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University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation

Beyond Blood Avocados

February 14, 2022
Joel Herrera


In analysis for Political Violence At A Glance, an IGCC-supported blog dedicated to political violence and its alternatives, IGCC Dissertation Fellow Joel Herrera analyzes violence connected to criminal organizations diversifying into natural resources. 

On July 14, 2021, ten people were reportedly abducted by armed men in Loma de Bácum, an indigenous Yaqui community located in Mexico’s northwestern state of Sonora. The remains of seven were found months later in clandestine graves. Over the last decade, dozens of Yaqui leaders and activists have been killed or disappeared by criminal groups for mobilizing against the overexploitation of their natural resources.

Such headlines are not unique to Sonora. From illegal gold mining in Colombia to deforestation in Honduras, criminal groups in the Global South have diversified their profit-making activities toward a variety of primary commodities with destructive consequences.

Why are criminal organizations diversifying into natural resources? And what is the impact on violence in developing countries like Mexico?

Read the full blog post at Political Violence At A Glance.