Academics, Campus Life, News

Mexican journalist shares perspective on Latin American drug wars

Students and faculty members alike gathered Thursday night at the College of Arts and Sciences Gallery across Pavia Garage to learn about the drug wars in Latin America.

Award-winning journalist Alma Guillermoprieto, who has extensively reported on the subject for publications such as the New Yorker and New York Review of Books, shared her conclusions about the paradox on the “War on Drugs.” The Center for the Humanities invited Guillermoprieto as part of the 2014 Stanford Distinguished Professors Series.

The paradox is that efforts to eliminate the drug wars have only led to an expansion of the drug cartels. She used maps throughout the presentation to demonstrate the expansion, beginning in Mexico and ending with an image of the entire world.

Guillermoprieto also provided a context to consider Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera, who is usually referred to by his nickname “El Chapo Guzman” (which translates in English to “Shorty Guzman”).

The 64-year-old reporter talked about the relationship between Guzman’s origins in Sinaloa, Mexico and the “worldwide problem” of the drug trade today. She showed that Guzman was responsible for trafficking drugs to areas as far as Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.

“The drug trade is like the AIDS virus,” Guillermoprieto said.

Most of her reporting is based on “hearsay,” given that many Latin American state and law enforcement officials may be corrupted by the drug trade, affecting the validity of what they say.

Anne Cruz, a Spanish professor, nominated Guillermoprieto to the Stanford Professors Series. Cruz considers Guillermprieto “one of the true Latin American intellectuals.”

“As a journalist, she has made fact-finding one of her goals,” Cruz said. “But what she does with the information she gathers becomes, in her hands, a deeply philosophical view of the past and current crises that these countries seem always to be confronting.”

Students like sophomore Rachel Berquist did not expect how Guillermoprieto’s speech would unravel. Though she initially came to earn extra credit for her Spanish class, she felt that the lecture changed her outlook on Latin America.

“There’s another side to the story,” Berquist said. “I did not know much before.”

Guillermoprieto ended the lecture with the image of tennis shoes. In Mexico, having a pair of tennis shoes signals upward mobility. She wonders whether Guzman will only be left with a pair of tennis shoes, despite having been known as one of the richest men in Mexico.

For more information on future events hosted by the Center for the Humanities, visit humanities.miami.edu/calendar.

The Miami Hurricane also sat down with Guillermoprieto Thursday morning. Click here for the Q&A.

March 21, 2014

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Even after snagging Ohio State transfer Tate Martell, UM has remained highly aggressive in its pursu ...

As the NFL’s conference finals were unfolding Sunday, Manny Diaz – the UM coach who doubles as a soc ...

The University of Miami womens’ basketball team made sure North Carolina fans didn’t get to celebrat ...

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

The Miami women's basketball team will play its highest-ranked opponent of the season thus far ...

Beatrice Mompremier of the Miami women's basketball team was named the ACC Player of the Week, ...

The Miami women's basketball team defeated North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year with ...

Former University of Miami soccer standout Phallon Tullis-Joyce has officially signed a professional ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team improved to 3-0 on the season following a 6-1 triumph ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.