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Migración y desarrollo

versión impresa ISSN 1870-7599


SPENER, David. El apartheid global, el coyotaje y el discurso de la migración clandestina: distinciones entre violencia personal, estructural y cultural. Migr. desarro [online]. 2008, n.10, pp.127-156. ISSN 1870-7599.

In this essay I propose a re-orientation of the public and scholarly discourse about international migration that takes place autonomously, beyond the pale of state regulation. This discourse typically features a terminology and a framing of issues that privileges the perspective of state authorities regarding the phenomenon of cross-border migratory movements. In its stead, I offer an alternative framework that views autonomous migration as a form resistance to global apartheid enforced at nation-state borders. I focus my analysis on coyotaje, the social process by which migrants hire professional service providers to help them cross international boundaries in the face of states' attempts to exclude them. In particular, I direct my attention to how we should understand the question of violence inflicted upon migrants and how to assess who or what is responsible for that violence. In so doing, I make use of Galtung's (1969 and 1990) concepts of personal violence, structural violence, and cultural violence to interpreting the tragedies that too often befall migrants as they pursue coyotaje as a border-crossing strategy. Discussion of these issues is based primarily on my field research on the clandestine border-crossing experiences of Mexican nationals in the Northeast Mexico-South Texas migratory corridor in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Palabras llave : global apartheid; international migration; human smuggling; human trafficking; U.S.-Mexico border.

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