Mobile Solutions to the Mexican Kidnapping Epidemic (MAKE). Beyond Elite Counter-Measures towards Citizen-Led Innovation

Conor O'Reilly, Camilo Tamayo Gomez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of the project Mobile Solutions to the Mexican Kidnapping Epidemic (MAKE): Beyond Elite Counter-Measures towards Citizen-Led Innovation. This initiative has charted the shifting topography of the Mexican kidnapping epidemic and examined various ‘mobile solutions’ that have emerged to counter it. The purpose of this research intervention has been to shed new light on this illicit industry and its effects, to provide a deeper understanding of kidnapping that informs and innovates citizen-led responses. The project has two aims. First, to engage with activists, victims and their families to explore the potential of citizen-led counter-kidnapping. Second, to track the complex mobilities triggered by kidnapping, examining those ‘mobile solutions’ that have emerged in response to it. Aware that activist-citizens are developing their own strategies to address this threat, this initiative not only sets out to document and to understand their approaches, but also to explore how everyday practices and technologies can be adapted into them. It spotlights how kidnapping both reiterates and exacerbates social and security inequalities, our analysing the strategies deployed by elites and subalterns, as well as the transborder and migratory effects of kidnapping. The key research question at the core of this project is: how do you counter kidnapping when you cannot access private solutions or rely on the state? Answering this question, we are working to develop a portfolio of counter-kidnapping resources that build community resilience and strengthen civic action against this pervasive threat to Mexican society. Working collectively with civic-action groups, victims groups, human rights defenders and technology specialists, this initiative is currently co-producing a counter-kidnapping toolkit that we will make available to ordinary Mexican citizens. This project is designed to not just build counter-kidnapping capacity in Mexico from the perspective of citizen-led innovation. Its ultimate aim is to leave a legacy of empowered Mexican citizens who will continue to collectively confront this threat, bringing forward much needed social change, and contributing to more sustainable security across Mexican society. This initiative echoes ongoing Latin American debates about how social justice can be achieved ‘from below”, as well as how security can be achieved in states of impunity. In the realm of counter-kidnapping policy interventions, we are conscious of the ‘hard’ policy transfers of military tactics and security expertise that are flowing from Colombia to Mexico in relation to kidnapping. However, this project sets out to open new channels for ‘soft’ transfers; to facilitate and forge connections between civic activists that hold the potential to catalyse and inspire innovative counter-kidnapping approaches that are both citizen-led but also tailored to context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference
Subtitle of host publicationSharing Society: The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies
EditorsBenjamín Tejerina, Cristina Miranda de Almeida, Ignacia Perugorría
PublisherUniversity of the Basque Country
Pages457-466
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9788490826782
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference: Sharing Society: The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies - University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 23 May 201924 May 2019
https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/149540/1/Mobile_Solutions_to_the_Mexican_Kidnappi.pdf

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference: Sharing Society: The Impact of Collaborative Collective Actions in the Transformation of Contemporary Societies
CountrySpain
CityBilbao
Period23/05/1924/05/19
Internet address

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