The World Seen Through The White Powder


If you‘re in search for a motivation speech, take a look at Roberto Silviano‘s ZeroZeroZero. The first chapter will give you a lesson of how to engage your team to become the men of honour and respect the rules of your Honorable Society. Only to repeat this incredible performance you‘re going to need an extra key thing: the cocaine. Because „without cocaine, you are nothing. With cocaine you can be whoever you want.

ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Silviano, the author of the sensational Gomorrah disclosing the Neapolitan Camorra mob, continues his research worldwide. The current book is not a novel: it is a thorough research of narcobusiness from Mexico and Columbia to Italy and Russia. Mafia bosses, ruthless drug cartels and their fights, brokers and dirty money laundering in famous world banks, drug routes and transportation schemes – all this and a lot more form an advanced course book on the most dynamic, constantly innovative and devoted to free market business – the business of cocaine. Think for yourselves: if in the beginning of 2012 you had invested one thousand euro into the Apple shares, now you‘d have gained one thousand six hundred seventy euros. Not bad, isnt it? However, if you had invested one thousand euros into cocaine, now you‘d have come up with the return of one hundred eighty-two thousands. Feel the difference?

Three zeros is the marking for the flour of the highest quality. The same marking belongs to the purest coke. Though the statistics portraits that the one distributed worldwide hardly ever exceeds 50 percent of purity. The average in Europe reaches 25 to 43 percent but there are place is Paris where the principal active ingredient makes only 5 percent and in Italy some of the pushers sell coke almost without any of it. As they say, „the crack is the dream of the trafficker and the nightmare of the drug addict.“

Even five pages are dedicated just to the different nicknames of the coke listed in an alphabetic order. Aspirin, Big Bloke, Carrie, Diablo, Monster, Florida Snow, Granita, Happy Dust, Monster, Paco, Snow, Tierra, White Dragon and many more. „But you can name it as you like, it always responds to your call.

Therefore, the world is an ongoing battle for the power and money that this white powder can deliver. The chapters of the book drown in blood of a brutal hotchpoch made of shootings, strangling, body mutilations, decapitations, rapes and mass massacres. Jumping from 1970s to 2012 and back Roberto Silviano follows the trails in Mexico and Columbia of the famous bosses such as Pablo Escobar, El Padrino or El Chapo and the wars of the drug cartels such as the cartel of Golf, Cali, Medellín, Los Zetas or the Kaibiles.

Their ferocity is evolving and difficult to perceive, as „the ferocity is taught, the ferocity is learned. The ferocity is something that is passed from master to his student.“ Thus there are cities in Mexico where corpses cut to pieces and thrown into plastic bags form the daily routine and there are cases in Columbia where the whole villages were ruthlessly murdered, including infants and women, just to take revenge. Only in 2012, from January 1 to October 31, there were 10.485 dead in Mexico. During six years of the drug war thirty-one Mexican mayors were murdered, thirteen of them only in 2010. We probably see only numbers and statistics, however Roberto Saviano sees blood and money.

Actually such quantities of money that nobody counts but weighs. „If you count money, you don‘t have them or you don‘t have them enough. Only if you are able to weigh them, this time you can be sure of your own weight.“ And this money is everywhere, circulating in the world-known banks, establishing new trade companies, bribing politicians and buying mass media for even journalists „start with the wish to change the world and finish with the wish to become directors.“ Because those who tell the inconvenient truth, die.

Living with twenty-four hour police protection, the author acknowledges that he became a monster. The one to whom loyalty and trust have become strange and suspicious words. But he continues researching and writing for he believes that „only those who know these stories can defend themselves from these stories.“

Probably reading Saviano in original Italian language has strengthened the effect that ZeroZeroZero implies and has proven its authenticity. Though I‘m not sure whether the facts unfolded in the book all are verified and trustworthy. The author is obsessed with the topic and combating this white power of the world has turned him into the addict. Writing is his own cocaine. „Look at the cocaine, you‘ll see the powder. Look through the cocaine, you‘ll see the world“ , states Roberto Saviano. If he‘s right, the next coke user might be any of us...

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