Monday, September 10, 2012

Using Fiction to Address the Mexican Drug Cartel

David J. Holleman’s Blue Baja chronicles the tale of a ruthless Mexican drug cartel, led by Luis Huerta, a man whose rise to power and enforced control is paved with many bodies, brutality, and complete disregard for human life.  Holleman artfully uses fiction to address the violent and disturbing headlines with which we are commonly confronted as the drug wars in Mexico rage on.

When Luis decides to make his mark and take over the drug cartel in Tijuana, he and his henchmen use unparalleled and shocking violence to exert their control, leaving headless bodies in their wake.  The cartel tips off the police to the murders, which is picked up by the newspapers, sending a message to any would-be usurpers that Huerta is not to be tangled with; “No one had seen anything like this before over drugs.  The pictures rivaled something out of World War II, and the world could only express shock and dismay.”

As Huerta continues to enforce his power, he sends disturbing messages not only to those who challenge him for power, but also to any law enforcement officials who attempt to build a case against him or do not accept his bribery.  Throughout Blue Baja, Huerta and his men go to extreme lengths to ascertain that they remain in absolute and unchallenged power, disregarding the lives and humanity of innocent women, children, and anyone else who gets caught in their destructive mess.

Tensions mount as the Mexican Drug War escalates, reaching unprecedented levels of violence. Indeed, Blue Baja is an incredibly timely work, giving readers a fictional representation of similar events that have been splashed across news headlines.  Holleman’s depiction of Huerta and his men is deeply unsettling, raising awareness about the tragic events that are occurring just beyond the border and the human lives that have been irrevocably damaged and taken by the avarice and cruelty of Huerta’s real-life counterparts.

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David J. Holleman

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