Mexico, April 2009. The bodies of pair of undercover military intelligence agents, disguised as campesinos (farmers), are dumped by the side of the road. Beside the corpses is a message on a scrap of paper: "You'll never get El Chapo."
Authorities did - but only after the largest manhunt in history (and the help of Sean Penn).
Now, the world's most wanted drug lord, who in 2015 escaped prison by riding motorbikes over metal rails through a 1.5km tunnel dug in the showers and was named the 14th richest man in the world by Forbes, is awaiting trial in the US, and the subject of a smash Netflix series.
This is the inside story of a man behind it all, a man who is still hailed as a folk hero despite having bribed or killed politicians, police and soldiers with impunity, and exported over 500 tonnes of cocaine to America alone. Through reportage and interviews with rival narcos, police and DEA sources, The Last Narco masterfully reveals a brutal war between the cartels, staggering state corruption, and the struggle to bring one man to justice.
Malcolm Beith is a writer based in Mexico City, covering the drug war for Newsweek. Between 2007 and 2009, he was the Mexico editor of The News, Mexico's national English-language daily. Prior to moving to Mexico in 2007 he was an editor at Newsweek International, based in New York, and reported regularly from conflict zones in Iraq, Haiti and Colombia.