Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade

Category: Book
By (author): Glendinning, Chellis
Subject:  HISTORY / Latin America / General
  HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Published: February 2005
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 8.50in x 5.50in x 0.60in
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$ 21.95
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

"Chiva" is street slang for heroin - and heroin is a hot topic.

Its use as a narcotic is on a precipitous rise. Worldwide heroin production has doubled in the last decade, and the United Nations estimates more than fifteen million users are addicted - up to three million in the United States. It's big business, too, with yearly global sales of 0 billion - up to billion in the U.S. Enmeshed with terrorism, crime, government collaboration, corporate globalization, and the spread of HIV, the opiate trade is inextricably entangled with the functioning of global society. Finally, heroin is controversial because of the on-going debates about solutions to the health, social and economic havoc it creates.

Chiva uses creative nonfiction to merge the global epic of heroin trafficking with the human-scale story of its presence in the small desert town that boasts the most per-capita overdose deaths in the U.S. The book interweaves three themes:

  • The true tale of ChimayĆ³, New Mexico, terrorized by its heroin dealers since the 1970s until, in the late '90s, its citizens rose up to challenge the epidemic in their midst.
  • The story of the author's relationship with a local dealer, and his involvement with addiction, crime, love, recovery and the judicial system.
  • The political context behind these stories: the global workings of the heroin production business.

Compelling, disturbing, yet hopeful, Chiva is both personal and political, revealing the relationship between colonization and drug abuse, and the importance of reclaiming sustainable culture as a key to recovery.

Biographical NoteChellis Glendinning, Ph.D, is a psychologist, writer and lecturer. An award-winning activist and writer, she is the author of four previous books, including Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy (New Society, 2002) which won the National Federation of Press Women 2000 book award for general nonfiction; My Name is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization (Shambhala, 1994), and When Technology Wounds: The Human Costs of Progress (William Morrow, 1990). He lives in ChimayĆ³, New Mexico.