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Cover for the book Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation

Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation

Drug Trafficking and the Law in Central America Julie Marie Bunck and Michael Ross Fowler
  • Copyright: 2012
  • Dimensions: 7 x 10
  • Page Count: 448 pages
  • Illustrations:
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-04866-6
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-04867-3
“There is nothing like Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation in drug-control literature. It covers a region, Central America, that other studies deal with peripherally, if at all. It encompasses a span of time, from ca. 1980 to the present, that will command much attention. The authors make their subject a compelling story, one that is essential to an understanding of recent and contemporary Central America. Julie Bunck and Michael Fowler's exceptional study will appeal to both students and scholars in various disciplines, including history, political science, sociology, and criminal justice.”
Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation fills a glaring gap in the voluminous drug literature. It will instantly become the reference book for understanding the role of Central America in the international drug trade and the profound impact of the trade on the region’s countries. Anyone interested in drug trafficking in Central America will find this book to be essential reading. And anyone who fails to cite it when writing about drug trafficking in Central America will provoke raised eyebrows.”
“Encyclopaedic in its coverage and size, Julie Marie Bunck and Michael Ross Fowler’s book is an important and impressive examination of ‘just how drugs have moved across the region and with what consequences’ (p.8). . . .

“. . . Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation is a major accomplishment, and indeed one that I am sure will remain the authoritative source on this subject for a long time to come.”
“This well-researched book makes a praiseworthy contribution to the literature on drug trafficking in Central America. It will appeal to academics, policy-makers and students, as well as researchers and activists who are interested in international security . . . and Latin American studies.”

Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation is the first book to examine drug trafficking through Central America and the efforts of foreign and domestic law enforcement officials to counter it. Drawing on interviews, legal cases, and an array of Central American sources, Julie Bunck and Michael Fowler track the changing routes, methods, and networks involved, while comparing the evolution and consequences of the drug trade through Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama over a span of more than three decades. Bunck and Fowler argue that while certain similar factors have been present in each of the Central American states, the distinctions among these countries have been equally important in determining the speed with which extensive drug trafficking has taken hold, the manner in which it has evolved, the amounts of different drugs that have been transshipped, and the effectiveness of antidrug efforts.

Julie Marie Bunck is Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville and the author of Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba (Penn State, 1994).

Michael Ross Fowler is Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. Together with Julie Marie Bunck, he is also the author of Law, Power, and the Sovereign State: The Evolution and Application of the Concept of Sovereignty (Penn State, 1995).


List of Illustrations


List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Exploring Central American Drug Trafficking

1 Central America and the International Trade in Drugs

2 Belize

3 Costa Rica

4 Guatemala

5 Honduras

6 Panama


Table of Cases

Selected Bibliography


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