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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Political discourses on war at the US-Mexico border have material and performative consequences that produce social suffering among migrants. Stated as public policies, the declarations of war against drugs, immigration, and terrorism have legitimized violence at the border, which is carried out by security forces, state institutions, pressure groups, and organized crime. This chapter highlights a) the processes of structuring violence through immigration policy and border control in the southwestern US border, b) the forms of institutional violence carried out against migrants by the agencies of border surveillance and immigration control, and c) some of the effects of the so-called “war against drugs” on the proliferation of criminal violence in northern Mexico, particularly the formation of chains of violence and exploitation against migrants.

Keywords: structural violence, institutional violence, gender violence, criminal organizations, Border Patrol, kidnapping, extortion

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