Miss Karina Garcia Reyes

Miss Karina Garcia Reyes

Miss Karina Garcia Reyes
Associate Teacher
Assistant Teacher

11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)


School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Poverty, gender and violence in the narratives of former narcos: Accounting for Drug Trafficking Violence in Mexico

Personal profile

I studied International Relations (2002-2007) and I began my academic career in my native country of Mexico. From 2007-2012, I served as Assistant Teacher at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Campus Saltillo). During this period, I completed my first MA in Administration (2007-2010), and served as the Coordinator of the Social Sciences and Humanities department of this Institution (January 2008- January 2010). 

In 2012-2013 I completed the MA in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Newcaslte. My thesis entitled 'The cognitive capacity and the infrastructural power of the State during FelipeCalderón´s administration: coping with the despotic war on drugs', analysed how the decision of launching the war on drugs in 2007 was based upon political interests rather than a response to an urgent national threat. 

In 2013 I secured a scholarship from the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) to continue my postgraduate studies at the University of Bristol.  In December 2018 I successfully completed my PhD. 






My PhD thesis entitled:  Poverty, Gender and Violence in the narratives of former narcos: Accounting for Drug Trafficking Violence in Mexico,   proposed for the first time a new critical approach to understandingDTV by examining the life stories of thirty-three former narcos collected in Mexico between October2014 and January 2015. Using a discourse analytical approach, I identified a set of meaning productionregularities, uncovered through detailed interviews, which I conceptualise as narco discourse. I arguedthat the narco discourse is comprised of 3 intertwined discourses:

Poverty: The narco discourse, informed by a neoliberal ethos, understands poverty as a fixed condition in which ‘poor people have no future’ and have ‘nothing to lose’. Based upon this logic, the ‘only’ way for them to enjoy life is to engage in illegal activities conceived as ‘la vida fácil’ [the easy life] which guarantee them ‘dinero fácil’ [easy money];

Masculinity: The narco discourse also produces the idea that ‘un hombre de verdad’ [a true man]

embodies the normative characteristics of machismo,

Violence: The discourse of masculinity, in turn, justifies male violence as ‘necessary’ in order to ‘survive’ in contexts of poverty.

These three intertwined discourses of poverty, masculinity and violence enable the construction of DTV in instrumental terms, as in terms of ‘un negocio’ [a business], as a source of empowerment and even as an enjoyable practice or as ´un pasatiempo´ [a hobby]. Based on this analysis, I demonstrated how DTV is discursively made possible by and for former narcos. I further argued that this provides a new approach to rethinking DTV not only as the result of corruption, or failed policies, but also as the product of the interplay between pre-existing social conditions and discourses produced and reproduced by perpetrators of DTV.


  • Seminar Tutor: Political Concepts
  • Seminar Tutor: Thinking Politically 
  • Seminar Tutor: Approaches to Political Science


Teaching experience in Mexico  (August 2007- May 2012).

  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Socio-economic structures in Mexico
  • World History
  • Contemporary Politics in Mexico.

Fields of interest

Drug policy, Drug Trafficking Violence, Masculinities in Latin America, Gender violence, Gang violence, Qualitative Methods

Edit this profile If you are Miss Karina Garcia Reyes, you can edit this page. Login required.