Amexica provides the first full account of the terror unfolding along the US-Mexico border. An area of land more than 2,000 miles long and 100 miles wide - effectively a country in its own right - has become a battleground. Drugs, guns and killings are the currency of everyday existence as an ever-escalating narco-war explodes out of control.
In the last three years more than 23,000 people have been murdered in Amexica as criminal drug cartels fight each other - with ever more inventive twists of violence - for pre-eminence in the 'plazas' - the rivers of narcotics flowing into America. The war is a grotesque pastiche of the globalised economy: the cartels are inextricably bound up with sweatshop factories, with the smuggling of guns south from the US, with the entertainment industry and with the mass abduction and exploitation of women.
This is both the busiest and most deadly frontier in the world, studded with guard-posts, infra-red searchlights and heavily armed patrols. It's a war that's scarcely reported - a war that's being fought, with thousands dying and millions of lives blighted, so that Europe and America can get high.
Journalist Ed Vulliamy has long had a love-hate relationship with Amexica - the place and its people. For four months he went on a road trip, zigzagging along the entire border. This is the story of that journey and of the visits that preceded it; of the causes and consequences of the war and its impact on the everyday life which somehow goes on around it.
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Amexica is fascinating, infuriating and inspiring. Essential reading -
A work of vivid social reportage - Spectator
A harrowing read about the narcowars in Mexico, economic exploitation and the horrors of the globalised drug trade - New Statesman
Previously, to understand the ruthlessness, ambition and impact of today's global criminals, you needed to read Roberto Saviano's Gomorrah and Misha Glenny's McMafia. Now, you also need to read Vulliamy's Amexica - Sunday Times
The most vivid book so far published in English on the bloody calamity that has been visited on Mexico's northern border lands - Observer
Vulliamy is the ideal foreign correspondent to analyse the phenomenon. He knows the border well and was one of the first to report on the murdered women of Ciudad Juárez. He also refuses to find easy answers to difficult questions. While some commentators have made glib assumptions about the Mexican propensity for brutality, Amexica shows that the crushing power of the multinationals in a low-wage economy is a key factor - Independent
Ed Vulliamy provides a brilliant, rigorous analysis - Independent
With a great sense of timing, Vulliamy now comes out with the most vivid book so far published in English on the bloody calamity that has been visited on Mexico's northern border lands... The author has done a great deal of painstaking work in investigating and describing the blood-soaked frontier and the political cross-currants in both regions... it stands that this is a fascinating introduction to the bloody last act of the 'war on drugs', which must surely soon pass unlamented into history - The Observer, New Review
This absorbing odyssey along the Mexican-American border gives pause for thought to anyone who ignores the side-effects of cocaine...Vulliamy's reporting is faultlessly brave ...the scenery and characters he meets are brought alive with vividness and intensity' - Telegraph
Ed Vulliamy is a journalist and writes for the Guardian and Observer. He has been shortlisted for an Amnesty International Media Award for his reporting on Mexico. For his work in Bosnia, Italy, the US and Iraq he has won a James Cameron Award and an Amnesty International Media Award and has been named International Reporter of the Year (twice) and runner-up at the Foreign Press Association Awards. In 1996 he became the first journalist to ever testify at an international crimes court, at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. A believer in the duty of journalists to testify in matters of humanitarian law, he has since lectured extensively on the subject.