1. Estimates of the revenues obtained by Mexican drug traffickers vary widely. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report from 2007 estimated Mexican drug-trafficking revenue at $23 billion (for details, see Manuel RoigFranzia, “Mexican Drug Cartels Move North; U.S. Effort to Battle Groups Is Flawed, GAO Report Says,” Washington Post, September 20, 2007; http://www .washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/19/AR2007091902442 .html (accessed July 18, 2008). Many estimates of the value of Mexican illegaldrug revenue exceed the estimated $30 billion budget of combined U.S. antidrug forces (for the $30 billion figure, see Decker and Chapman 2008, 2).
2. My approach differs from Terkel’s primarily in the degree to which I insert my own story into the mix and attempt to analyze and theorize my data. Terkel mainly provided a forum for the voices of his interviewees, without evaluating or commenting on them. The multiple voices presented in this book illustrate the complexity of perspectives and “truths” in the border drug war zone (DWZ).
3. Much of what is publicly known about Mexican drug trafficking is made available in the Mexican newsweekly Proceso.
4. The Juárez cartel is also known as the Carrillo Fuentes cartel. Corrupt policemen associated with this cartel are sometime referred to as La Línea (the Line). The Sinaloa cartel is also known as the Chapo Guzmán cartel or, in some cases, as Gente Nueva (the New People).
5. On the ubiquity of drug trafficking and folklore about the drug trade on the U.S.-Mexico border, see the article by Campbell (2005).
6. The drug trade is so widespread in Juárez that the discovery of a thirtyone-acre field of marijuana in the Teófilo Borunda irrigation canal, which cuts through the populous commercial heart of the city, had little local impact (Dávila 2007a, 17).
7. On the thankless, often violent, but seldom lucrative jobs performed by the mostly unskilled common workers in the drug trade, see the article by Tobar