1st Edition

Latin America's Global Border System An Introduction

    328 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Latin America’s Global Border System is the opening volume in the first collection of academic works devoted exclusively to borders and illegal markets in Latin America.

    This volume features expert discussions on border issues of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico and Peru, as well as studies on illegal markets, cities, and gender as a first step to understanding the intricacies of the global border system of illegal markets and Latin America’s role in it. The book constitutes a valuable source of information on the geographic, economic, demographic, and social characteristics of the most important Latin American border regions, and their relation to global illegal markets, while also offering valuable insights into the ways illegal markets are organized in each country and how they connect across borders to create the global border system.

    This book will not only be a valuable resource for academics and students of international relations, security studies, border studies and contemporary Latin America, but will also prove relevant to national and international policy-makers devoted to foreign, security and development policies.

    Introduction: The Permanent Construction of Borders in Latin America

    Fernando Carrión Mena and Francisco Enríquez Bermeo

    Part 1: Border Subsystems

    1.1: Producing Countries

    1. The Global Border System and Illegal Markets in Peru: Notes for a Research Agenda

    Manuel Dammert Guardia and Viktor Bensús

    2. Bolivia: The Tensions, Challenges and Prospects of the Border Subsystem

    José Blanes Jiménez

    1.2: Platform-Type Countries

    3. Ecuador’s Global Border Subsystem: From "Island of Peace" to International Crime Platform

    Fernando Carrión Mena and Francisco Enríquez Bermeo

    4. Borders, Crime, and State Responses in Argentina

    Gustavo González, Luciana Ghiberto, Waldemar Claus, and Pablo Spekuljak

    1.3: Strategic Countries

    5. Guatemala’s Border System: A First Approach

    Beatriz Zepeda

    6. Mexico’s Cross-Border Subsystem: Cocaine Trafficking and Violence on the Northern Border

    César Fuentes Flores and Sergio Peña Medina

    1.4: Multifunctional Countries

    7. Projecting Borders across the Atlantic: The Case of Italy from a Latin American Perspective

    Federico Alagna

    8. Brazil and Its Borders: History and Limits of a Sovereign State

    Letícia Núñez Almeida, Agnes Félix, Rafael Masson, Nathan Bueno and Jennifer Silva

    Part 2: Thematic Axes

    9. Illegal Markets: New Institutional Architecture and Its Territorial Expression in Latin America

    Fernando Carrión Mena

    10. Cross-Border Urban Complexes. The Urban Morphology of a Global Structure

    Fernando Carrión Mena and Victor Llugsha

    11. A Gender Perspective in the Study of Latin American Border Systems

    María Amelia Viteri and Iréri Ceja


    Beatriz Zepeda, is a professor-researcher at the Center for International Studies at El Colegio de México, Mexico. She holds a PhD in Ethnicity and Nationalism and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 2012 to 2014 she was director of FLACSO-Guatemala. She has lectured on International Relations at universities in England, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico. Her research focuses on the Mexico-Guatemala border, illegal markets, nationalism, migration, and foreign policy.

    Fernando Carrión Mena, is Emeritus Professor at FLACSO-Ecuador. He has dedicated his life to the study of urbanization process, cultural heritage, violence, security, and drug trafficking. He was director of planning for the Municipality of Quito (1988-1992), general coordinator of RED CIUDADES for Latin America (1990-1993), director of FLACSO-Ecuador (1995-2004) and councilman of the Metropolitan District of Quito (2005-2009). Fernando has founded eight thematic journals, and has published over 250 academic articles, 64 books (as editor or author) and 12 book collections (as coordinator). In 2015 he was recognized by ESGLOBAL as one of the fifty most influential intellectuals of Latin America.

    Francisco Enríquez Bermeo, Department of Political Studies, FLACSO-Ecuador. Francisco holds a degree in Economics from Universidad Central del Ecuador and a Master’s degree in Local Development from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. From 2015 to 2017, he coordinated the research project "Exploring the political economy of violence in Latin America’s borders". Francisco is currently the Executive Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Border Cities (OLACCIF), a position he has held since 2016.

    "This volume is an illustration of the collaborative, multidisciplinary work that today’s great problems demand. It is in fact the capstone of an important work that began with a state-of-the-art dialog on Latin American borders and their ever-changing character, emphasizing three of the most central continental issues: Violence and crime, human rights, and urban development. It stands to lay a bridge for communicating Latin American border scholarship to researchers around the world."

    Tony Payan, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

    "Borders have undergone a profound metamorphosis. For most of the 20th century they were imaginary lines that were easy to cross. In the 21st century they are still open to illicit flows but have filled with obstacles and walls for people. The need to understand this transformation frames the splendid book edited by Zepeda, Carrión and Enríquez. This is an indispensable reading."

    Sergio Aguayo, El Colegio de México

    "The book offers a broad overview of Latin American borders, analyzing the illegal practices present in these regions. The studies cover the origin of these practices, the emblematic territorial disputes and point to the limited presence of state institutions, which favors environments of violence, as well as contraband, and human smuggling and trafficking among other critical processes. Latin American borders are a strategic priority for the modernization of the countries of the region and their development is a necessary alternative to illicit global challenges. This book offers an essential analysis to understand criminal dynamics in the global scenario and Latin America’s role in them."

    Tonatiuh Guillén, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    "Latin America’s Global Border System provides an eye-opening account of the evolving borders in Latin America. It prepares the reader with important knowledge on how borders can be understood in the globalized world and proves an important addition to the field of border studies."

    Carlos Daniel Gutierrez Mannix, Department of Political Science, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley