Assessing the potential of civil organizations within regions affected by organized crime

Assessing the potential of civil organizations within regions affected by organized crime
15 November 2018, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

This session’s presentations are part of the University of Aberdeen and El Colegio de Michoacán ESRC-funded project ‘Assesing the Potential for Civil Organisations within Regions Affected by Criminal Violence to Hold State Institutions to the Goals of Human Rights-Based Development’.

“Un hombre es para lo que se ocupa”: Civilian Responses to the Security Crisis in Mexico

Dr Irene Álvarez, University of Aberdeen, COLMICH and CIDE
I am interested in exploring the effects of criminal violence, performed by illicit private companies and agents of the State, in the context of the War on Drugs, among rural populations of Western Mexico. The activities of organized crime—this understood as a set of relations between private and public actors—against citizens impacted the social organisation of sexuality and family, threatening moral values linked to a hegemonic masculinity. Therefore, I argue that in some cases, the civilian response to criminal violence can be understood as an attempt to restore a patriarchal moral order.

The Mexican Avocado Agribusiness and the Fragmentation of Sovereignty: A Case Study in Michoacán

Dr Denisse Román Burgos, University of Aberdeen, COLMICH and CIDE
On November 16th, a group of agribusiness men from the municipality of Tancítaro, Michoacán (in southwestern Mexico), started an armed uprising with the help of the vigilante groups from that same state. The aim of the uprising was to expel the Templar Knights Cartel, a local drug cartel that had managed to seize control of the production and circulation of avocado. After the events, vigilante groups were established in Tancítaro. These groups set up network of checkpoints around the municipal borders and at the entrance of each of its towns. How can the overlapping of a growing agribusiness with the presence of local vigilante groups be characterized? What does this overlapping mean in terms of sovereignty? Drawing on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork, the aim of this paper is to analyze the formation of what I call the “agro-industrial enclave” and its implications for state sovereignty.

All are welcome. Attendance is free.

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Olga Jimenez
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