Middle-class tourists fail to see the connection between their recreational drug use and the violence that’s scarred Latin America
As I read the comments by the London mayor Sadiq Khan on middle-class cocaine users fuelling violence in the capital last week, I was boarding a flight to Medellín, in Colombia. On Tuesday, Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan police commissioner, followed up, calling liberal cocaine users hypocrites. Reading about this debate in a notorious cartel city, I agreed largely with Khan and Dick. But I couldn’t help but think about how much further than London the consequences reach.
As a journalist I’ve covered issues to do with youth violence in our capital, and I have also found myself around the middle classes of which Khan speaks. The links are blindingly obvious. In areas of west London, for example, where extreme wealth is juxtaposed with tower blocks and estates, it’s not surprising to see how some young people from poorer communities are seduced by the lifestyles they can see within reach.