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NCJ Number: 221104 Find in a Library
Title: Conditions That Increase Drug Market Involvement: The Invitational Edge and the Case of Mexicans in South Texas
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:Fall 2007  Pages:893-918
Author(s): Avelardo Valdez; Charles Kaplan
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
Grant Number: R01DA13560;RO1 DA08604
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The findings of this ethnographic analysis describe the diverse and mixed roles immigrants have in the hierarchal structure of the South Texas drug market.
Abstract: Findings suggest that despite more recent economic transformations, the U.S./Mexico border region continues to have a scarcity of institutional resources and economic development. Proportionately higher rates of participation in criminal activities for South Texas immigrants may be a result of the particular context and culture of this U.S./Mexico border region. This illegal behavior can be interpreted as an adaptive mechanism that is a direct response to the marginal economic status imposed by macro socioeconomical background factors. Paradoxically, however, the very fact that greater numbers of relatively less violent individuals are participating in the drug market makes it likely that drug market specific violence is actually diluted. Lastly, analysis found that the user-seller’s role appears to emanate from the fact that drugs are sold in order to pay for one’s personal use, and with this, the invitational edge for continuing and expanding involvement grows. This has created the need for alternative economic strategies accepted by the community. Given the frequency of arrests and indictments of government officials and law enforcement, corruption in South Texas seems more common and more socially acceptable than in other parts of the State and country. The large demographic presence of Mexicans and the close proximity of Mexico to South Texas create the conditions that increase involvement in these drug markets. Drug policy should recognize that there are several options for reducing the thickness of the invitational edge of the drug markets, and attempt to reduce demand in the form of treatment, prevention, and social services. This article synthesizes ethnographic materials drawn from two previous National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) studies to identify the different types of drug distribution behaviors, the differentiated roles of individuals, the organizational framework, and most significantly, the processes that link market participants to others outside the drug market. Table, notes, references
Main Term(s): Drug business; Drug enforcement officers
Index Term(s): Drug cartels; Immigrants/Aliens; Mexican Americans; Mexico; Texas
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