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San Diego County Author Examines Drug War Consequences

San Diego Author Examines Drug War Consequences


Don Winslow, author, "The Cartel"


Murders involving drug cartels in Mexico have decreased during the past few years, but the violence has not gone away.

A new novel by San Diego County author Don Winslow stands as witness to the worst part of the drug wars.

"The Cartel" is a sequel to Winslow's bestseller, "The Power of the Dog." Both books are crime thrillers, but in terms of research and scope they qualify as a quasi-history of the drug war.

"Most, not all, of the major incidents in the novel are based on real events," said Winslow, who lives near Julian.

But Winslow didn’t just tell the stories of the drug cartels — he dedicated his books to the more than 130 journalists who were killed or disappeared because of the violence in Mexico. He said the cartels not only control the drugs but want to control the narrative.

“So you had journalists out covering murders and the cartels would tell them to stop,” Winslow told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. “And some of these men and women didn’t stop, and they suffered horrific fates.”

Because of that, Winslow said he wanted to acknowledge their sacrifice.

“I’m not a journalist, I’m a novelist, and these books are definitely crime thrillers,” Winslow said. “But writers have a brotherhood and sisterhood. I felt it was important, as one writer to another, to acknowledge the sacrifices they made.”

Winslow is speaking at Warwick's at 7812 Girard Ave. on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore at 5943 Balboa Ave on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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