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Author Muehlmann, Shaylih, 1979- author
Title When I wear my alligator boots : narco-culture in the US-Mexico borderlands / Shaylih Muehlmann
Imprint Berkeley, California : University of California Press, [2014]
book jacket
 Ethnology Library  HV5825 .M77 2014    AVAILABLE    30520020817632
Descript xiv, 226 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note "When I Wear My Alligator Boots examines how the lives of dispossessed men and women are affected by the rise of narco-trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border. In particular, the book explores a crucial tension at the heart of the "war on drugs": that despite the violence and suffering brought on by drug cartels, narco-trafficking represents one of the few promises of upward mobility for the rural poor in Mexico's north as well as a powerful source of cultural meanings and local prestige. The traces of the drug trade are everywhere in the borderlands: from gang violence in cities and drug addiction in rural villages, to the vibrant folklore popularized in the narco-corridos of Norteña music and the icon of Jesús Malverde, the "patron saint" of narcos, tucked beneath the shirts of local people. In When I Wear My Alligator Boots, the author explores the everyday reality of the drug trade by living alongside its low-level workers: those living at the edges of the violence generated by the militarization of "the war on drugs." Rather than telling the story of the powerful cartel leaders, the book focuses on the women who occasionally make their sandwiches, the low-level businessmen who launder their money, the addicts who consume their products, the mules who carry their money and drugs through borders, and the men and women who serve out the prison sentences when the operations of their bosses go awry. "-- Provided by publisher
"This book tells the story of the poor, often indigenous workers living in the borderlands who are recruited to work in the lowest echelons of the drug trade, as burreros (mules) and narcotraficantes (traffickers). Shayleh Muehlmann spent over a year researching in a small community in the borderlands. This book brings her stories to a wider public, narrating the experiences of a group of indigenous fishermen in northern Mexico who have become involved in the drug trade, and exploring how the narco-economy has provided a reprieve for men and women attempting to survive while their primary form of livelihood, fishing, has been criminalized by the state because of its alleged negative environmental impact. The book examines the rise of narcotrafficking as one of the economic alternatives sought by local people and how this work is seen by many as a way of resisting forms of domination imposed on them by both the Mexican and U.S. governments. Muehlmann explores a tension at the heart of the "war on drugs." For many men and women living in poverty, the narco-economy represents an alternative to the exploitation and alienation they experience trying to work in the borderland's legal economy which has been increasingly dominated by the presence of U.S.-owned maquiladoras (assembly plants) and ravaged by environmental degradation. Despite the lawlessness and violence of the cartels and the ruinous consequences this process has had for some of the most vulnerable people involved, narco-trafficking represents one of the few promises of upward mobility for the indigenous poor in Mexico's north. "-- Provided by publisher
Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-217) and index
Subject Drug control -- United States
Drug control -- Mexican-American Border Region
Drug traffic -- United States
Drug traffic -- Mexican-American Border Region
Mexican-American Border Region -- Social conditions
Rural poor -- Mexico
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural. bisacsh
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration. bisacsh
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