On Episode 396 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we get to discuss the disease of leishmaniasis in the context of the Colombian armed conflict and post conflict period with post doctoral fellow Lina Beatriz Pinto-Garcia.
Pinto Garcia's ethnographic monograph explores how the Colombian armed conflict and a vector-borne disease called cutaneous leishmaniasis are inextricably connected and mutually constitutive.
The stigmatization of the illness as “the guerrilla disease” or the "subversive disease," is reinforced by the state’s restriction on access to antileishmanial medicines, a measure that is commonly interpreted as a warfare strategy to affect insurgent groups.
Situated at the intersection between STS (Science and Technology Studies) and critical medical anthropology, her work draws on multi-sited field research conducted during the peace implementation period after the agreement reached by the Colombian government and FARC, the oldest and largest guerrilla organization in Latin America.
It engages not only with the stigmatization of leishmaniasis patients as guerrilla members and the exclusionary access to antileishmanial drugs but also with other closely related aspects that constitute the war-shaped experience of leishmaniasis in Colombia.
This work illuminates how leishmaniasis has been socially, discursively, and materially constructed as a disease of the war, and how the armed conflict is entangled with the realm of public health, medicine, and especially pharmaceutical drugs.
The problems associated with coca cultivation and leishmaniasis cannot be dissociated from cross-border events such as forced disappearance and the massive migration of Venezuelans who arrive in Colombia looking for survival alternatives, including coca production.
Tune in and hear about the Diseased Landscapes project
Direct download: RCC_396.mp3
-- posted at: 10:30am EDT