Marieke Liem in The Economist on drug-related murders in Europe
Marieke Liem, professor at ISGA, discusses how the number of drug-related murders has not decreased in the last years
With the emergence of the pandemic, one might expect party drugs use to decrease. However, consumption has moved from the club to the living room instead. The most widely used recreational drug remains cannabis, which has relatively few harmful effects. However, the second place is inhabited by cocaine. Its use is still growing, and it is this drug that is most likely to send users to the hospital. With cocaine comes the growth of international networks, as the drug has to be imported.
Such groups, such as the Mocro Mafia in the Netherlands, and gangs such as Death Patrol in Sweden are behind some of Europe’s most appalling violence. Examples include beatings, the use of hand grenades, and street battles. Deaths and murders are also part of this culture. In general, drug-related murders are low in numbers. However, the number has not declined in recent years. This is in contrast to the the total number of murders in Europe that has fallen sharply over the past two decades, explains Liem.
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Marieke Liem is professor of Violence and Interventions at Leiden University, where she and her team coordinate the European Homicide Monitor. Her research interests involve interpersonal violence, with specific research projects on domestic homicide (including intimate partner homicide), homicide by the mentally ill, homicide followed by suicide, the effects of confinement on violent offenders, and international comparative research on lethal violence.