When I asked for Blog Del Narco for Christmas this year, I highly doubt my parents were expecting quite the shock they got Christmas morning. One cannot simply flick through the accounts written by the Mexican journalist and computer scientist who dared to report what others were getting 'disemboweled and hung off a bridge' for.
It was clear from the reports and reviews I read prior to obtaining the book that this was not going to be an easy read.
I first came across the Blog Del Narco when browsing the Vice website for information for my dissertation. I found myself reading an article by Joseph Cox, which reported on how Mexico's drug cartels now use social media to promote their lifestyle and their work. I'm sure that this wasn't Mark Zuckerberg's intention but it's probably one of the most surreal outcomes of Facebook.
It wasn't until two hours later with my friends in the pub when I found myself regurgitating some of the insane things I learned from the Vice that I realised that I really did have no idea about the realities of living in Mexico in the 21st century and that I couldn't believe that it was all as a result of the drugs we take for granted in the UK. Sure, we get a bit of violence from drugs but a majority of all drug-related violence stems from alcohol, our most popular drug of choice.
This entry isn't a review of Blog Del Narco, I'm no where near finishing it. After every page I find myself jotting down notes whilst forcing my line of site to avoid the gruesome photographs that accompany the most concise yet incredibly informative accounts of daily life in Mexico. It's not exactly bed time reading either.
Over the next few weeks I aim to finish Blog Del Narco, write up a full review and hopefully do my own research into the Blog and the elusive writers. Though from my research, it seems like one of the writers has already disappeared.
One thing that anyone can take from even just reading over the Vice articles is that any cocaine you're shoving up your nose here in the UK, the chances are it's got a significant amount of blood attached to it. Not physically of course, but the images that Blog Del Narco published have never been seen in any Mexican media and yet they are just a few of the images that will haunt Mexico for generations until the War On Drugs is over.
From the looks of it, the only way that this war will ever end is when the cartels loose their income. But I'll let you know for sure when I finish the book or when we can fully assess the impacts of Uruguay's new drugs laws, though I'm sure I'll finish the book before then.