The contributors to Cocaine analyze the contemporary production, transit, and consumption of cocaine throughout the Americas and the illicit economy's entanglement with local communities. Based on in-depth interviews and archival research, these essays examine how government agents, acting both within and outside the law, and criminal actors seek to manage the flow of illicit drugs to both maintain order and earn profits. Whether discussing the moral economy of coca cultivation in Bolivia, criminal organizations and drug traffickers in Mexico, or the routes cocaine takes as it travels into and through Guatemala, the contributors demonstrate how entire ways of life are built around cocaine commodification. They consider how the authority of state actors is coupled with the self-regulating practices of drug producers, traffickers, and dealers, complicating notions of governance and of the relationships between economic and moral economies. The collection also outlines a more progressive drug policy that acknowledges the important role drugs play in the lives of those at the urban and rural margins.
Contributors. Enrique Desmond Arias, Lilian Bobea, Philippe Bourgois, Anthony W. Fontes, Robert Gay, Paul Gootenberg, Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, Thomas Grisaffi, Laurie Kain Hart, Annette Idler, George Karandinos, Fernando Montero, Dennis Rodgers, Taniele Rui, Cyrus Veeser, Autumn Zellers-León
Violent Democracies in Latin America
Enrique Desmond Arias and Daniel M. Goldstein, eds. Duke University Press, 2010 Library of Congress HN110.5.Z9V584 2010 | Dewey Decimal 303.6098
Despite recent political movements to establish democratic rule in Latin American countries, much of the region still suffers from pervasive violence. From vigilantism, to human rights violations, to police corruption, violence persists. It is perpetrated by state-sanctioned armies, guerillas, gangs, drug traffickers, and local community groups seeking self-protection. The everyday presence of violence contrasts starkly with governmental efforts to extend civil, political, and legal rights to all citizens, and it is invoked as evidence of the failure of Latin American countries to achieve true democracy. The contributors to this collection take the more nuanced view that violence is not a social aberration or the result of institutional failure; instead, it is intimately linked to the institutions and policies of economic liberalization and democratization.
The contributors—anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, and historians—explore how individuals and institutions in Latin American democracies, from the rural regions of Colombia and the Dominican Republic to the urban centers of Brazil and Mexico, use violence to impose and contest notions of order, rights, citizenship, and justice. They describe the lived realities of citizens and reveal the historical foundations of the violence that Latin America suffers today. One contributor examines the tightly woven relationship between violent individuals and state officials in Colombia, while another contextualizes violence in Rio de Janeiro within the transnational political economy of drug trafficking. By advancing the discussion of democratic Latin American regimes beyond the usual binary of success and failure, this collection suggests more sophisticated ways of understanding the challenges posed by violence, and of developing new frameworks for guaranteeing human rights in Latin America.
Contributors: Enrique Desmond Arias, Javier Auyero, Lilian Bobea, Diane E. Davis, Robert Gay, Daniel M. Goldstein, Mary Roldán, Todd Landman, Ruth Stanley, María Clemencia Ramírez