Kings of Cocaine Questions and Answers
by Guy Gugliotta, Jeff Leen

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What is a summary of the book Kings of Cocaine?

Kings of Cocaine tells the story of Carlos Lehder and the others involved in the formation of the Medellín Cartel, which was one of the world's largest and most lucrative drug rings. Court records, newspaper articles, and interviews tell the story of how these men brought cocaine to the world through their reign of terror and "business" acumen.

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In summary, Kings of Cocaine is about the Medellín Cartel, a Columbian drug ring that was responsible for an estimated 80% of the world's cocaine. It explains a lot about the beginning of the war on drugs and goes into great detail to explain that this operation is run with all the smoothness of any international conglomerate. This books brings together a wide variety of information sources, from court records and newspaper articles to more than 300 interviews.

The story begins in 1979, with Colombians announcing their arrival in Miami's drug supply scene with a violent shoot-out. The authors focus on the story of Carlos Lehder, who was responsible for the establishment of a worldwide system for cocaine distribution. Together with Pablo Escobar, Jose Gonzalo Rodriquez Gacha, and Jorge Luis Ochoa, Lehder made billions every year through their illegal activities, but Lehder was the only one ever to be imprisoned for his actions.

The story of these people's ascent to "power" in Columbia is peppered with tales of those who lost their lives trying to put a stop to their actions, including Colombia's justice minister and the head of the anti-narcotics unit. There prove to be a number of surprising people on the "bad" side, including the prime minister of the Bahamas at the time and Manuel Noriega, Panama's de facto leader at the time.

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