The Geography of Border Militarization: Violence, Death and Health in Mexico and the United States

Journal of Latin American Geography, 15 (1), 2016

Posted: 5 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jeremy Slack

Jeremy Slack

University of Texas at El Paso

Daniel Martinez

University of Arizona - Department of Sociology

Alison Lee

University of the Americas, Puebla

Scott Whiteford

University of Arizona - Center for Latin American Studies

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

Despite proposed increases in spending on personnel and equipment for border enforcement, the complex geography of border militarization and the violence it produces require further examination. We take a geographical perspective to determine the role of violence in both its official forms, such as the incarceration and punishments experienced by undocumented migrants, as well as through abuses and violence perpetrated by agents in shaping border and immigration enforcement. By drawing on the Migrant Border Crossing Study (MBCS), which is a unique data source based on 1,110 surveys of a random sample of deportees, as well as research with family members and return migrants in Puebla, Mexico, we provide an innovative and robust account of the geography of violence and migration. Identifying regional variation allows us to see the priorities and strategic use of violence in certain areas as part of enforcement practice. We assert that understanding the role of violence allows us to explain the prevalence of various forms of abuse, as well as the role of abuse in border enforcement strategies, not as a side effect, but as elemental to the current militarized strategies.

Keywords: border, migration, immigration, U.S.-Mexico, enforcement, migrant deaths

Suggested Citation

Slack, Jeremy and Martinez, Daniel and Lee, Alison and Whiteford, Scott, The Geography of Border Militarization: Violence, Death and Health in Mexico and the United States (March 1, 2016). Journal of Latin American Geography, 15 (1), 2016 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2758592

Jeremy Slack

University of Texas at El Paso ( email )

500 W University Ave
El Paso, TX 79902
United States
9157476530 (Phone)

Daniel Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Sociology ( email )

United States

Alison Lee

University of the Americas, Puebla

Sta. Catarina Martir
Cholula, Puebla 72820 72810
Mexico

Scott Whiteford

University of Arizona - Center for Latin American Studies ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
350
PlumX Metrics