The new wave: Forced displacement caused by organized crime in Central America and Mexico

from Refugee Survey Quarterly
Published on 10 Jun 2014 View Original

Forced displacement generated by organized crime is a little-studied and poorly understood phenomenon. Based on field research carried out in 2013, this article redresses this situation by analysing the broad dynamics of an alarming new wave of forced displacement sweeping El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras – the countries of the Northern Triangle of Central America – and Mexico. It focuses specifically on the role played by three of the main types of organized criminal groups in the region – mara street gangs, Central American drug transporters, and Mexican drug cartels – in provoking this displacement. Structural differences between these groups are shown to influence both the forms of displacement that they produce and the resulting patterns of movement by displaced persons. Consideration is then devoted to the implications for scholarship and humanitarian practice of this new wave of forced displacement generated by organized criminal groups.

David James Cantor: The New Wave: Forced Displacement Caused by Organized Crime in Central America and Mexico, Refugee Survey Quarterly first published online June 10, 2014 doi:10.1093/rsq/hdu008