Secrets of the hidden world of drug trafficking unveiled

Posted by ap507 at Jul 01, 2014 11:39 AM |
Dr Jennifer Fleetwood explores motivations of women working as drug mules

Drawing on extensive research in prisons in Ecuador, Dr Jennifer Fleetwood from the University’s Department of Criminology has published a new book in which she investigates how women become involved in drug trafficking and what they do once they’re involved.

The book, Drug mules: Women in the international cocaine trade published through Palgrave MacMillan, provides a clearer understanding of drug trafficking beyond stock assumptions about evil traffickers and exploited mules.

Her findings suggest that after getting involved as a drug mule it becomes virtually impossible to back out. Organisers use the cost of a mule’s travel as a way to indebt them and compel mules to carry drugs. Violent threats against family are also made.

The study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and seeks to challenge widespread misunderstandings about drug mules – in academia, by policy makers and the public. In particular, it offers an in depth understanding of the hidden world of drug trafficking, and how drugs are trafficked by mules. 

The book can be ordered from the University of Leicester’s bookshop here.

 Chapter 1 can be read for free here.