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WENDY A. VOGT Crossing Mexico: Structural violence and the commodification of undocumented Central American migrants American Ethnologist 40

Version of Record online: 6 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/amet.12053

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The undocumented-migrant journey across Mexico has become a site of intense violence, exploitation, and profit making within the logics of capitalism. While transnational migration is often conceptualized from the perspective of sending and receiving communities and borderlands, I suggest the liminal spaces between these zones are crucial sites for understanding how structural forms of violence are reconfigured in local settings. Drawing on my ethnographic fieldwork in migrant shelters located along the journey, I trace how Central American migrants’ bodies, labor, and lives are transformed into commodities within economies of smuggling, extortion, and humanitarian aid.

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