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Gangster in guerilla face: A transnational mirror of production between the USA and El Salvador

Abstract

Doble cara (double/two-faced) is a key trope in Salvadoran political folklore. It is a folk theory of mimesis, which attempts to 'master the absent presence of the other' through a discourse of conspiracy. The term has a history in the US-funded Salvadoran civil war. In this article, I consider how doble cara has come to be deployed around a new and pivotal social subject - Salvadoran immigrant gang youth deported from the USA - and how these deported youth emerge as a packed and displaced sign for the trauma of post-civil war violence, the failed promise of peace, and ongoing entanglements between the USA and El Salvador. The article is written in conversation with Begoña Aretxaga, who inspired many of the questions explored here. Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications.

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