Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and the international community are hailing the strides Mexico is making in confronting its serious and well-known security problems. The recent capture of notorious drug trafficker Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman of the Sinaloa Cartel made splashy headlines and played endless news cycles. Official homicide rates in border towns such as Ciudad Juarez have significantly reduced from a 2011 peak. In the Spring, the government reached an agreement with vigilante groups in the state of Michoacan aimed at disarmament and demobilization. These steps to advance traditional “state security” concerns have gone hand-in-hand with constitutional reforms to achieve gains in economic security, hoping to assure foreign investors that Mexico is a safe and secure foreign investment opportunity. If Mexico is more secure, why do citizens express a growing sense of insecurity, especially in areas rich in the resources that are the hinge of Mexico’s new wave of economic transformation? A phenomenon I call the “paradox of patrimony” demonstrates that those who live and work in the midst of Mexico’s most valuable and strategic “national” resources (such as the oil-affected region of Mexico’s Gulf coast) are experiencing a newly found sense of insecurity and vulnerability.
Whitney Battle-Baptiste (UMASS)
In the 1970s a group of radical Black Feminists, known as the Combahee River Collective, met and put forth a concept they called the “simultaneity of oppression.” In 1989, legal studies scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” to describe the interlocking matrix of oppression (meaning race, gender and class) experienced by women of African descent within the U.S. legal system. For African Diaspora archaeology, the framework of intersectionality has become a useful method for providing new insights into the past lives and experiences of women and men of the African descent. This paper will discuss this recent trend and expand the discussion to include the usefulness of Black Feminist Archaeology, the impact of critical heritage in the interpretation of African American historic sites, and the movement toward a multidimensional analysis within the field of historical and African Diaspora archaeology.