PEACELA Reading Group

From Violence to Peace in Latin America (PEACELA) is a Reading Group open to academic scholars, and those working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. The goal of the group is to understand the multiple facets of violence in Latin America, its causes, manifestations, post-COVID dynamics, and policies that have failed or succeeded in bringing peace and conflict resolution in the region.

Each week one article will be read related to violence and peace, as shown below. The articles to read will be selected through recommendations and relevance to the agenda.  

Week 1: Political Violence

Week 2: Violence from non-state armed groups: Drug trafficking, gangs, self-vigilante groups, etc.

Week 3: Gender-based violence: violence against girls, women, members of the LBGTQIA+ community.

Week 4: Environmental violence: Violence for access and use of land, water, forestry, mines, oil, etc.

Discussing the articles via zoom: The group will tentatively meet every Tuesday, 17:00-18:00pm GMT, starting January 11th 2022, via zoom.

The reading group sessions are fluid. Members can attend every week if they wish to, or to the specific topic or article when their schedule allows.

The group will also read books, one every trimester. These books will preferably have been written by journalists, historians, anthropologists, ethnographers, economists, political scientists and with a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Blocking time to read in zoom: In addition, any scholar wishing to block time to read, any topic, can also join us in zoom on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 17:00-18:00pm GMT, starting January 10th 2022.

This hour will be dedicated to reading only, without discussion. No writing unless for taking reading notes, no marking, no admin, no emails, no teaching prep, no tweeting. Just read, any topic you wish, but read.

If you have any questions about the PEACELA Reading Group, would like to attend via zoom (either to the discussions or blocking time to read), propose articles, books, please contact Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero

Also, if any publisher or library wishes to contribute by providing books, or electronic access to reading material, to scholars working on violence and peace processes in Latin America, please contact

The reading group is an independent initiative by Professor Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, an economist and political scientist by training, researching electoral violence, drug-trafficking violence, with ongoing research on environmental crimes, and femicides.

Forthcoming Sessions

The articles and books to read, ordered by topic can be found by clicking on this google sheet.

Below, these readings are listed in chronological order.

May 30, 2023. Book: Unlawful Violence: Mexican Law and Cultural Production (2000-2020). Rebecca Janzen  

May 23, 2023 Spreading gangs: Exporting US criminal capital to el Salvador Maria Micaela Sviatschi    

May 9, 2023 Book: Violence against Women in and beyond Conflict The Coloniality of Violence Julia Carolin Sachseder  

May 2, 2023 TBA  

April 25, 2023 Pizzo vs Piso. Extortion as a legitimacy practice in Sicily and Michoacán Rodrigo Peña Gonzáles  

April 18, 2023 Crime, Violence and Security in the Caribbean Edited by Raymond Izarali  

April 11, 2023 Humanizing security through action-oriented research in Latin America Jenny Pearce adn Alexandra Abello Colak  

April 4, 2023 Desaparecidxs: characterizing the population of missing children using Twitter Carolina Coimbra Viera, Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Marília R. Nepomuceno, Tom Theile  

March 28, 2023 Are repeated extorted business different? A multilevel hurdle model of extortion victimization Patricio R. Estévez-Soto, Shane D. Johnson, Nick Tilley  

March 21, 2023 Book: Narcoland. The Mexican drug lords and their godfathers Anabel Hernández  

March 14, 2023 Book: Illegal mining. Organized crime, corruption, and ecocide in a resource-scare world Edited by Yuliya Zabyelina and Daan van Uhm  

March 7, 2023 Accountability for conflict-related sexual violence Philipp Schultz  

February 28, 2023 Book: Resisting Extortion: Victims, Criminals, and States in Latin America Eduardo Moncada  

February 21, 2023 Book: The making of making Colombia. A nation in spite of itself David Bushnell  

February 14, 2023 The latest harvest? From the US fentanyl boom to the Mexican opium crisis Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, Nathaniel Morris, and Benjamin Smith  

February 7, 2023 Racial and gender inequality in food, housing, and healthcare insecurity associated with intimate partner and sexual violence Lisa Fedina et al.  

January 31, 2023 Book: Listening to Sicarios. Narcoviolence in Ciudad Juárez 2008-2012 Arturo Chacón Castañón, Robert McKee Irwin  

January 24, 2023 Do citizens’s preferences matter? Shaping legislator attitudes towards peace agreements Miguel García-Sánchez, Aila M Matanock, and Natalia Garbiras-Díaz  

January 17, 2023 Why global north criminology fails to explain organized crime in Mexico Valentin Pereda  

January 10, 2023 Design and pilot evaluation of a cross-training curriculum for intimate partner violence advocates and peer recovery coaches Rebecca Stone, Julia K. Campbell, Hafisa Halim, Diane Kinney adn Emily F. Rothman  

December 13, 2022 Reflection of PEACELA readings during the year and zoom party      

December 6, 2022 Book: Disappearances in Mexico Edited BySilvana Mandolessi, Katia Olalde  

November 29, 2022 Diversifying violence: Mining, export-agriculture, and criminal
governance in Mexico Joel Salvador Herrera, Cesar B. Martinez-Alvarez  

November 22, 2022 Book: Slaves of power/Esclavas del poder Lydia Cacho   November 15, 2022 The illegal, the illicit and new geographies of uneven development Ray Hudson  

November 8, 2022 Book: Why we fight. The roots of war and paths to peace Christopher Blattman  

November 1, 2022 The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict Annette Idler  

