Former cocaine addict and Blur bassist Alex James once admitted he spent over a million pounds on cocaine during the height of Blur's fame, but starting tonight on BBC America, he's hoping to educate the same generation he entertained about Columbia's top export.
Colombia now accounts for 62% of the world's cocaine production, a trade the UN estimates to be worth $70 billion worldwide and has officially replaced coffee as Colombia's top export, producing over 610 metric tons a year. In this very personal documentary, Alex travels to Colombia under invitation of the Colombian president to see first-hand what the cocaine industry is doing to the country and its people. With near-unrestricted access, Alex meets the farmers, the sellers, and the enforcers. Ironically, the only party unwilling to talk to Alex are the US agents fighting the same war he's trying to expose. In probably his most shocking discovery Smith learns that a gram of cocaine sells on the Colombian streets for just Â£1.00 and is the cause of 17,000 murders every year in Colombia, where cocaine and violence are inextricable. As Alex himself finds out: "It's a long way from a cheeky line at a dinner party. It's terrifying."
Cocaine Diaries: Alex James in Colombia premieres Wednesday, September 3rd at 9/8c.