Author Biography

Daniel Weisz Argomedo, M.A. is a third year international student in the Ph.D. program at the University of Irvine California. He is the founder and secretary of the Fundación Leonora Carrington A.C. and currently works as a teaching assistant in the University of Irvine California. He earned his Bachelor degree in political science from the University of Alberta in Edmonton Canada and his Masters degree in International Relations from San Diego State University.



Subject Area Keywords

Conflict studies, Environment, sustainability and security, Gangs and criminal organizations, Mexico, Narcotics trafficking


The purpose of this article is to uncover the ways in which climate change will impact indigenous people in contested areas as is the case of the Tarahumara indigenous community in Northern Mexico. The case study takes place on a border that John Sullivan conceptualizes as a “hyperborder” due to the complexity and high level of both licit and illicit trade. Sullivan explains how this border region has been heavily contested as criminals exploit weak governance. After 9/11 the increase of security at the border led drug trafficking organizations to diversify into internal drug distribution which required control over micro-territories. As the drug war extended cartel’s became interested in control over rural areas and specifically those inhabited by indigenous as they are ideal for the cultivation of drugs and serve as strategic corridors for trafficking illegal commodities. The high levels of competition around this “hyperborder” creates a dangerous situation as both criminal groups and the government battle to control it and capture its economic incentives. This case study seeks to unravel how climate change exacerbates competition over land and resources in hyperborder contexts and expose how criminal organizations affect contested areas that are present in several regions throughout Latin America.


I would like to thank Dr. Caesar Sereseres for all his help and encouragement, Nathan Jones and John Sullivan for the opportunity to write this article as well as my parents Gabriel Weisz and Patricia Argomedo and my wife Ashlee Weisz.