Beatriz Elena Inzunza-Acedo
Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico
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Mexican Children Discussing “The Situation of Insecurity” in the City of Monterrey, Mexico
Dedalus 19 (2015), pp. 131-160. Download PDF

This article partly presents the results of a study of children’s social representations on insecurity and delinquency in Monterrey, Mexico, under the context of a criminal wave due to the increasing of violence between cartels and government. Forty-four children were interviewed, and during the sessions made drawings to describe their understanding of crime and delinquents. The main results show images that could be generalized in the description of criminals, but crimes are different and depend on the type of sources of information that children are usually exposed to. Four types of crimes could be found: minor crimes (which do not purposely try to attempt against the freedom, life or health of an individual), major crimes (that are contrary to the minor type), drug dealing related (organized crime events such as trafficking and shootings between cartels), and other (bullying, anxiety at home over insecurity events). The narratives of the drawings also show stigmas against determined neighborhoods of the city, which vary depending on the social class of the interviewees. While media was an important source of information, some children also explained their own testimonies while being witnesses, as well as mentioned discussions with parents and school.