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Fernando Montero

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2019–2022)

Post Doctoral Fellow, Psychiatry, Columbia University

email address [email protected]
Headshot of Fernando Montero

Fernando Montero is an anthropologist specializing in security regimes and the War on Drugs in the Americas. His current book project examines the everyday life of military occupation on the Afro-Indigenous Moskitia region of Central America (Nicaragua/Honduras). Centering on the sexual and romantic affairs between Miskitu women and Nicaraguan and Honduran soldiers in recently occupied Miskitu coastal villages, the book interrogates Central American security regimes not only in relation to the history of war and extractivism in Afro-Indigenous regions, but also vis-à-vis Afro-Indigenous kinship and gender norms, property forms and economic practices, and overlapping jurisdictions of regional governance. Titled “Martial Love,” the book documents the emergence of a security regime that eschews mass incarceration and systematic killing, but that is grounded on soldiers’ predation on Miskitu teenage women, their extraction of local resources, and their supplanting of Miskitu institutions of customary justice. This project builds on Montero’s earlier field research on policing and mass incarceration in the segregated Puerto Rican neighborhood of North Philadelphia. In collaboration with the anthropologists Philippe Bourgois, Laurie Hart, and George Karandinos, Montero is co-authoring a book, Cornered: The Carceral and Psychiatric Management of Poverty in Puerto Rican North Philadelphia, on contract with Princeton University Press. Based on a half-dozen years of team-based participant-observation fieldwork, the book documents the gendered interface between mass incarceration and the United States’ Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for psychiatric disability.