1st Edition

Beyond the Drug War in Mexico Human rights, the public sphere and justice

Edited By Wil G. Pansters, Benjamin T. Smith, Peter Watt Copyright 2018
    212 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume aims to go beyond the study of developments within Mexico’s criminal world and their relationship with the state and law enforcement. It focuses instead on the nature and consequences of what we call the ‘totalization of the drug war’, and its projection on other domains which are key to understanding the nature of Mexican democracy.

    The volume brings together chapters written by distinguished scholars from Mexico and elsewhere who deal with three major questions: what are the main features of and forces behind the persistent militarization of the drug war in Mexico, and what are the main consequences for human rights and the rule of law; what are the consequences of these developments on the public sphere and, more specifically, on the functioning of the press and freedom of expression; and how do ordinary people engage with the effects of violence and insecurity within their communities, and which initiatives and practices of ‘justice from below’ do they develop to counter an increased sense of vulnerability, suffering and impunity?

    Introduction: Beyond the Drug War: The United States, the Public Sphere and Human Rights

    Wil G. Pansters, Benjamin T. Smith and Peter Watt

    Part I: Securitization, Militarization and Human Rights

    1 US pressure and Mexican anti-drugs efforts from 1940 to 1980: Importing the war on drugs?

    Carlos A. Pérez Ricart

    2 Mexico: A humanitarian crisis in the making

    Mónica Serrano

    3 Effects of militarization in the name of counter-narcotics efforts and consequences for human rights in Mexico

    Laura Carlsen


    Part II: The Public Sphere and the Press under Siege

    4 Violence, co-optation and corruption: Risks for the exercise of journalism and freedom of expression in Mexico

    Armando Rodríguez Luna

    5 State of Denial: Crime Reporting and Political Communication in Sonora

    Víctor Hugo Reyna García

    6 Social movements in support of the victims: Human rights and digital communications

    Rupert Knox


    Part III: Justice and Reconciliation from Below

    7 Beyond disorder and the constitution: Thinking about the law in regions of violence (the case of Cherán)

    Erika Bárcena Arévalo and Orlando Aragón Andrade

    8 Combing history against the grain: The search for truth amongst Mexico’s hidden graves

    Carolina Robledo Silvestre


    Wil G. Pansters is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University, Netherlands.

    Benjamin T. Smith is Reader of Latin American History at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

    Peter Watt is lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.