Arturo Chacón Castañón
Orcid ID:
Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, México


This paper aims at contributing to the discussion on contract killing dimensions and significance in Mexico, by intending to articulate the notion of the Industrial Border Complex as a synergy seen at some borders. This work builds upon three interviews held with gunmen in the border town of Juarez, northern Mexico on the border with El Paso, Texas, in the United States. The demographic bonus, that is, a part of the economically active population, namely young people, get involved in illicit activities, such as drug trafficking, as a consecuence of the lack of solid structures in their social networks. That makes it easier for drug cartels to recruit and operate in a similar way to legal enterprises. This contribution intends to approach the phenomenon of contract killing, in the voice of the main actors of violence, an activity deriving from an ongoing illicit trade battle on illegal grounds, such as drug trafficking, having economic effect and a serious transcendence because of its ruthlessness and the social impact it produces in borderlands.

Keywords: contract killing, youth, borderland, drug trafficking.