El Brinco: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Street gang members from San Diego recruited by a drug cartel are embroiled in the murder of a Roman Catholic cardinal at the Guadalajara airport. Mexican police ride shotgun for drug lords in Chevy Suburbans stolen in San Diego. Smugglers dig a tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border to a cannery where cocaine is to be hidden in cans of jalapeno peppers. This is the U.S.-Mexico line in the 1990s, in the age of NAFTA - a microcosm of porous borders everywhere between the worlds of wealth and poverty, legal and illegal business, power and corruption, democracy and authoritarianism, hope and despair. To capture its chaos, complexity, corruption, and heroism demands unusual talent in a writer. Sebastian Rotella has that talent - and no writer could ask for richer raw material. Rotella's masterful portrait is one you will not easily forget.