Powderburns : cocaine, Contras & the drug war


Powderburns : cocaine, Contras & the drug war


By Celerino Castillo III and Dave Harmon.


Document Type



The truth about the remaining dark secret of the Iran-Contra scandal- the United States government's collaboration with drug smugglers. Powderburns is the story of Celerino Castillo III who spent 12 years in the Drug Enforcement Administration. During that time, he built cases against organized drug rings in Manhattan, raided jungle cocaine labs in the Amazon, conducted aerial eradication operations in Guatemala, and assembled and trained anti-narcotics units in several countries. The eerie climax of Agent Castillo's career with the DEA took place in El Salvador. One day, he recieved a cable from a fellow agent. He was told to investigate possible drug smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras operating from the ilpango air force base. Castillo quickly discovered that Contra pilots were, indeed, smuggling narcotics back into the United States - using the same pilots, planes, and hangars that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, under the Direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North, used to maintain their covert supply operation to the Contras.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Castillo III, Celerino, Powderburns: cocaine, Contras & the drug war. Oakville, Ont. Buffalo : Sundial, Mosaic Press, c1994.


Copyright: Sundial, Mosaic Press, c1994.

Powderburns : cocaine, Contras & the drug war