Anabel Hernandez on Mexico’s Lost Drug War and Her New Book Narcoland
by Melissa Del Bosque
Mexican investigative reporter Anabel Hernandez has spent years combing through government documents and cultivating sources in law enforcement, the military and the drug world. She’s come to the conclusion that Mexico’s drug war can’t be won. Corruption is so deep and systemic within the government institutions charged with fighting narco-trafficking that it’s become a “war for drugs, not against drug trafficking,” she says.
Hernandez’s 2011 bestseller Los Señores del Narco was a sensation in Mexico. It linked former President Felipe Calderon’s powerful head of security forces, Genaro Garcia Luna, with the country’s top drug capos, including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. In 2012, Hernandez was awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers for her work in exposing government corruption.
Because of her work, the 42-year old journalist and her family have lived with round-the-clock bodyguards provided by Mexico City’s government since 2010. Now her book has been translated into English and will be released as Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and their Godfathers on September 10 by the UK publishing house Verso. This fall, Hernandez will tour the United Kingdom and the United States to promote her book. I spoke with her recently about Narcoland and her crucial investigative work in Mexico on government corruption and drug trafficking.