In Mexico, you can make more ransom money taking part in the country's estimated 100,000 annual kidnappings than you can selling narcotics, according to a professional cartel kidnapper who spoke to the BBC in an insanely open interview.
The kidnapper, whose name and face were not revealed on camera, paints a picture of a tortured cycle in which young men like himself who "look normal," but are "sick in the head," embrace a business that's addicting, but ultimately leaves their lives "f---ed."
Let's start with the way that the man describes life in the cartel amongst other cartel members, where a reputation as a psycho goes a long way, apparently.
"I make sure I get the really bad guys on side. That I get along with the worst, hardest guys of all. I don't start fights, but if one happens I make the most of it. I let the other guys see me bite a man's face so hard I take a chunk out of it...," he said.
"We live with each other. Buy clothes for each other. And if you f--k with us we have someone earning over a million dollars a month watching our backs, and he looks after us like we're his children. But we do kill each other a lot. It's normal man. "
Then he described his technique for actually dealing with someone that he has abducted. Often, he says, he can find them by kidnapping their girlfriend first and threatening to burn her with boiling water in order to destroy her good looks.
"There are lots of different ways of kidnapping someone. Generally I'll stare at the victim. Let them see my eyes. They start crying and I say 'calm down, bro.' We're going to do this the civilized way. I don't want to traumatize you. I'm interested in money, that's all."
However if the man suspects that the victim's family is cooperating with the police, things take a much darker turn.
"I tell them listen bro, I'm not going to mutilate him, not unless you're f---ing this up. But if I suspect you're f---ing with me, then I'm going to start pulling his limbs off. And if the family is really making problems, sometimes it's easier just to kill the guy."
At the end of the day, though, it's about the money, according to the kidnapper, who says that the life leaves him rich, but not necessarily happy.
"Kidnapping someone in Mexico is very easy, and it's a faster way of getting cash than drugs. You can earn anything up to $2 million. It's like being a rock star—you get anything you want—-so it's very hard to give up. But at the same time there's always a sadness in me and the two things together drive me crazy."
Mexican drug cartels have been getting some high profile attention over the past year, especially with the recapture of "El Chapo" Guzman and the circus that was Sean Penn's interview of the drug lord. Not long after that, El Chapo's wife gave her first interview ever.
The BBC interview above, which is definitely worth a watch all the way through, is a rare get, although if you want more of this type of thing you'll probably want to check out Cartel Land, the Oscar-nominated documentary that lost out to Amy at the awards show, but is streaming on Netflix right now.