In the main, studies of organized crime rely on police or judicial sources, or the accounts of retired criminals and informants. In contrast, this study is based on five years of ethnographic fieldwork with Colombian drug traffickers (traquetos) in The Netherlands and Colombia. By spending long hours in salsa bars, churches, prisons, and prostitution streets, the author has uncovered the social world of traquetos: how and why they get involved in illicit activities, the nature of their work, the manner in which they relate to one another, and lastly how they organize their businesses.
The result is a lively, theoretically grounded study that defies common clichés on `cartels' and leadership by legendary Mr Bigs. Instead, it highlights the complex, flexible, and heterogeneous nature of cocaine enterprises.
This book will not only be valued by criminologists, social scientists, drug researchers, policy makers, and organized crime scholars, but it will also be avidly read by those interested in Colombia, in the problems of Latino immigrants in Europe, and in the international cocaine business.
List of Tables and Figures. Acknowledgements. I. Introduction. II. The Domain of Cocaine Emergence, Impact and Organisation of Drug Entrepreneurs in Colombia. III. White Shipment, Sour Transactions, The Dutch Cocaine Market in European Perspective. IV. With a Cross on the Forehead, Colombian Migrants in the Netherlands. V. Crossing and Crowning, Colombian Cocaine Smugglers and Importers in the Netherlands. VI. Sly Traquetos, Safe Houses and Salsa Dealers, Colombian Cocaine Wholesalers and Retailers in the Netherlands. VII. Bad Reputations, Cocaine, Prostitution and Illegal Immigrants. VIII. Flexible Affairs, Labour and Business Relations amongst Colombian Dealers. IX. The Ambiguity of Violence, Secrecy and Trust. X. Conclusions. Appendix I: Map of Colombia. Appendix II: Cocaine relevant cases in the Netherlands. Appendix III: Overview of informants. Appendix IV: Glossary. Bibliography.