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Wesleyan University | Center for the Humanities


Urban Marginality and the Ambivalent State in Latin America

Urban Marginality and the Ambivalent State in Latin America

Javier Auyero • University of Texas, Austin

OCTOBER 9 @ 6 P.M. | Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center

Drawing upon long-term ethnographic fieldwork in a poor high-crime neighborhood and documentary evidence from court cases involving drug gangs, this talk examines the clandestine connections between participants in the illicit drug trade and members of the state security forces. The talk unpacks the much-referred to (but seldom scrutinized) content of police-criminal collusion by tracing the flow of goods, information, representation, and advice between agents of the state and gang members. This talk will show how illicit relationships with authorities allow gang members to achieve control over a territory that is central to their illegal trade, feed violence experienced by the poor, and foster widespread legal cynicism at the urban margins.

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