Frontline Club - Death Squads and Diplomacy: Drug War in The Philippines

Smith, T. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Description of Activity

After a campaign that promised to cleanse the country of drug crime, the new President of the Philippines Rodriguo Duterte has launched a brutal and unrelenting mission to expunge drug dealers from the country. Since he took office in July 2016, there have been nearly 4,000 extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users at the hands of police and vigilantes. Among the victims are young children and bystanders, whom the president has publicly referred to as ‘collateral damage’.

At the same time, the controversial leader has shaken up the country’s diplomatic ties, calling for a split from the United States and turning toward China as a new ally. This move presents an obstacle to the United States’ efforts in the South China Sea, unsettling its position as the dominant power in the Pacific.

Will president Duterte be held accountable for the mass killings taking place in the Philippines? How did the disturbing violence currently sweeping the country begin, and what does it teach us about impunity, power and the spread of violence?
Period18 Jan 2017
Held atFrontline Club, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational