We have frequently commented on the importance of migration channels linking specific towns in Mexico to particular places in the USA.
In his latest book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, journalist Sam Quinones, one of our favorite writers about Mexico, describes the fascinating details of how one particular migration channel – from the small, nondescript town of Xalisco in the western state of Nayarit, to the city of Denver – has fueled an innovative delivery network for black tar heroin, a network that now spreads its tentacles across much of the USA.
Quinones relates the work of narcotics officer Dennis Chavez, who joined the narcotics unit of the Denver Police Department, and was determined to understand the reasons behind the escalation of black tar heroin dealing. Chavez listened carefully to his informants and a key breakthrough came when one particular informant told Chavez that while “the dealers, the couriers with backpacks of heroin, the drivers with balloons of heroin”, all looked very random and scattered, they were not. They were all connected. “They’re all from a town called Xalisco.”
Indeed they were, and the system they had set up was enterprising, innovative, and designed to avoid undue attention.
Read an excerpt:
This excerpt from Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, published on Daily Beast, explains how “in the 1990s, innovative drug traffickers from Mexico figured out that white kids cared most about service and convenience.”
Sam Quinones’ latest book is a gripping account of many previously murky aspects of the U.S. drug scene. It should interest anyone who wants to understand the human stories behind drug trafficking, international migration and globalization. A must-read!
- Migration and remittances: an index page
- Migration channels between Mexico and the USA, or how distant towns are linked through migration
- Interactive maps offering some insights into Mexico-USA migration channels
- From Morelos to Minnesota; case study of a migrant channel between Mexico and USA
- Over half a million natives of the state of Puebla live in New York City