He speaks ahead of tonight's TV documentary...
Scott Colothan

14:29 28th January 2008

Blur’s Alex James has called the cocaine trade in Columbia “a relentless trail of death” after filming a documentary in the South American country.

James features on tonight’s special edition of Panorama, screened on BBC1 at 8.30pm, where he looks into the underbelly of the lucrative trade in the country.

80% of the world’s cocaine is estimated to come from the country, and James admitted that his experiences weren’t pretty.

He tells Newsbeat: "It's a war, that's what you're covering. The cash generated by coke basically has been funding a civil war that's been raging for decades.

"It's a relentless trail of death, it's just not stopping and it did start to wear me down."

Since leaving the country, two of the people who James interviewed on the documentary have lost their lives.

The bassist continued that he hopes his investigation will in some way educate people and make them think about the consequences buying drugs has.

He says: All you can do is just show people what's happening there. There's no point in moralising about it. It's part of an education process that's going to take years."

"(Cocaine taking) is implicit in a celebrity rock and roll lifestyle. It's kind of almost acceptable. It's seen as a victimless crime I suppose taking drugs, but if you follow the trail of dots back to Colombia it's pretty horrible."

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

Photo: wenn