Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Aranda, Salvador Maldonado. “Stories of Drug Trafficking in Rural Mexico: Territories, Drugs and Cartels in Michoacán.”



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Aranda, Salvador Maldonado. “Stories of Drug Trafficking in Rural Mexico: Territories, Drugs and Cartels in Michoacán.” European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 94 (2013): 43-66. (25)
Salvador Maldonado Aranda’s dissection of drug-violence and corruption in rural Mexico implies an intersection of an informal economy which is often underrated in the international media. As explained early in his piece, “Stories of Drug Trafficking in Rural Mexico: Territories, Drugs and Cartels in Michoacán”, Aranda realizes and examines the “socio-economic and political characteristics of the area” and works to investigate drug trafficking as a historical puzzle piece in regards to “agrarian transformation, especially since the 1980s”.115 Perhaps most relevant in the piece is the destabilization of the Mexican formal economy through the PRI administration beginning in 2000 because of the integration of drug trafficking into the informal economy. Continuing corruption of the political parties in the early 2000’s became exemplified by the theorized “written pacts between politicians and drug lords” which “largely [freed] the drug cartels to battle for control of this illicit, but extremely profitable, commerce”.116 The control of the informal economy in Mexico by drug cartels is accurately represented in Aranda’s piece, and he thoroughly explores the relationship between drug trafficking and the social, political and economic implications of the market in present day circumstances, specifically its role in the region of Michoacán. Though Aranda works to highlight the implications of the above in rural areas of Mexico, he fails to encourage the notion that these often times fatal implications of drug trafficking are effecting all of Mexico, as well as undermining the populations faith in the country’s economy and government.



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