Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for Kilo: Life and Death Inside the Secret World of the Cocaine Cartels by Toby Muse, a big thank you to Emma from Damp Pebbles for inviting me to take part.
Let’s get started…
Join the deadly journey of cocaine, from farmer to kingpin.
Meet Maria. Maria doesn’t see herself as a criminal. She’s just a farmhand picking the crops that never lose money: coca.
This is Cachote. He prays to the Virgin of the Assassins that his bullets find their target. If he misses, he’ll have to answer to the cartel who pay him to take out their enemies.
Pedro works the coca labs. But this laboratory is hidden deep in the jungle, and he turns coca leaves in to coca paste, a step just short of cocaine.
And finally, here is Alex. Alex is a drug-lord and decides where the drug goes next: into Europe or the US. And he wields the power of life and death over everyone around him.
In Kilo, Toby Muse takes us deeper into the drug trade than ever before, following a kilo of cocaine as it travels from its origins to the street. On the ground in the drug war for over a decade, earning the trust of those involved on all sides, Toby Muse takes us with him through the endless blood-soaked horror and economic logic at every level of the journey of the world’s most alluring and dangerous drug. We come to meet and ultimately understand the tainted personal psychology and motivations of each player in this dark El Dorado.
But there are no winners here. Anyone who tries to hold the power of the ‘white goddess’ cocaine is ultimately undone, violently stripped of their humanity, their souls and their lives in this endless, pointless dance of death.
You guys know that I love non-fiction and I did quite a lot of work during my degree on whether drugs should be legalised so I jumped at the chance to read this. This was definitely eye-opening seeing the whole journey of cocaine from the very beginning, just a crop in the jungle to a line in the bathroom of a nightclub.
This is some serious investigative work, Toby Muse has nerves of steel to be able to put himself in such dangerous situations. I really enjoyed the writing of this investigation, it was captivating and thought-provoking. We see the violence and utter devastation caused by Cocaine, but it’s not just the plant, there’s government officials, guerilla’s (FARC) as well as the traffickers. Is the war on drugs causing even more damage?
On this website there is actually a gallery of pictures taken throughout the making of this book which relate to what we are following, here’s the link to the Gallery.
I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading non-fiction surrounding drugs and cartels.
So Who is Toby Muse?
Toby Muse is a British-American writer, television reporter, documentary filmmaker and foreign correspondent. He has reported from the front lines of the conflicts in Colombia, Iraq and Syria. He has embedded with soldiers, rebels and drug cartels, producing exclusive reports from cocaine laboratories and guerrilla jungle camps. He lived in Bogota, Colombia for more than fifteen years, reporting across South America and the endless drug war.
See you guys in the next one…