The Rootless Migrant: A Historical Depredation

Interview with

Receipt: November 23, 2021

Acceptance: March 2, 2022

Jorge Durand is the guest in this interview section of the magazine. Encartes. Anthropologist and researcher at the University of Guadalajara, where he holds the Chair of Migration, Jorge Durand is a specialist in U.S.-Mexico migration dynamics. On this occasion, he describes his incursion into the northern countries of Central America and the new protagonist figure in the region: the uprooted.

On the afternoon of June 16, in a room of ciesas-Dr. Durand develops various themes that cross Mexico and Central America. He begins by describing the Mesoamerican migratory subsystem, which links these countries in historically shared logics of human mobility. He details the baroque composition and the laboratory of migration in which the different countries of Central America are constituted and distinguishes the peculiarity of its northern region, stigmatically called "the Northern Triangle", where migratory stages follow one another in which a type of violence and a model of migrant prevail.

Jorge Durand dwells on the progressive discovery of uprooted subjects throughout his trajectory, offering ethnographic examples. With his emphasis on them, he wants to position a new perspective of analysis on that hidden side of migration studies such as the subjects that were not "successful" and, with this, the different levels and components of uprooting and the migratory policies that foster social unanchoring. He explains how he seeks to develop this line of research and to follow the threads of these "historically depredated people", abandoned, wandering and lonely, who question us.

It also refers to the complexity of Mexico's constitution as the "last country of transit", as well as a country of reception and expulsion, and to other unprecedented processes that are taking place today in the field of human mobility.


Manuela Camus holds a PhD in social anthropology from the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Sociales en Antropología Social in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is currently a research professor in the Department of Sociourban Studies at the University of Guadalajara and a member of the National System of Researchers. Her latest published books are Living in the preserve: closed subdivisions, women and colonialitytogether with Julián López and Santiago Bastos; Dinosaur reloaded. Current violence in Guatemala (2015), and with Martín Reyes Pérez Testimony, survival and subject (2019). His next book, Circulation of precarious lives. El Refugio Casa del Migrante, Tlaquepaque, Jaliscois in press at the University of Guadalajara. His most current articles are "Habitar el privilegio: relaciones sociales desde los fraccionamientos cerrados en Guadalajara" (Inhabiting privilege: social relations from the gated communities in Guadalajara), in Contempt, no. 59, 2019; "Tensiones en la gestión de las caravanas migrantes por Guadalajara", with Heriberto Vega Villaseñor and Iliana Martínez Hernández-Mejía, in. EntreDiversidades, vol. 7, no. 1, 2020; "Trapped in the Entrapment: The Challenge of the Pandemic in El Refugio Casa Del Migrante Shelter", with Heriberto Vega Villaseñor, in Journal of Poverty, 2021.

Jorge Durand is a professor-researcher at the University of Guadalajara in the Department of Social Movements Studies (desmos-cucsh). He is co-director, with Douglas S. Massey, of the Mexican Migration Project (since 1987) and the Latin American Migration Project (since 1996) sponsored by the Universities of Princeton and Guadalajara. He is a researcher emeritus of the National System of Researchers and a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. In the United States he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (New York). He has been awarded the Conacyt, Edmundo O'Gorman, Fulbright-García Robles, John Simon Guggenheim and Tinker fellowships. In 2013 he received the Jalisco Award in the area of Science and in 2018 the Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology (sfaa). Over the past thirty years he has studied the migration phenomenon between Mexico and the United States and has published extensively on the subject. Among his most recent books, both individual and collective, the following stand out Clandestine, Migration from Mexico to the United States at the Turn of the Century xxi (2003), Mexicans in Chicago. Robert Redfield's Field Diary (2008), Behind the Plot. Migration policies between Mexico and the United States (2009) y The United States-Mexico migration. A Minimal History (2016).

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EncartesVol. 5, No. 9, March 2022-August 2022, is an open access digital academic journal published biannually by the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Calle Juárez, No. 87, Col. Tlalpan, C. P. 14000, México, D. F., Apdo. Postal 22-048, Tel. 54 87 35 70, Fax 56 55 55 76, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte Norte, A. C.., Carretera Escénica Tijuana-Ensenada km 18.5, San Antonio del Mar, No. 22560, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Tel. +52 (664) 631 6344, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente, A.C., Periférico Sur Manuel Gómez Morin, No. 8585, Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Tel. (33) 3669 3434, and El Colegio de San Luis, A. C., Parque de Macul, No. 155, Fracc. Colinas del Parque, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Tel. (444) 811 01 01. Contact: encartesantropologicos@ciesas.edu.mx. Director of the journal: Ángela Renée de la Torre Castellanos. Hosted at https://encartes.mx. Responsible for the last update of this issue: Arthur Temporal Ventura. Date last modified: March 29, 2022.
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