Eclipse of the Assassins investigates the sensational 1984 murder of Mexico's most influential newspaper columnist, Manuel Buendia, and how that crime reveals the lethal hand of the U.S. government in Mexico and Central America during the final decades of the twentieth century. The authors uncover new information about the U.S.-instigated "dirty wars" that ravaged all of Latin America in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s and reveal-for the first time-how Mexican officials colluded with Washington in its proxy Contra war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. They document the deadly connections among historical events usually remembered as separate episodes: the Iran-Contra scandal; the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Enrique (Kiki) Camarena in Guadalajara; Operation Trifecta, a major DEA sting against key CIA-linked Bolivian, Panamanian, and Mexican drug traffickers; the Christic Institute's public interest lawsuit against twenty-eight Contra-related defendants on behalf of American freelance journalists Tony Avirgon and Martha Honey; and the CIA-orchestrated media savaging of investigative reporter Gary Webb for his 1996 expose of Agency collusion with cocaine-trafficking Contra supporters in California. Eclipse of the Assassins places a major political crime in its full historical perspective. It is the first book in English to recount the history of Cold War political violence in Mexico and to show how that history-in the post-Cold War era-segues into the current crime-driven state of societal collapse where growing areas of Mexico's national territory are beyond the effective authority of the national government.