October 25, 2022 Book: Femicide across Europe. Theory, research adn prevention Edited by: Shalva Weil, Consuelo Corradi, Marceline Naudi  

October 18, 2022 Macabre ceremonies: How Los Zetas produces extreme violence to promote organizational cohesion Valentin Pereda  

October 11, 2022 Rethinking the informal and criminal economy from a global commodity chain perspective: China-Paraguay-Brazil Rosana Pinheiro-Machado  

October 4, 2022 Narcodeforestación en México. Un vínculo ambivalente Jaime Sainz-Santamaria  

September 27, 2022 Co-occurring violent discipline of children and intimate partner violence against women in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic search and secondary analysis of national datasets Sarah Bott , Ana P Ruiz-Celis, Jennifer Adams Mendoza, Alessandra Guedes  

September 20, 2022 Electoral Accountability in the Midst of Criminal Violence: Evidence from Mexico Sandra Ley  

September 13, 2022 Book: Creating World Otherwise Art, Collective action, and Post extractivism Paula Serafini,through%20art%20and%20cultural%20practices.  

August 09, 2022 Female homicide victimisation in Mexico: a group-
based trajectory and spatial study Ricardo Massa Roldan, Gustavo Fondevila & Enrique García-Tejeda  

August 02, 2022 The politics of vigintalism Regina Bateson  

July 26, 2022 Institutional Analysis with the Institutional Grammar Saba Siddiki et al.  

July 19, 2022 Governing Urban Water Conflict through Watershed Councils—A Public Policy Analysis Approach and Critique Raul Pacheco-Vega  

July 12, 2022 Witnessing Obstetric Violence during Fieldwork: Notes from Latin America Arachu Castro  

July 5, 2022 Community policing does not build citizen trust in police or reduce crime in the Global South Graeme Blair et al.  

June 28, 2022 Killing in the Slums: Social Order, Criminal Governance, and Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro Magaloni B, Franco-Vivanco E, Melo V.  

June 21, 2022 Book: Environmental Crime in Latin America. The Theft of Nature and the Poisoning of the Land Editors David Rodríguez GoyesHanneke MolAvi BrismanNigel South  

June 14, 2022 The Critical Path of Women Affected by Family Violence in Latin America Case Studies From 10 Countries Montserrat Sagot  

June 7, 2022 Recruitment into Armed Groups in Colombia: A survey of demobilized fighters Ana Arjona and Stathis N. Kalyvas  

May 24, 2022 Why Did Drug Cartels Go to War in Mexico? Subnational Party Alternation, the Breakdown of Criminal Protection, and the Onset of Large-Scale Violence Trejo G, Ley S  

May 17, 2022 The Rise and Persistence of Illegal Crops: Evidence from a Naive Policy Announcement Mounu Prem, Juan F. Vargas, Daniel Mejía  

May 10, 2022 Book: Gender Violence in Twenty-First-Century Latin American Women’s Writing María Encarnación López and Stephen M. Hart  

May 3, 2022 Book: Transforming the War on Drugs Edited by Annette Idler and Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara  

April 26, 2022 Democracy and civil war: The case of Colombia A. Steele, Livia I Schubiger  

April 19, 2022 Challenges with resolving mining conflicts in Latin America Ann Helwege–9mh_l6ZyzUxtUf9xqOeSreQpQtJGUHl4MjYsvMeW78xnUWDoUZRfA  

April 12, 2022 The Making and Unmaking of Feminicidio/Femicidio Laws in México and Nicaragua Paulina García-Del Moral,Pamela Neumann  

April 5, 2022 Internationalizing the Study of Gang Membership: Validation Issues From Latin America Juan Antonio Rodríguez, Neelie Pérez Santiago, Christopher H. Birkbeck, Freddy Crespo, Solbey Morillo  

March 29, 2022 Gender and political violence in Latin America. Concepts, debates and solutions Mona Lena Krook and Juliana Restrepo Sanín  

March 22, 2022 Theft of oil from pipelines: an examination of its crime commission in Mexico using crime script analysis Arantza Alonso Berbotto and Spencer Chainey  

March 15, 2022 The Emerging LGBTI Rights Challenge to Transitional Justice in Latin America Pascha Bueno-Hansen  

March 8, 2022 From Maize to Haze: Agricultural shocks and the growth of the Mexican Drug Sector Oeindrila Dube,Omar García-Ponce,Kevin Thom  

March 1, 2022 Book: The Politics of Violence in Latin America Edited by Pablo Policzer  

February 22, 2022 A Broken Canopy: Preventing Deforestation and Conflict in Colombia International Crisis Group  

February 15, 2022 A diagonal and social protection plus approach to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 syndemic: cash transfers and intimate partner violence interventions in Latin America Merike Blofield, Felicia M Knaul, Renzo Calderón-Anyosa, Amber Peterman, Juliana Martinez Franzoni, Megan O’Donnell, Flavia Bustreo  

February 8, 2022 Transborder Crime, Corruption, and Sustaining Illegal Armed Groups in Latin America Luz E. Nagle  

February 1, 2022 High-Profile Criminal Violence: Why Drug Cartels Murder Government Officials and Party Candidates in Mexico Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley  

January 25, 2022 Environmental Crime in Latin America and Southern Green Criminology David Rodríguez Goyes  

January 18, 2022 Tip of the Iceberg: Reporting and Gender-Based Violence in Developing Countries  Tia Palermo, Jennifer Bleck, Amber Peterman  

January 11, 2022 The Logic of Violence in Drug War Juan Camilo Castillo and Dorothy Kronick