By Chris Nashawaty
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:43 AM EDT
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Down by the River

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If you’re one of those people who found Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic to be a tad too fatalistic, by all means steer clear of Down by the River. But if it’s the ugly truth about the war on drugs you’re after, you won’t find a better — and better written — piece of reporting. Bowden uses the shadowy death of a young man in the border town of El Paso as the springboard for his haunting investigation into the billion-dollar dope business thriving on both sides of the Rio Grande. Full of sick ironies, stranger-than-fiction anecdotes, and beautifully bareknuckle prose, Down by the River is a tragic account of corruption and collusion writ large — one that should make the DEA and Mexican authorities squirm, and American taxpayers outraged. To quote one of his many sources: ”The war [on drugs] is over. You lost.”

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Down by the River

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