Beyond the Drug War in Mexico: Human rights, the public sphere and justice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Beyond the Drug War in Mexico

Human rights, the public sphere and justice, 1st Edition

Edited by Wil G. Pansters, Benjamin T. Smith, Peter Watt


202 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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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?

Table of Contents

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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Europa Country Perspectives

The new Europa Country Perspectives series, from Routledge, examines a wide range of contemporary political, economic, developmental and social issues from areas around the world. Complementing the Europa Regional Surveys of the World series, Europa Country Perspectives will be a valuable resource for academics, students, researchers, policy-makers, business people and anyone with an interest in current world affairs.

While the Europa World Year Book and its associated Regional Surveys inform on and analyse contemporary economic, political and social developments at the national and regional level, Country Perspectives provide in-depth, country-specific volumes written or edited by specialists in their field, delving into a country’s particular situation. Volumes in the series are not constrained by any particular template, but may explore a country’s recent political, economic, international relations, social, defence, or other issues in order to increase understanding.

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