Is it time for the United States to rethink its war on drugs in Latin America?
Ana Arjona, assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University, will discuss “Opposition to the War on Drugs: A Widespread Movement?” at 4:10 p.m. Sept. 24 in Benes Rooms A and B of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave.
“Many leaders in Washington, D.C., seem to believe that reconsidering the war on drugs is not a strategic priority,” Arjona writes in a recent article on medium.com. “But they may be taken by surprise: opposition to the war on drugs has all the necessary ingredients to awaken massive opposition in Latin America, multiplying anti-American sentiments and further complicating U.S. relations with its nearest neighbors.”
The war, Arjona states, hasn’t ended the pervasiveness of drugs – but merely pushed traffickers into new areas, spreading the devastating violence associated with their activities.
“When traffickers expand to a new country, they simply transform it,” she states. “Violence rises to levels only comparable to those of civil wars.”
“The war on drugs is a human rights issue, a political issue, an economic issue, a social issue, and an environmental issue,” she says, cautioning that the well-intentioned war could lead to massive anti-American sentiment in the western hemisphere.
Arjona earned her doctorate in political science from Yale University. Her academic interests include political violence and conflict, the foundations of political order, and the links between crime and politics. Her current research involves the causes and consequences of institutional change and individual agency in contexts of violence.
Her Ohio Wesleyan presentation is sponsored by the OWU International Studies Program.