Towards a Critical Green Southern Criminology: An Analysis of Criminal Selectivity, Indigenous Peoples and Green Harms in Argentina


This paper offers critical analytical tools to progress the development of a critical green southern criminology. Using Argentina as a case study, the article develops the notion of criminal selectivity to expose the biased functioning of the criminal justice system. The article explores how crime control is used to the detriment of Indigenous peoples, despite the fact that their protests do not produce significant social harm and are framed within constitutional rights. Conversely, the study exposes how the criminal justice system is not used to prosecute green harms perpetrated by corporations or the unlawful use of force against native peoples by law enforcement agencies, despite the harm of those behaviours on the environment and communities. The article exposes how the Argentinean criminal justice system targets the most vulnerable peoples while failing to provide environmental protections, and is an indicator of the bias within criminal justice systems in the Global South.

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Published: 2019-08-19
Pages:38 to 55
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How to Cite
Weis, V. V. (2019) “Towards a Critical Green Southern Criminology: An Analysis of Criminal Selectivity, Indigenous Peoples and Green Harms in Argentina”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(3), pp. 38-55. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i3.1244.

Author Biography

Universidad de Buenos Aires

Valeria Vegh Weis is an Argentinean/German professor of Criminology and Transitional Justice at Buenos Aires University (UBA) and National Quilmes University at the graduate and postgraduate levels. She is an associate researcher at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Germany where she co-directs the research group “Transnational Criminal Law in Transatlantic Perspective (1870­1945): Towards a dialogue between the Global North and the Global South”. She is working ad-hoc at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in the Rapporteurship of Memory, Truth and Justice, while she holds a permanent position at the Argentinean Public Defender agency. Overall, Vegh Weis has fifteen years of experience working in different criminal courts and international organizations.

She holds a Ph.D. in Law and an LL.M. in Criminal Law from UBA and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University. She is an Alexander von Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow and has previously held other prestigious fellowships including the Fulbright and the Hauser Global Scholarships.

She has published extensively in the topics of criminology, transitional justice, criminal law and mental health law. Her book Marxism and Criminology: A History of Criminal Selectivity (BRILL 2017, Haymarket Books 2018) was awarded the Choice Award by the American Library Association and the Outstanding Book Award by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.