In the main, studies of organized crime rely on police or judicial sources, or the accounts of retired criminals and informants. In contrast, this study is based on five years of ethnographic fieldwork with Colombian drug traffickers (traquetos) in The Netherlands and Colombia.
By spending long hours in salsa bars, churches, prisons, and prostitution streets, the author has uncovered the social world of traquetos: how and why they get involved in illicit activities, the nature of their work, the manner in which they relate to one another, and lastly how they organize their businesses.
The result is a lively, theoretically grounded study that defies common clichés on `cartels' and leadership by legendary Mr Bigs. Instead, it highlights the complex, flexible, and heterogeneous nature of cocaine enterprises.
This book will not only be valued by criminologists, social scientists, drug researchers, policy makers, and organized crime scholars, but it will also be avidly read by those interested in Colombia, in the problems of Latino immigrants in Europe, and in the international cocaine business.