The Proliferation of Paramilitary Groups in Southern Mexico: State Strategy or Struggle between Local Political Elites?

TitleThe Proliferation of Paramilitary Groups in Southern Mexico: State Strategy or Struggle between Local Political Elites?
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of PublicationN/A
AuthorsOlney, Patricia
Place PublishedUniversidad del Rosario
Abstract

This study traces the origins of Mexican paramilitary groups and argues that, contrary to what most of the literature on the subject implies, they do not represent a state strategy to thwart leftist groups seeking social change. Rather, they represent battles between groups of national and local-level elites with different visions of democracy and of what constitutes good governance. The polarization inherent in this type of conflict leads local actors to have to side with one faction of elites or the other. The presence of radical leftist groups in recently colonized indigenous areas with scant state presence gives rise to a process of radicalization among local elites. There are multiple factors that explain the emergence of paramilitary groups. Aside from the post Cold War international context, there were national factors like a shift in its focus away from security matters between 1989 and 1993, and presidential policies between 1968 and 1993, that planted the seeds of leftist radicalism in a context in modernization. (University)

URLhttp://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/16426
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1030437089

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