Amexica: War Along the Borderline, By Ed Vulliamy

Those badmen still head for the border

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Ed Vulliamy's portmanteau term "Amexica" is intended to evoke the long history of connections that criss-cross the US-Mexico border.

In recent years these connections have grown increasingly shady, as Latin American gangs export ever higher volumes of cocaine in return for US guns (which are often turned on innocent civilians in the lawless Mexican hinterland).

The book features coruscating on-the-ground reportage, as Vulliamy bravely infiltrates the cartels. But he also explores the wider issues, arguing convincingly that the West is at fault for turning a blind eye to the victims of the drugs industry. We all demand Fairtrade coffee, he points out, but "few ever stop to ask how many lives just went up a supermodel's nose".