Narcos and the Spectacle of Violence

October 8, 2015

Lizardo Herrera, Whittier College facultyAssistant Professor of Spanish Lizardo Herrera was featured in Ecuador’s national newspaper Plan V, for his expertise on globalization and violence in contemporary narrative, film, and cultural production in Latin America. In his article titled “Narcos, o el espectáculo de la violencia,” Herrera focuses on Narcoculture and the depictions of drug traffickers in the hit Netflix series Narcos.

Herrera, who is currently teaching the class "Narco Cultures & Literature" offers an in-depth analysis of the television series based on notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar that is narrated by DEA agent (Drug Enforcement Administrator), Steve Murphy. “According to the geopolitical design of Narcos, "good guys" deserve protection, while the “bad” guys are described as being irrational individuals fascinated with violence," said Herrera in his article.

Herrera argues that the causes of violence in Narcos are reduced to a matter of personal choice or individual psychology, and in this way, the historical and structural problems behind the prohibition, the war against drugs, and drug trafficking remain unresolved globally.

Herrera is active in conferences and presents on Spanish Literature in the United States as well as in Ecuador. He was awarded the Cultural Studies Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh for Cultural Studies. Herrera is currently an associated writer and collaborator at Plan V and has contributed to Ocho y Medio in Ecuador.

Read more in Plan V (article is in Spanish.)