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  • Letter from the JLAG Editorial Team

Dear JLAG readers,

Welcome to the third and final issue of the Journal of Latin American Geography in 2016. This has been another transformational year for JLAG as we have gone through the growing pains of establishing a fully electronic submission and review platform, which many of you have already experimented with. This new platform will make it much easier for us to keep a permanent record of submissions, reviews, and reviewers, as well as generate statistics for the editorial team so that we can continually to improve our workflow and responsiveness to authors. As many readers will be collaborating with JLAG in the coming years, we encourage you to register on the new site at As ever, we are eager to have your feedback and input.

A critical element of shifting to a digital platform was the learning process that took place for the editorial team. In searching for ways to standardize and streamline our production process, the JLAG editors and the CLAG board examined the possibility of taking the journal into the corporate publishing world, but decided to maintain JLAG as an independent publication. In the process of negotiating the turbulent waters of the academic publishing industry, we found that by keeping our production in-house we would best be able to serve the needs of CLAG. This is the first issue that has been completely operational with the new system and we look forward to discussing the direction that JLAG has taken at the 2017 CLAG Conference in New Orleans.

In the first issue of 2016, the editorial team issued a call for a more pluralistic and geographically expansive understanding of “Latin America” and we have also created a new section where we can publish academic reflections on hot-button topics. In response to this call, this will be the third issue in a row that contains an article on the Mexico/USA border region and the impacts upon those who attempt the increasingly perilous crossing. In the wake of ominous threats from the president-elect of the USA against the lives, livelihoods, and human rights of migrants, permanent residents, and Latinos/as, the role of geographers in producing and disseminating knowledge about the border region will be increasingly important. We reiterate our call for critical, engaged scholarship focused on public policy and human rights.

This issue continues with the established JLAG tradition of covering a wide range of topics, in variable contexts, from diverse methodological perspectives. We begin with Alfonso Valenzuela´s trenchant examination of the ways in which the Mexican government is going through a process of institutional deterioration that has wide-ranging impacts for the governance of national territory. By using the work of Agamben as an analytical lens, Valenzuela presents geographical insights based on political theory that could be widely applicable in other Latin American contexts in different eras.

The next article keeps us in Mexico, with a study of two different carbon market projects in Oaxaca. Miriam Gay-Anataki uses a Feminist Political Ecology approach to examine the ways in which gender relations impact upon the ability of carbon sequestration projects to create positive impacts for the communities in which they are sited. She [End Page 1] demonstrates the value of approaching development projects from a feminist perspective, while relating the ways in which current models largely ignore the multiplicity of women’s social roles and thus failing to contribute positively to local wellbeing.

The third article builds upon articles published in 15(1) and 15(2) that examine the dynamics of the Mexico/USA border. Kate Swanson and Rebecca Torres bring us into the life-worlds of children who make the harrowing journey to El Norte from Central America into the militarized border region. They highlight the role that violence plays in shaping both the experience of migration and the lives of children, arguing that a spatially expansive understanding of violence will allow us to grasp more completely the geographic extent of state policy and practice regarding (im)migration.

From the trauma of forced migration we jump to Mendoza, Argentina where Guillermo Jajamovich explores the dynamics of policy transfer for...