History •  Latin America and Women

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Women Drug Traffickers: Mules, Bosses, and Organized Crime

Elaine Carey

2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

In the flow of drugs to the United States from Latin America, women have always played key roles as bosses, business partners, money launderers, confidantes, and couriers—work rarely acknowledged. Elaine Carey’s study of women in the drug trade offers a new understanding of this intriguing subject, from women drug smugglers in the early twentieth century to the cartel queens who make news today. Using international diplomatic documents, trial transcripts, medical and public welfare studies, correspondence between drug czars, and prison and hospital records, the author’s research shows that history can be as gripping as a thriller.


Elaine Carey chairs the Department of History at St. John’s University in New York City. She is also the author of Plaza of Sacrifices: Gender, Power, and Terror in 1968 Mexico (UNM Press).


“A fascinating book that examines the international drug trade and the central roles played by women in the business.”



“Well organized, well researched, and very revealing.”


Hispanic American Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 312 pages 22 halftones