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dc.contributor.authorMattiace, Shannan
dc.contributor.authorLey, Sandra
dc.contributor.authorTrejo, Guillermo
dc.identifier.citationLey, S., Mattiace, S., & Trejo, G. (2019). Indigenous Resistance to Criminal Governance: Why Regional Ethnic Autonomy Institutions Protect Communities from Narco Rule in Mexico. Latin American Research Review, 54(1), 181–200. DOI:
dc.description.abstractThis article explains why some indigenous communities in Mexico have been able to resist drug cartels’ attempts to take over their local governments, populations, and territories while others have not. While indigenous customary laws and traditions provide communal accountability mechanisms that make it harder for narcos to take control, they are insufficient. Using a paired comparison of two indigenous regions in the highlands of Guerrero and Chihuahua—both ideal zones for drug cultivation and traffic—we show that the communities most able to resist narco conquest are those that have a history of social mobilization, expanding village-level indigenous customary traditions into regional ethnic autonomy regimes. By scaling up local accountability practices regionally and developing translocal networks of cooperation, indigenous movements have been able to construct mechanisms of internal control and external protection that enable communities to deter the narcos from corrupting local authorities, recruiting young men, and establishing criminal governance regimes through force.en_US
dc.publisherLatin American Studies Associationen_US
dc.relation.ispartofLatin American Research Reviewen_US
dc.rightsThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.en_US
dc.subjectindigenous communitiesen_US
dc.subjectdrug cartelsen_US
dc.titleIndigenous Resistance to Criminal Governance: Why Regional Ethnic Autonomy Institutions Protect Communities from Narco Rule in Mexicoen_US
dc.description.versionPublished articleen_US
dc.contributor.departmentInternational Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.departmentPolitical Scienceen_US
dc.contributor.avlauthorMattiace, Shannan

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