visit his website.
by Gordon Chaplin
Not too long ago, a stripped out Boeing 727 full to the gunwales with uncut cocaine landed at a popular transshipment point near the little town of Todos Santos in southern Baja California, where I happened to be living at the time and where my new novel Paraiso is set. It was a dry lake bed in the desert that narcos had been flying small aircraft into for years, but this time they got ambitious. Too ambitious. The big 727 landed without mishap but was too heavy for the lakebed and soon mired down and became trapped. After unloading the cocaine, the smugglers called their allies in the federal police force who dispatched heavy earthmoving equipment to the scene. The plane was half-buried out of sight when someone tipped off the local press and the incident became legend. I even used it in Paraiso.
Authorities have tried unsuccessfully to ban narcocorridos, including a voluntary radio blackout in Baja California to prevent “people who break the laws of our country being made into heroes and examples.” The death toll among actual performers is also high, as the narcos themselves react homicidally to being singled out by name. Many of the ballads are incriminatingly true to fact. Between 2006 and 2008 alone over a dozen prominent balladeers were murdered, in some cases by torture and disfigurement.
With an AK-47 and a bazooka on our heads
Cutting off all heads that cross our path
We’re bloodthirsty and crazy—We love to kill
Bullets fired and extortions carried out, just like the best of us
Always in a convoy of armored cars, wearing bullet-proof vests and ready to kill people.
|photo by George Bouret|
To learn more, visit www.gordonchaplin.com
Like Gordon on Facebook: /GordonChaplinAuthor
Follow Gordon on Twitter: @gordon_chaplin