University of East London anthropologist Dr Mark Jamieson has been examining the uses of cocaine money by the Miskitu, an indigenous people living on Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast, showing how this trade and the money that it generates affects local lives in this remote part of Central America.
He reports stories of ordinary fishermen finding bales of cocaine at sea or acquiring them through violence or drug deals in a chapter of a new book edited by Luciano Baracco entitled ‘Indigenous Struggles for Autonomy’, just published by Lexington Books.
Dr Jamieson’s research looks at the role that cocaine money has played in the reinvention of new residence patterns and new styles of sociality and how these are transforming economics and political processes at the local level. This topic is the subject of an application for funding made to the Leverhulme Trust.
Dr Jamieson has lived on and off in Nicaragua over a period of twenty-eight years, is fluent in Miskitu and has immersed himself in the life there. He is currently engaged in the study of the social effects of the trade in narcotics on the Mosquito Coast, examining its influence on local people from early beginnings in the 1980s, when marijuana was the main item of trade, to the present, in which cocaine has come to prominence.
Dr Jamieson explained,