by Dawn Paley - £13.00 AK Press (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781849351935 | ISBN 10: 1849351937
The drug war is less about cocaine or marijuana than it is about social, economic, and territorial control. In Drug War Capitalism, Dawn Paley lays bare the mechanisms through which state and corporate interests are advanced under the pretext of fighting drugs in Latin America. North of the Rio Grande, bank accounts and prison cells are filled to bursting, and billions are made in the arms trade. But the focus here is on the south, where territory is cleared for foreign direct investment and the extractive industries through policy changes linked to the drug war, and an accompanying mix of militarisation and paramilitarisation. The violence and forced displacement that results s experienced most acutely by poor and working people and migrants, commonly in resource rich or geographically strategic areas.
Combining on-the-ground reporting with extensive research, Paley moves beyond the usual journalistic hand-wringing to show that there is no longer a clear distinction between drug cartels, the state forces supposedly fighting them, and the expansion of transnational capital. Her insights are necessary to any serious discussion of drug war policy, and indispensable to understanding the evolving architecture of social control in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2015)
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In booklists: Capitalism, Corporate Power & Globalisation, Latin America, Drugs - History & Culture, In categories: Anti-Capitalism & Global Inequality, World - Latin America & Caribbean, History & Biography, Health & Wellbeing, Media & Culture,