Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



With the politics of borders, the socio-economic divide between the United States and Mexico is evident. The geographic proximity to the U.S. makes the Mexico–Guatemala border an extension of the U.S. border enforcement regime. This article argues that the politics surrounding the U.S.–Guatemala border have not necessarily changed, because, at the core, the main objective of these border governance practices is to stop the movement of undesirable bodies (Khosravi 2011). Further, the article argues that the practices of containment force migrants to resist through their movement and seek strategies of survival. By comparing the administrations of Peña Nieto and López Obrador (AMLO) and analyzing the survival strategy of migrant “caravans” through border policy analysis and fieldwork conducted in 2014, I show that this border is a site of struggle between the state’s power and migrants’ forms of resistance. I find that border tactics are influenced by U.S. border enforcement requirements of increased militarization and policing, but also aim to restrict and control certain populations. The result is the perpetual securitization of people and the militarization of pathways. Migrants, however, also employ forms of organizing such as travelling in mass groups to achieve safe passage, thus exercising their agency through movement. The bordering practices and the forms of resistance indicate that this border is a constant site of struggle that requires further examination.


Copyright © 2022 Carla Angulo-Pasel.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Borders in Globalization Review





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.