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Every year Latin America women are imprisoned in British jails for smuggling drugs. They face long sentences, in spite of only resorting to drug smuggling as a desperate attempt to escape poverty. Most are fearful of powerful drug barons or reprisals if they refuse, and are ignorant of the consequences of their actions. In prison, loneliness and worry about families’ back home are the norm. The article ends with the bleak observation by one woman that locking up vulnerable trafficked women solves nothing. As long as the demand for cocaine remains in Europe and America, women will continued to be exploited.

This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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