Genocidal Violence amid Mexico’s War on Drugs: A Critical Lens on Police and Criminal Brutality


The purpose of this research project is to examine the brutality involved in war on drugs policing as well as in criminal violence in contemporary Mexico. From a critical perspective, this research does not see high levels of brutality as an exception or an accident in policing and security strategies in Mexico, but rather as a constitutive component of a complex conflict scenario in which state security forces and armed criminal groups are central perpetrators of violence and engage in atrocities based on specific narratives regarding who or which groups in society can be deserving of extreme violence. Brutality has become a common feature of both security operations and criminal violence, thus forming a fabric of symbolic and direct violence that sustains lethal conflict in Mexico—or so this research will argue.

This fellowship is in collaboration with Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.