Drug Lord: The Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin: A True Story

Terrence E. Poppa, Author
Terrence E. Poppa, Author Pharos Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88687-561-9
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Pablo Acosta, born in abject poverty in Mexico, became drug czar of Ojinaga across the border from the Big Bend country of Texas. He launched his career by smuggling marijuana and heroin into the U.S., later adding cocaine, and forging an alliance with Colombian drug traders. At the peak, he may have controlled 60% of the coke trafficked into the U.S., according to Poppa. The author shows that Acosta consolidated his power by murdering rivals, corrupting local police and soldiers, distributing money to the poor and contributing generously to civic projects. Eventually, however, he became a coke addict; his iron entrepreneurial grip slipped; and he was tracked down and killed in 1987 by an international narcotic strike force. Poppa interviewed the drug lord in 1986 for the El Paso Herald-Post and bases this enlightening book in part on those talks. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
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