This working paper presents the basic concept of a research project that is part of theCollaborative Research Center (SFB) 1199. Section and that focuses on the spatial format produced by Maras.
Maras are a form of particularly violent youth gangs, primarily associated with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as well as the United States. While Maras do not encompass drug cartels, in the form of petty drug business (narcomenudeo) they do cooperate with cartels and mafias. They maintain a subordinated role in this cooperation and generally play a minor role in the drug business (see Wolf 2011: 68; Ward 2013:170).
What we investigate is the question if areas of expansion beyond the established areas of Maras can be detected in the Americas (Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina) and in Europe (Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom). It will further focus on finding out if, and (if so) why, the respective adjacent states (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama, Colombia, and Peru as well as Portugal, France, and Germany respectively) appear to be unaffected by Mara presence. The project examines how, due to which interests, in which external and internal dimensions, and within which boundaries and borders actors of criminal violence—in this case Maras—produce space. The project hypothesizes that the Mara spaces are a form of translocal spaces of violence—a spatial format that requires further specification.
This working paper presents the basic concept of a research project that is part of theCollaborative Research Center (SFB) 1199. Section and that focuses on the spatial format produced by