Columbia, Cocaine, and Death Squads


Manage episode 294510851 series 2828920
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Join host Piers Kaniuka and Dr. Oliver Villar as they discuss the political economy of the Columbian cocaine trade in Episode 30. Recorded on May 20, 2021.

Oliver was born in Mendoza, Argentina and has lived in Sydney for most of his life. In 2008 he completed his PhD on the political economy of contemporary Columbia in the context of the cocaine drug trade at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), offering a radical critique of the ‘war on drugs’, the ‘war on terrorism’ and the global drug trade. Ten years of research culminated in his and Drew Cottle's 2011 book, 'Cocaine, Death Squads and the War on Terror: US Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia', published in the prestigious Monthly Review (Albert Einstein wrote its first lead article, 'Why Socialism?', in 1949). 'Cocaine, Death Squads and the War on Terror' details the complex nature of Colombian society and fostered recognition that the drug trade was a driver in global politics, and of the US's foreign policy with respect to drug-producing zones. 'Cocaine, Death Squads and the War on Terror' has impacted politics, culture and society, bringing the link between the global drug trade and the legitimate global economy to light. Following the book's release, it has been used by experts, journalists and community groups to critique the financial system, the war on drugs, the war on terror and US policy towards Colombia. You can learn more by visiting, or buy his book at

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