Confession of a “sicario”

I must start by saying I have an obsession for literature that talks about drug trafficking, drug lords and everything that has to do with this lawless but fascinating world.

In my last post, I mentioned several books on this topic, mainly fiction. But in my last trip to Mexico I was strongly suggested to read a brand new book called “Confesión de un sicario” by Juan Carlos Reyna. The title in English would be something like “Confession of a Hit Man” but not really. Throughout the years the term “sicario” has developed in Spanish as a very precise word linked only to the drug trafficking phenomenon. If we trace the roots of the word, sicario comes from the Latin that Sicarii, a contract killer. The term hit our vocabulary with great impact via Colombia during the 1980s. It is then when it became fully linked and a crucial reference to explain the new kind of “professionals” that the war on drugs created in that country which now shares such a similar history with Mexico. Allow me to insist in the importance of the term because I believe it is making its way into the English language due the precision of the kind of people it describes and will be used along this post.

Having said that Confesión de un sicario is a chilling true testimony of the horrors experienced by a man during his time of close collaboration with a Mexican drug cartel. Tijuana born journalist Juan Carlos Reyna, meets and convinced a former sicario known as “Drago” to tell the story of his life inside the narco world since the very beginning when he joined organised crime. The things he says are, in all honesty, much more violent and cruel than anything you could possibly imagine. From torture, murders, orgies and satanic rites to descriptions of mansions “for murdering use only” with sharks as pets to help disappear bodies without leaving a single trace.

In this book, Juan Carlos Reyna takes us by the hand into the everyday life of a sicario feeling like uncomfortable voyeurs of a reality we don’t want to witness or even know about. The goverment incredible levels of corruption  as well as its close relation to durg lords figure in most of the book’s pages where no one is free from the inevitable link with this massive and intelligently managed drug industry. 

Confesión de un sicario is so ruthless in its descriptions that the author had to issue a warning to the reader. Through Drago’s story there is no moral evaluation and no fingers being pointed to the narrator. The book is a very valuable tool to understand the current situation through the words of a man who had it all and lost it all. This is the story a man who describes himself by saying “the only thing I know is to kill” and who deserves to be heard.

 Confesión de un sicario was first published in February 2011 by Grijalbo .

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