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Marginal connections: peripheries, illegal markets and the expansion of criminal groups in Brazil

Grant number: 19/25686-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2021 - January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Urban Sociology
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP - National Council of State Research Support Foundations
Principal researcher:Gabriel de Santis Feltran
Grantee:Gabriel de Santis Feltran
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Daniel Veloso Hirata ; Fabio Magalhães Candotti ; Gregório Zambon Diniz


Illegal markets are an emerging theme in socio-anthropological literature. The relevance of these economies to the Brazilian urban conflict has been highlighted, as well as the nationalization of southeastern criminal factions to other regions of the country, especially the national borders, ports and airports. The arrival at borders expands the scale of drugs, weapons, smuggling and vehicles circulation, which consolidate global circuits between legal and illegal economies. Empirical knowledge about these markets, however, is still very limited. Even less is known about its practical modes of expansion. This project, based on multisitued ethnography, intends to analyse several trajectories of young thieves, traffickers and informal workers between Alagoas, São Paulo and Brazil's border cities with Bolivia, Paraguay and Colombia. The initiative is the result of an ethnographic research network already established in the study of urban marginalities and violent crime in Brazil. Based on fieldnotes and individual migration paths, mindful of the transportation infrastructures that allow connections between the "margins" of São Paulo, the Northeast and Frontier Regions, we will look for the mechanisms by which illegal markets have expanded in Brazil. (AU)

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