Narcotrafficking, Statemaking and Inequality: Experiences from Mexico and Colombia


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Mexico and Colombia have been theaters of the war on drugs for half a century, yet both Latin American countries continue to be two of the largest producers of illegal drugs in the world, where many regions are hellscapes of violence, corruption and inequality. Why do governments keep insisting on a strategy that has consistently failed according to its stated aims?
In this Northwestern Buffett "Building Sustainable Futures: Global Challenges and Possibilities" webinar, historian Lina Britto and journalist Dawn Marie Paley will break down dominant myths around narcotrafficking and the war on drugs to explore how illegal drug economies and regimes of prohibition in Mexico and Colombia have been crucial aspects of statemaking; creating and maintaining multiple forms of injustice over time.
Dawn Marie Paley is a journalist and author of Drug War Capitalism (2014) and Guerra Neoliberal: desaparición y búsqueda en el norte de México (2020). She regularly collaborates with Pie de Página and La Jornada in Mexico City, and in 2018 completed a PhD in Sociology from the Autonomous University of Puebla, in Puebla, México, where she is based.
Lina Britto is associate professor of History at Northwestern University and the author of Marijuana Boom: The Rise and Fall of Colombia’s First Drug Paradise (2020). She obtained her PhD degree in History from New York University, NYU, was a faculty fellow at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University, and regularly collaborates with El Espectador (Colombia). She lives in Chicago.
This webinar is part of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs’ Building Sustainable Futures: Global Challenges and Possibilities series. This and other spring 2021 webinars focused on UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities are co-sponsored by the Northwestern University Community for Human Rights (NUCHR).

30 episode