Dr María López recently presented her research work for her book, addressing how the crisis of violence and security provision impacts migrant women at the US–Mexico border.
Date: 9 April 2021
Dr María López presented her research work for her book on sexual violence and femicide in the northern Mexican border region at the Critical Studies of Law and Migration Seminar, organised by the Center for Research on North America (CISAN) and the Institute of Juridical Research (IIJ) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). This event programme is directed by Dr Ariadna Estévez and Dr Elisa Ortega Velázquez. The event took place virtually on 25 March 2021.
In her presentation, Dr López addressed how the crisis of violence and security provision impacts migrant women at the US–Mexico border. She argued that while gender-based violence and femicide are problems across Mexico and many countries worldwide, the specificities of the border region, such as the violence associated with drug dealing and the impunity over it, the corruption and the lack of labour prospects intersect with the machista ideology and exacerbate the criminal violence against poor and migrant women in particular. In the last year, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 911 calls have dramatically increased and the National Network of Shelters is overwhelmed in the area. Dr López focused on the situation for maquiladora female workers and sex workers, many of them migrants, in Ciudad Juárez and promised to come back and explain the situation for women migrants in Tijuana – another object of study for her book and other research projects.
Dr López said: ‘I enjoyed presenting my research work on sexual violence and femicide in the US–Mexico border region in such an informed academic environment. In my research work, I address the sexual and femicidal violence against poor and working women, many of them migrants, in this area within the framework of political violence. This violence is entrenched in the lack of governmental resources and the harsh migratory policies that leave women migrants abandoned and give impunity to perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide in the area.’
The Critical Studies of Law and Migration Seminar (UNAM) aims to present research work that questions the legal measures that ensure the well-being of migrants and increase migrants’ possibilities for asylum, particularly those in more-precarious situations, such as children, youths, women and the LGBTI community.
Dr Estévez, co-director of the Seminar and an affiliate member of the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre, said: ‘The topics that interest us are those that go outside the mainstream studies of migration. In Mexico, the research work on migration has become, in some way, a tool for facilitating the institutions’ administration of migration flows to Mexico. We believe that there is a need for a much more challenging approach to the causes of migration and the institutions that are dedicated to managing migratory flows but that do not take into account the causes of the violence associated with this phenomenon. Ours is therefore a very novel perspective of law’.