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Rusty Young p3

The documentary Wildlands, a film by Colin Offland, presented by Rusty Young, about the Bolivian drug trade, the history of cocaine smuggling into the U.S. and the war on drugs..

Rusty Young is also the presenter on a documentary called Wildlands, a film by Colin Offland, which is about the Bolivian drug trade and the way Bolivia might turn into a narco-state. Bolivian coca leaves are said to be the highest grade in the world. It takes one tonne of coca leaves to make one kg of cocaine. But more coca leaf is produced now than ever. Wildlands also covers the history of cocaine smuggling into the US, and the war on drugs.
Rusty Young interviewed people like George Jung for Wildlands. He was one of the first to smuggle cocaine into the US. He was portrayed in the movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. Since the interview he had been jailed again, Mr Young said, though not because of the interview.
George Jung talks about how he started his career in smuggling narcotics by buying marijuana in Los Angeles, while he was living in Manhattan Beach. He came up with the idea of transporting it to Amherst, Massachusetts, which is a college area on the east coast of the USA, to sell at a big markup. Then he decided to start smuggling marijuana from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he could buy marijuana cheaper than in California. He ended up in a Federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, after a heroin dealer colleague was arrested and informed on him. While in Danbury he shared a cell with a Colombian. He told George Jung about cocaine and how cheap it was to buy and then smuggle into the US at a big profit. Which he proceeded to do. The cocaine was supplied by Pablo Escobar of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia. George Jung lived the high life for a while, but he ended up serving 20 years for drug smuggling. When he was released he was sent back to jail for violating parole.
Meanwhile cocaine continues to be shifted en masse across the border into the US by Mexican drug cartels, like the Guadalajara Cartel, which split into five smaller cartels. There have been 150,000 deaths on the Mexican border due to cartel activity. Not to mention the crime narcotics supports over the border and the destruction of lives of consumers.
On writing, Rusty Young said he was a big fan of simple writing. He said there was an assumption that hard to read books were more worthy, but with a simple style you could get your message across to more people. He said Marquez was a journalist before he was an author. In addition to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez, Rusty Young also liked Borges, another writer in the magical realism genre. Other favorite novels included A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Cocaine: An Unauthorised Biography by Dominic Streatfeild was a favorite non-fiction book, as was Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden.

– See the 1 hour 35 min documentary Wildlands.
– copyright Simon Sandall