CANAMID Central America-North America Migration Dialogue

PB#12 Governmentality and violence towards Central American migrants in the Gulf of Mexico

Central American migrants crossing the Gulf of Mexico coastal plains to reach the United States are prey to violence caused by a combination of historical and geographical factors. In this part of the country, public security institutions have been taken over by organized crime, posing a risk to both national and human security.

Between 1995 and 2015, the US and Mexican governments adopted migration and border security policies that have affected migrants’ transit routes, making them an easy target for criminal networks. Human rights violations and organized crime proliferate, since migration control mechanisms have turned migrants into “illegal aliens”. Combating this situation requires rethinking the governmentality of migration flows, by granting migrants rights and designing policies to change the contexts of origin and transit that jeopardize their mobility.

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