Collusion Is a Problem: Why Writers Should Support Each Other. . .Up To A Point

Check out SHAMUS Award finalist Max Everhart’s thought-provoking post at Motive Means Opportunity!


By Max Everhart

The murder rate in El Salvador in 2009 was 71 per 100,000 people, according to the United Nations. Which means an El Salvadorian citizen had, at the time, a one in ten chance of being murdered.  Then, in 2010, something extraordinary occurred in that country which had the dubious distinction of being the most violent nation on Earth: the murder rate fell by nearly two-thirds. How did that happen, and so quickly? In a word: collusion. The two main gangs—Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha—called a truce and agreed to stop killing each other and divide up the country into territories.  They opted to collude rather than to compete, and the results, for both the gangs and the general population, were extremely positive.

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I learned about this in Narconomics, an excellent non-fiction book by Tom Wainwright.  The book is about drug cartels and how they run their…

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