Title: The arterial border: negotiating economies of risk and violence in Mexico's security regime

Authors: Wendy Vogt

Addresses: Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Cavanaugh Hall 413D, 425 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Abstract: This article examines the material and ideological dimensions of what I conceptualise as Mexico's 'arterial border'. Since the late 1980s, transit routes in Mexico's interior have increasingly become sites of a diffused migration enforcement strategy. Based on long-term ethnographic research along Central American transit routes, I examine how the arterial border has developed historically and is experienced by migrants in local contexts. I pay particular attention to the disjuncture between violent encounters with the state and discourses of security, human rights and humanitarianism that serve to legitimise bordering practices. Such an analysis moves beyond understandings of borders as spatially fixed entities to reimagine them as constantly shifting and dynamic sites of state violence, individual agency and contestation.

Keywords: bordering practices; transit routes; state violence; security; Central American migrants; Mexico; arterial borders; risk; migration enforcement; ethnography; human rights; humanitarianism; contestation; Mexican border.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2017.10001443

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2017 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.192 - 207

Received: 05 Oct 2015
Accepted: 22 Apr 2016

Published online: 15 Mar 2017 *

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