Cover image for Narcoterrorism
Ehrenfeld, Rachel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, 1990.
Physical Description:
xxii, 225 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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HV6431 .E395 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Discusses how governments from around the world, including Bulgaria, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria and others, have, over the last 25 years, initiated, developed and in some cases virtually dominated the drug business to finance terrorist activities. The author of this book bases her research and findings around the point that unless we recognise the geo-political aspects of the situation, the drug problem will be fought on the wrong fronts in the wrong way and with little chance of victory.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ehrenfeld contends that Soviet client states and various terrorist organizations are the world's dominant narco-terrorists, using the ill-gotten gains of drug trafficking to undermine democracies. Judging by the evidence she assembles, Castro has used narcotics profits to arm Colombian and Nicaraguan guerrillas; Bulgaria peddles heroin to supply weapons to the PLO; drugs, Lebanon's ``single most important export,'' fuel that country's warring factions; and Peru, the world's leading producer of coca, may soon be subverted from within by drug pushers. Syria, the Sandinistas, Bolivia and the PLO are among the leading narco-terrorists identified in a stunning expose. Ehrenfeld, a criminologist at New York University School of Law, looks at the conflict between Jamaican drug gangs and the white Mafia in the U.S. Excoriating both the American left and right for failing to deal adequately with the drug epidemic, she raises important issues that many liberals and conservatives alike prefer to ignore. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Communism as a force in history may be dead, but the conspiracy theory lives on. Ehrenfeld levitates the latest bogeyman: the international drug trade in the service of the evil Russian empire. The author claims Marxist- and Leninist-oriented regimes, in collaboration with terrorist groups, have initiated, developed, and nearly totally dominated this particularly dirty business. Ehrenfeld's thesis is based on little original research and totally on material in the public domain. More polemical than scholarly, this book should be purchased only by those librarians building exhaustive collections on the international drug trade.-- Ron Chepesiuk, Winthrop Coll. Archives, Rock Hill, S.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Ehrenfeld combines reliable data and circumstances to formulate a condemnatory thesis about the Soviet Union and several of its clientele states that sponsor and support narco-terrorism. The objectives of naroc-terrorism stressed are economic gain for political activities and the weakening of Western (particularly US) society. Using limited primary sources and an abundance of secondary sources, the author identifies Bulgaria, Cuba, Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, Syria, and Lebanese factions as major actors in these extensive worldwide activities. Other states are viewed as minor but contributory role-players. Ehrenfeld stresses that narco-terrorism is predominantly a Left (often Marxist-Leninist) undertaking, but this assertion is subject to question in view of recent activities of Lebanese factions, and of General Noriega and other right-wing groups. The other thesis that this enterprise is primarily a top-dow (governmental) choice is also disputable when examining Peru's "Shining Path" and Columbia's drug lords' patterns of choice. The former chose narcotics distinctly to finance a dissent movement and the latter went into political activities to protect their economic status. None of this evidence refutes the author's specific data or their validity, especially the Soviet Union's historical connection and the US lack of attentiveness to the foreign aspect of its drug problem. However, the contextual claims are somewhat strained. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and public library collections. -B. Schechterman, University of Miami