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Mexican mother goes on quest for vengeance against cartel in 'Fear is Just a Word'

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Friday, October 27, 2023 - 11:54am

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Headshot of Azam Ahmed and book cover for "Fear is Just a Word."
Elena Seibert/Random House
Azam Ahmed and his book.

For most of its history, San Fernando in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, was a typical, small border town. It's mostly devoted to cattle ranching. But as cartels took over the region, the town became a vital route for narcotics. And cartel violence quickly followed.

New York Times journalist Azam Ahmed's book tells the story of San Fernando and one mother there who went on a crusade to track down the men who killed her daughter in the midst of that cartel violence.

Ahmed sat down with the Show to discuss "Fear is Just a Word: A Missing Daughter, a Violent Cartel, and a Mother's Quest for Vengeance."

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