns not of a literal invasion of cartel gunmen, but of the insidious spread of corruption over the border.

  • Images of Rio Prison Party Force Tightened Security for Jailed Police

    Rio de Janeiro's Military Police plans increase security at a controversial prison unit holding former officers accused of crimes, following the publication of images of a party held there by an escaped prisoner.

  • Mexican State Bans Narco-Music

    A Mexican governor announced a prohibition on "narcocorridos," songs celebrating drug trafficking, in public venues in his state, turning the fight against organized crime into a debate about free expression amid the rise of narco-culture.

  • Drug Gang Funds Children's Parties in Mexico

    The Mexican drug gang known as the Zetas, who stand accused of beating scores of people to death in Tamaulipas and then dumping their bodies in mass graves, are apparently attempting to improve their image by funding parties for local children.

  • Narco-Culture Penetrates Mexico's Social Fabric

    From “narcocorridos” to narco-wives, Mexico’s drug war has spilled over into the cultural life of the nation, influencing language and even religion.

  • InSight: A Carnival of Police

    Carnival in Latin America means revelry, skin and ‘fiesta,’ or ‘festa’ as you might say in Portuguese. But it also means organized crime. From Rio to Barranquilla to Port au Prince, organized criminals have always financed the biggest party of the year.

    So it was strange to see this year that one samba school from the hillside slum of Salgueiro in Rio de Janeiro would have some of their members dressed as police. The homage to the security forces, however, may reflect the winds of change in that city.

  • Interview: Anabel Hernandez, author of 'Señores del Narco'

    The hottest book in Mexico this Christmas season is called 'Los Señores del Narco' (loosely translated, 'The Drug Traffickers'). Using testimonies and official reports gathered during a five-year investigation, the book describes in painstaking detail the process by which Mexico became the epicenter of the megacartels in Latin America and by extension, one of the most violent places on the planet.