Press Release

Political Scientist to Discuss Repercussions of War on Drugs

September 8, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

Ana Arjona, Ph.D.

Ana Arjona, Ph.D., to Speak Sept. 24 at Ohio Wesleyan University

Ana Arjona, Ph.D.

DELAWARE, Ohio – Is it time for the United States to rethink its war on drugs in Latin America?

Ana Arjona, Ph.D., 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., Delaware.

“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.”

And violence is not the only problem, she adds, noting that public health and the environment are affected as well. For example, Arjona says, an herbicide used to kill drug crops also has been linked to cancer.

“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. Learn more about the International Studies Program at https://www.owu.edu/academics/departments-programs/international-studies-program/ and more about Arjona and her research at www.anamarjona.net.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.