Accepted Paper:

Borders on the move: the making of a new south to south border between Mexico and Central America  

Author:

Juan Bustamante (University of Arkansas)

Paper short abstract:

This paper provides an ethnographic examination of the Frontera Sur Program. I study the ways in which the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM)-National Institute of Migration---implements and enforce the Frontera Sur Program against Central American migrants.

Paper long abstract:

This paper provides an ethnographic examination of the Frontera Sur Program. I study the ways in which the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM)-National Institute of Migration---implements and enforce the Frontera Sur Program against Central American migrants. I assess the program's efforts to identify, screen, and remove migrants before they reach the US-Mexico Border. A legal violence model is employed to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the significance of state-driven initiatives aimed on the implementation of legal systems intended to benefit the greater good while its application creates a social environment of fear and suffering among targeted population groups. This approach focuses on the ways in which Central American migrants' lives are affected by actions from corrupt state officials and abusive practices. This article uses visual and ethnographic data gathered between winter 2014 and fall 2016 in the southern, central, and northern Mexico. The paper found that Mexican migration officers make significant efforts to not only identify and interdict migrants in transit across Mexico, but also to appropriate US Border Patrol tactics to remove undocumented migrants. The US sponsored Frontera Sur Program has enabled INM officers to screen, sift, and remove migrants without the due process protection they need from maltreatment and extortion by state officials.

Panel RM-MRB05
Migration in a world of turmoil