A friend sent me a link today that highlights one of the recurring themes in my Assassin series, set in Mexico against a brutal backdrop of cartel violence: that the largest and most influential cartel in Mexico was receiving U.S. government support – a cartel responsible for butchering tens of thousands of people in Mexico alone. The article is a must read. It can be found here.
Business Insider reveals that an investigation by El Universal has established that the U.S. Government was supporting the largest cartel in Mexico, enabling it to traffic narcotics into the U.S. and receive weapons via the “Fast and Furious” program the DEA had in place. Weapons that were then used against other cartel members, innocent bystanders, and Mexican police.
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UPDATE: I’ve received quite a few emails recently asking about my process. This blog from last year sums it up, for those who are interested.
If that sounds like something out of a fiction novel, it’s because it is. It is exactly the scenario I lay out in loving detail in King of Swords and its sequels, where the American government is in league with the cartels, providing weapons and money laundering while protecting their shipments into the U.S.
I could not make this up. Or rather, I did. Or thought I did. Although I suspected there was much truth to my speculations.
I’ve long believed that the only way the most wanted man in the world could roam around Mexico without being arrested was to have come to an arrangement with the Mexican government. I’ve also long believed that the cartels couldn’t function at the scale they do without the active support of the U.S. government – and it was probably just happenstance that I named the Sinaloa cartel as the one that was getting the support. I put those “fictional” accounts into my Assassin series, as well as in The Delphi Chronicle, where I lay out in some detail the “fictional” history of CIA involvement in cocaine trafficking from Honduras to Arkansas while everyone’s favorite former aw shucks President was governor.
Remember that these novels were written over two years ago.
I told a journalist recently, who asked where I came up with all my conspiracy plots, that my challenge wasn’t to come up with story ideas. It was to tame down reality so that readers would find the stories plausible. I said that in a joking tone. But I wasn’t really joking. Most folks suffer from normalization bias, wherein they ignore anything troubling about their situation, in favor of pretending that everything’s normal – fine and good. My novels upset many for that reason. Nobody wants reality intruding into their comfortable artificial construct bolstered by a compliant media that’s little more than a PR arm for the government these days.
When I heard about Fast and Furious (google it for the official spin), I instantly knew in my gut what was happening. So I incorporated it into my stories. Because my scenario was the only one that made sense to me, given what I know about the cartels, which is a lot.
Go read the Business Insider article. And then, if you haven’t read King of Swords and its sequels, do so. It’s frigging frightening how exact I got it. As in, literally, nailed it note for note.
As long as there is evil in the world trying to pretend that it doesn’t exist, I’ll have more than ample fodder for my novels. I expect to have a long career. More’s the pity.
Needless to say, I haven’t given up drinking yet.
Oh well. Probably all just a fluke. Move along. Nothing to see here.