Navigating Violence: Fear and Everyday Life in Colombia and Mexico


Violence and insecurity are often read as totalising narratives of communities in parts of Latin America, flattening the complexity of everyday life and the responses of occupants who suffer from fear. In this article we draw on ethnographic research undertaken in los Altos de Cazucá in Colombia and in San Luis Potosí in Mexico. While both sites are distinct locations with different historic, economic, social and political contexts they share features of communities affected by violence and insecurity: distrust of institutions of the state; rationalisations for managing violence in daily life; and narratives of fear that appear woven through the fabric of conversations. However, fear and violence are not all-encompassing experiences and individuals in both these communities describe practices of navigation of violence that draw on positive communal experiences. This article explores how, in these communities where violence comes to be expected but never normalised, people navigate their everyday lives.

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Published: 2017-03-01
Pages:103 to 117
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How to Cite
Berents, H. and ten Have, C. (2017) “Navigating Violence: Fear and Everyday Life in Colombia and Mexico”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 6(1), pp. 103-117. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v6i1.373.