The Cocaine Diaries: A Venezuelan Prison Nightmare

Paul Keany, Author, Jeff Farrell, With
Paul Keany, with Jeff Farrell. Mainstream (IPG, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-78057-564-3
Book - 272 pages - 978-1-78057-423-3
Paperback - 349 pages - 978-1-78057-607-7
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In 2008, after the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, Irish plumber Paul Keany was struggling to pay off a loan and a new van, and support one of his two teenaged kids. An offer to smuggle six kilos of cocaine—worth half a million euros—from Venezuela back home to Dublin would’ve netted him an “easy” €10,000. That is, if he hadn’t gotten caught. Arrested before boarding his return flight, Keany is escorted to the drug squad headquarters where he is raped by police and handcuffed to a stairwell for days without food. Once in the infamous Los Teques prison, where he was to serve eight years for his crimes, he is forced to pay the wing boss and his armed henchmen in exchange for protection. It would be an understatement to say it was money well spent—during Keany’s incarceration, an inmate blows himself up with a grenade, another shoots his wife in the head on visitor’s day, a deadly riot erupts, Keany is stabbed, and all the while the corrupt National Guard keeps a cursory watch while supplying the prisoners with weapons and drugs. Keany relates these and other atrocities without an ounce of self-pity, and his final escape from Venezuela will leave readers with sweaty palms and clenched teeth. Glossary. (July)
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