Welcome to the blog series on migration and mobilities in Latin America, with contributions from scholars and activists in the region as well from Bristol. We publish posts in Spanish, Portuguese or English (apologies, with limited resources these won’t be translated at this stage). The series began with a weekly blog over the summer of 2020 and now continues with new posts every month or so.


Published blogs

  • (Im)Mobility in the Americas and COVID-19: a transnational collective project
    By Soledad Álvarez Velasco. In mid-March 2020, the countries of the Americas declared a health emergency, closed their borders and entered into quarantine as the first containment measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. It was in this context that 45 researchers from 19 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, all interested in migration and mobilities, came together online to ask ourselves about the situation of thousands of migrants and refugees on […]
  • The dangers of staying home: lockdown deepens inequalities in Brazil
    By Fernanda Mallak, Isabela Vianna Pinho and Thalles Vichiato Breda. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent social isolation policies have placed the home at the heart of the social debate about immobility and survival. Having to stay home affects the most vulnerable in society far more than others – both socially and materially. In our research we focus on the bodies and residences of those living in Brazil’s urban outskirts, particularly low-income black women. […]
  • Desafíos para seguir adelante: experiencias de una ONG en la frontera México-Guatemala
    Por Ailsa Winton y Rosember López Samayoa.* Versión en ingles aquí. Si bien muchas ONGs prácticamente han cesado sus actividades desde el inicio de la pandemia en Tapachula, una ciudad a poca distancia de la frontera de México con Guatemala, algunas decidieron continuar. Aquí el equipo de la organización Una Mano Amiga en la Lucha contra el SIDA (UMALCS) comparte algunas de sus reflexiones y experiencias sobre cómo la pandemia ha afectado su trabajo […]
  • The challenges of carrying on: pandemic experiences of an NGO on the Mexico-Guatemala border
    By Ailsa Winton and Rosember López Samayoa.* Spanish version here. Many NGOs have all but ceased activities since the COVID-19 pandemic made itself felt in Tapachula – a town a short distance from Mexico´s border with Guatemala – but a few decided to carry on. Here the team of Una Mano Amiga en la Lucha contra el SIDA (UMALCS) (A Friendly Hand in the Fight Against AIDS) share some of their thoughts and experiences […]
  • Northwards across social geographies of race
    By Luis Escobedo ‘I’m in distress. Los Zetas kidnapped some of my friends,’ said the first message I ever received from El Sirio on 2nd October, 2015.* Fear and uncertainty had haunted him across Mexico from his natal town of La Paz in Honduras, where death threats in connection to gang violence had finally triggered his journey northwards. Almost five years later, when I asked him whether these feelings persisted after he settled in […]
  • Desde las trochas colombo venezolanas
    Por Hugo Ramírez Arcos. Abel esconde una carretilla y un par de zapatos al otro lado de la frontera para que la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana no vea sus pies embarrados por el rio. Tiene un tapabocas sucio en el cuello e insiste en trabajar como ‘maletero’ en la trocha, acaba de ser padre de una niña en medio de la pandemia. Escribe un mensaje desesperado pidiendo ayuda: ‘hago lo que puedo por que los […]
  • Sin salida: los migrantes venezolanos en Ecuador durante el COVID-19
    Por Adriana Montenegro. A finales de marzo del 2020 el saldo migratorio de ciudadanos venezolanos en Ecuador era de aproximadamente 363 mil.  No obstante, cabe indicar que a partir del Decreto No. 826, de julio de 2019, el Gobierno ecuatoriano dio paso a un proceso de registro y regularización migratoria de esta población, estableciendo además como requisitos para su ingreso al Ecuador la presentación de una visa de excepción por razones humanitarias. Para mediados […]
  • Domestic workers and COVID-19: Brazil’s legacy of slavery lives on
    By Rachel Randall. On 19 March it was confirmed that Rio de Janeiro’s first coronavirus-related death was that of Cleonice Gonçalves, a 63-year-old domestic worker who suffered from co-morbidities. When Gonçalves fell ill on 16 March, she was working at her boss’ apartment in the affluent neighbourhood of Leblon, in the city of Rio. Her boss had just returned from a trip to Italy where COVID-19 had been rapidly spreading. She had not advised […]
  • Inclusive language for exclusive migration policy outcomes
    By Victoria Finn and Sebastián Umpierrez de Reguero. An attempt to change a migration law reigning from a military dictatorship 40 years ago must be a step in the right direction, right? Not necessarily. In 2018, the newly elected Chilean government proposed a migration law, implemented a regularisation process, and introduced visas for Haitians and Venezuelans. In a recently published open access article in Latin American Policy, we evaluate Chile’s migration decisions, aligning with […]
  • The desperate journey back to Venezuela
    By Alexandra Castro In most countries around the world, the vulnerability of migrants has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons for this are several: loss of jobs the difficulty of maintaining quarantine measures due to their participation in the informal labour market, limited access to healthcare and increasing discrimination. These migrants’ family members, who remain in their country of origin, have also been badly affected since they no longer receive remittances. This is […]
  • To stay home or go out to work? Brazil’s unequal modes of COVID-19 survival
    By Aline Pires, Felipe Rangel and Jacob Lima. The COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Brazil in a context of severe economic and political crisis. Since the 2016 parliamentary coup, we have seen the dismantling of social policies and rights, which, while never fully implemented in the country, were enshrined in the 1988 Constitution known as the ‘Citizen’s Constitution’. The current government of Jair Bolsonaro has taken this dismantling further with labour reforms that have made […]
  • Migration, racism and the pandemic in Chile’s mass media
    By Carolina Ramírez. During the global COVID-19 public health crisis, mass media in diverse contexts has fuelled stigmatisation and moral judgement towards particular segments of society by holding them accountable for spreading the virus. In Chile, as in other countries, the media has focused particularly on people who apparently refuse to comply with new public norms of civility, such as maintaining a safe physical distance when outdoors, staying at home and paying attention to […]