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4 November

'Time to rethink the war on drugs' - Colombian diplomat to give public lecture at University of Dundee

One of Colombia's senior diplomats in the UK will explain why it may be time to rethink the war on drugs when she gives a public lecture at the University of Dundee this week.

Beatriz Mejia-Asserias, Minister Counsellor in the Colombian Embassy, will give the Arts and Humanities Research Institute lecture on Wednesday November 6th in the D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre.

Her talk, titled 'Time to rethink the 'war on drugs: four new ways to deal with the problem in the Americas' comes at a time when Latin American countries are re-examining how the drugs problem can be tackled.

'There is an international debate raging at the moment as the Latin American countries like Colombia and Mexico, which have been beset by massive societal problems arising from the drugs trade, look at how different policies may be used to tackle the problem,' said Dr Martin Elvins, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Dundee.

'One of the main drivers behind this is that of course it is the Latin American countries which are drastically affected by a trade where the demand does not lie in their own countries, but largely in North America and Europe.

'These are countries which have been ravaged by this trade for decades and are now looking at how they can approach it in different ways. This talk will be a fascinating insight into an international debate that will have major repercussions in years to come.'

While she is at the University Ms Asserias will also speak to final-year undergraduate students on 'The Global Politics of Illegal Drugs' module taught by Dr Elvins. She will also meet other academic staff from across the University to discuss current and potential future partnerships with Colombia.

The AHRI Lecture takes place at 6pm on Wednesday in the D'Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, University of Dundee.

The event is open to the public and is free to attend.

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