cover image Pure Narco: One Man’s True Story of 25 Years Inside the Cartels

Pure Narco: One Man’s True Story of 25 Years Inside the Cartels

Jesse Fink and Luis Navia. Rowman & Littlefield, $29.95 (576p) ISBN 978-1-5381-

Fink (Bon) tells the gripping story of Luis Navia, a prominent Cuban American drug trafficker in the 1980s and ’90s. Navia’s well-to-do parents fled Cuba when he was a small boy after Castro’s 1959 takeover and settled in Miami. In later years, he had no interest in his father’s sugar trading business and partied in college while selling cocaine. From there he became a narco for Colombian and Mexican cartels, transporting billions of dollars in coke around the world. Known as El Senador for his classy fashion sense, Navia attributes his 25-year successful run to being a businessman and not a killer. But it all came to an end in 2000 with Operation Journey, a multinational drug bust that was the largest in history. In 2001, Navia took a plea deal in the U.S. and testified against cartel members in exchange for a four-year prison sentence. Almost as fascinating as his drug years is Fink’s account of how Navia has since led a wealthy lifestyle in Miami with extended family and friends. Though Navia won’t say how much money he has, Fink estimates he has millions stashed in offshore accounts. Those interested in how the illegal drug trade and law enforcement interact will be rewarded. (Nov.)