Booze Collectors, Part I

As a historian, I want to pause for a moment and thank the collectors. While I enjoy a jaunt through an antique, rare books, or vintage store, I have not developed the eye or the love of the search and acquisition of some desired object, document, book, or even clothing item. As a historian, IContinue reading “Booze Collectors, Part I”

Days of the Dead

In The Labyrinth of Solitude, renowned Mexican writer and cultural critic Octavio Paz observed: “The word death is not pronounced in New York, Paris, and London because it burns the lips.  The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favoriteContinue reading “Days of the Dead”

A Colombian Queen’s Tale: The End and Beginning of Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco, the Cocaine Godmother, was gunned down in front of a butcher shop in Medellín, Colombia on September 3, 2012.  Since her initial indictments in New York City beginning in the early 1970s, Blanco has flitted in and out of the popular imagination.  Tales of Blanco emerged first in police and court documents and newspapers.Continue reading “A Colombian Queen’s Tale: The End and Beginning of Griselda Blanco”

Mexico’s Election: Drug Continuities or Contingencies? By Javier Alvarez-Isasi and Elaine Carey

As historians, we know that there are historical continuities and contingencies.  We study these, debate these, and occasionally we attempt to make a few insights into the present day.  This post attempts to perform the latter. So, here we go again with another Mexican presidential election that is rife with continuities and contingencies. In 2000,Continue reading “Mexico’s Election: Drug Continuities or Contingencies? By Javier Alvarez-Isasi and Elaine Carey”

Doing Drugs in the Archives

The summer brings scholars from all across the United States and the world to New York City’s libraries and archives.   For the past three years, I have been introducing my undergraduate students to “doing history” with my former student Raymond Pun who is a librarian at the New York Public Library.  In some ways,Continue reading “Doing Drugs in the Archives”

A Perfect Partnership: Gun Smugglers and Drug Traffickers:

The fallout from Operation Fast and Furious has demonstrated the desperation of the U.S. government to deal with the flows of drugs and drug violence from Mexico.   At the heart of Operation Fast and Furious are guns: AK-47s, AR-15s, FN Five-sevens, and AK variants that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)Continue reading “A Perfect Partnership: Gun Smugglers and Drug Traffickers:”

The Mule

In 2004, the role of women as mules entered the popular imagination with the release of the film Maria Full of Grace that depicts the life of a young Colombian woman who swallows cocaine and smuggles it into the United States  She passes through the port of entry at New York City’s John F. KennedyContinue reading “The Mule”

The Women of Narco B-Movies

Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens is known for its money-sending “chops,” gold and silver vendors, ethnic markets, and great Argentine, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Mexican, and Peruvian restaurants, all conveniently tucked under the 7 trains.  The doorway I sought led up a stairwell that advertised the store’s music offerings: cumbia, bachata, grupera, salsa, and the standards ofContinue reading “The Women of Narco B-Movies”

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