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Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! The deadliest Glasgow gang war of a generation - the Daniel family versus the Lyons - was sparked by an opportunistic cocaine theft from a house party which unleashed a decade of murderous violence.
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Devastation ensued Homes were firebombed while children slept; families were ripped apart and witnesses forced into protection. Michael Lyons, 21, was slaughtered when a crime summit at a north Glasgow garage turned into a triple shooting bloodbath, and Daniel lieutenant Kevin 'The Gerbil' Carroll, 29, had 10 shots pumped into him outside a suburban Asda supermarket in broad daylight as shoppers fl ed in terror.
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The desecration of the grave of eight-year-old cancer victim Garry Lyons marked a sickening low. Caught in the crossfire were a band of parents in Milton, Glasgow, who made a brave stand against their community centre being used as a gang hut by the Lyons. Against the odds, they won their six-year battle against routine violence and intimidation and at the same time exposed a shocking and murky nexus between police officers, politicians and the underworld. This is the explosive story of what happened as the Daniel - Lyons feud spiralled out of control and engulfed a whole community.
In Latin America it is not about rehab and criminality, it is about an existential threat to the state. We have seen that prohibitionism and the war against drugs have not given the results hoped for.
Quite the opposite. The cartels have grown in strength, the flow of arms towards Central America from the north has grown and the deaths in our country have grown. This has forced us to search for a more appropriate response. The situation in Guatemala has become more serious as Mexican cartels — taking refuge from an attempt to militarily defeat them — have inserted themselves into Guatemala and sought to control the trafficking routes through that country. And with the cartels come other nightmares: kidnapping, extortion, contract killers and people trafficking.
We are talking about the security forces, public prosecutors, judges. Drug money has penetrated these institutions and it is an activity that directly threatens the institutions and the democracy of countries. This is the issue that increasingly animates Latin leaders.
While their countries battle to survive the political and institutional fallout of the war on drugs, the leaders of the consuming countries in the west remain disengaged from this aspect of the debate.
I believe, ultimately, this is due to a lack of understanding on the part of western countries. They must think not only of their country, but rather of the context of what is happening in the world, in regions such as Central America, where this destruction, this weakening of democracy, is happening. They must be open to recognising that the struggle against drugs, in the way it has been conducted, has failed.
That is a fact, a fact that can be analysed after 40 years. Not full legalisation, but a controlled, regulated market for the production, distribution and sale of narcotics. The prohibition of drugs, from a Latin and Central America perspective, is becoming more difficult to accept. Not just because of the economic, political and civic cost to those countries but because of the increasing paradox which recent events in the US highlight.
The federal government has indicated that it will not seek to overturn the will of the people in those two states. And yet America still helps to fund the Mexican government's attempts to eradicate cannabis plantations and seize shipments en route to the US. As one former Mexican foreign minister said recently, "Why are we busting trucks of marijuana in Mexico when they are selling it There is no logic to it.
The signs though are not encouraging.
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Caught in the crossfire : Scotland's deadliest drugs war by Russell Findlay. Print book. Caught in the crossfire : Scotland's deadliest drug war by Russell Findlay.