Isaac Vargas

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Toronto, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10736

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Vargas, Isaac (Toronto, U. of) "Mothers, Criminal Organizations, and the State Apparatus in the Landscape of Destruction amid Mexico’s War on Drugs"

My dissertation explores different registers of sovereignty amid Mexico’s war on drugs, explained as the nationwide deployment of the army to combat drug trafficking and annihilate drug lords, which to date has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. My research is focused on Guadalajara, the second largest city in the country, in which criminal groups assert their power to take life over the population, and the justice system is overloaded with dozens upon dozens of disappearance cases and an overcrowded morgue. In this war, different sovereignties are made visible through the relationships with victims’ bodies established by their relatives, criminal organizations, and the state apparatus before and after death. Specifically, my project follows the actions of the victims’ mothers in their effort to claim the bodies of their loved ones, which, I propose, functions as an expression of an emerging sovereignty shaped by a cluster of affects in conjunction with an unmaking of the law and silence of the state.