Adèle Blazquez

« You can’t feed soup to one and refuse it to the other »: Women’s abduction, armed violence and domestic exploitation in a poppy production area (Badiraguato, Mexico)

This paper takes the abduction and rape of a woman as a narrative thread and, by putting it in perspective with other situations, looks at how these acts of violence are commented on locally in order to grasp how they reveal the broader configuration of power. I show that this armed abduction, followed by rape, finally reduced into a conjugal quarrel, appears to be a particularly brutal and vivid version of the “continuum of sexual violence”. Locally apprehended by the category of « theft of woman » (robo de mujer), the radicality of this porosity between armed and domestic violence refers to the singular political economy of Badiraguato, a Mexican commune considered to be “the cradle of drug trafficking” and “the base of the Sinaloa Cartel”. From a materialist feminist perspective, I argue that the extreme porosity observed in gendered violence refers to the forms of exploitation and predation characterizes the insertion into globalized capitalism based on exclusion and isolation. It is based on an 18-month ethnography conducted between 2013 and 2016 in the main village, the offices of the town hall and the hamlets spread across the territory.

Discussant: Gavin Smith