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Victor Malarek

Toronto, Macmillan, 1989. 270pp, cloth, $24.95
ISBN 0-7715-9429-1. CIP

Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up
Reviewed by E. Robson.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

Victor Malarek, a reporter for The Globe and Mail, has written a frightening account of every aspect of the illegal drug trade in Canada. Illegal drugs are available in every part of this country, which is losing the war against the ever increasing trade. Montreal alone has 15,000 junkies supplied by an Iranian network. The Golden Triangle (Thai­land, Burma and Laos) and the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran) supply "China White" or heroin using Canada as a major pipeline to the U.S. The cocaine trade is controlled by the Colombian Medellin families, while the Jamaican Posse gangs run the crack trade, mainly in low-rent housing devel­opments. The Mafia, especially the Cuntrere-Caruana family, controls Canadian heroin trafficking, and bike gangs have the corner on the LSD and chemical drug trade.

Malarek thoroughly investigated his subject, interviewing traffickers, users, and police, visiting drug labs and a crack house, and accompanying police on raids. He notes the lack of man­power, resources and equipment necessary to win the battle. Despite the few successful seizures, more drugs and dealers appear. Canada's lack of treatment centres and outreach pro­grams, combined with a lack of commit­ted political leadership, has allowed this country to become "one of the most drug oriented countries in the Western world." Although the problem will get worse in the next decade, the author hopes an effort will be made in the areas of prevention, education and treatment.

Victor Malarek has written Haven's Gate, a book on Canada's immigration policy as well as a biographical account of his youth. He takes care not to show any prejudice towards ethnic groups who happen to come from countries involved in the drug trade.

This book has many curriculum uses.

E. Robson, Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ont.
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